Why is Caribbean Water so Clear and Blue?

While it might be tempting to think that water in the Caribbean is clear and blue because of the climate, the natural geological formation of the area or even the fact that everyone who visits is just naturally happy, you’d be wrong. The reason why the water is so clear and blue is actually a bit more scientific than you might think. Given that most people who travel to the Caribbean are doing so to spend time on a beautiful sandy beach, they’re typically concerned with things like sand and sun. Few people ever really concern themselves with the quality of the water they’ll be in. However, when it comes to the Caribbean, you should be thinking about one thing above all else – salt.

Many people believe the water in the Caribbean is blue and clear due to the salt content. While salt certainly contributes to the clarity of the water, there are a few other factors that also play a role.

The Caribbean is such a light a shade of blue due to the tendency of the Caribbean coast to scatter sunlight. The fact that the sand is light colored and the water is relatively shallow also makes the water appear turquoise. Another element that makes water appear blue is the absence of phytoplankton, or algae, which tend to proliferate in water and absorb green light, thereby making water look more green.


Surprisingly, for all of the above reasons, we as humans perceive Caribbean water as being significantly clearer than water anywhere else in the world. This superior clarity has a lot to do with the tidal currents of the area. These currents prevent the layers of sediment usually found in other bodies of water from collecting at the bottom of territorial Caribbean waters, meaning that most of these waters do not have a deep oceanic floor.

Providenciales is a smaller island in Turks and Caicos, and yet it has the highest concentration of sand bars in the Caribbean. This means the island has an incredible amount of companies that offer different activities in water sports. And since Providenciales is a smaller island, it has fewer tourists and more space to accommodate them and their requirements. Due to this factor, the water is much cleaner than it would be on a larger island.

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