Safety is an essential aspect the scuba diving. This is clear to anyone who has actually ever also taken a an easy open water course.

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However, many human being frequently ask questions around how to continue to be safe once actively in the water in terms of being protected from sharks and also other predators.

This is a organic concern. After ~ all, once we are in the water, we are not in our environment yet rather theirs. We’re also very slow by comparison and – let’s confront it – no one really likes the thought of gift bitten, stung, or digested by miscellaneous else.


One of the frequent questions that divers often tend to ask is related to the color selections of your gear. This has actually been specifically relevant because scuba gear started being created in many different colors. Execute bright scuba gear colors attract predators?

Yes, bright colour can tempt lots of different fish including some predators. However, unprovoked assaults on scuba divers by any underwater species are extremely rare. Furthermore, most divers would like to entice fish, even some predators. Combine these facts v the safety and security benefits of glowing colors do it less complicated to be seen, and also there is no reason you should avoid them.

Let’s take it a closer look in ~ this question.

What duty Does color Play Underwater?

This in of itself is an amazing question and also can have numerous different answers that vary relying on the organism in question. Among the major purposes of shade is communication. This can be watched in different types for various purposes.

For example, young and also adult parrotfish have different colors. Meanwhile, some varieties of grouper adjust color to indicate readiness to mate, an efficient tool top top a reef fill with hundreds of fish.

Another important use of color is camouflage, which allows organisms to blend in rather than stand out. Many octopuses deserve to expertly adjust color to blend to their environment. Some fish adjust their shade from stripes come bands relying on if they room swimming or still. Others have actually a “fake eye” on their tail which deserve to confuse predators.


Color can likewise be offered as a warning. For example, the slow swimming lionfish is thought to usage bright colors to warn various other fish that its poisonous spines. Bar jacks turn from silver to black when swimming v stingrays to protect their territory from various other bar jacks.

Scorpionfish unfurl bright fins when threatened.

Finally, some fish usage countershading together a kind of camouflage. Countershading requires having distinct shade patterns depending upon whether you space looking upwards or downwards (think sharks v white bellows and also grey tops).

Can Fish check out Color?

As have the right to be seen, there are a broad array of features of shade in the ocean. It would certainly seem to suggest that fish have the right to see color. This is mostly true.

In fact, a great deal of research has been performed on this topic. Among the most exciting studies connected fish that were dyed red and treated v a foul-tasting chemical. Snappers conveniently learned to avoid the red fish and also instead eat the regular colored ones.

However, not all fish room able to view color. Specifics sharks cannot view color. This has actually been shown by university researchers in Australia. In fact, while sharks’ eye contain the cones that perceive color, organisms must have actually multiple types of cones, an interpretation that sharks only have monochromatic vision.

Thus, the answer around whether fish see color or no is that it depends on the fish. However, many fish likely can see color.

Are Predators attracted to glowing Colors?

When civilization are asking around predators, they are generally talking about sharks and also sometimes barracuda. A novice diver may additionally wonder about moray eels; however, despite their menacing look, they are not going to bite a diver unless provoked.


Let’s start with sharks. If you’ve been around the diving community long enough, you’ve likely heard the phrase “yum yum yellow,” introduce to the belief that yellow attracts sharks.

We’ve already established that they have monochromatic vision, so plainly they aren’t attracted to color that they cannot see, right?

Actually, sharks carry out seem come be attractive to color, particularly yellow. An old experiment by the United claims Navy put dummies with different colored life vests in the water. Sharks most generally approached and interacted with yellow ones.

The television present MythBusters attempted come prove this myth wrong. They put bait into bags of many different colors and dragged castle behind a boat. Sharks attacked the bags of all colors, but struck the yellow ones slightly much more often. This says that while sharks depend on senses other than color to hunt, they room attracted come yellow.

The truth is the sharks are not attractive to a color in particular as much as they space attracted come high comparison colors. Yellow stand out much more easily than any kind of color; thus, that generates much more interest.

Barracuda are likewise attracted come bright color (as are countless things in the ocean); however, they will not assault a diver wearing bright colors. The large danger for barracuda is extremely reflective glowing things choose jewelry. A diver v a wedding ring may end up needing stitches.


Should i Wear glowing Colors?

Your color choice is obviously fully up to you. The brightly colored diving equipment is particularly popular. The truth is that wearing brightly contrasting colors will lure some animals; however, this is extremely unlikely to cause an attack.

In fact, many divers desire to watch wildlife therefore attracting fish of every sizes is a goal. In fact, many types of sharks room notoriously shy, an interpretation that glowing colors deserve to lead to sightings divers would certainly otherwise miss.

Additionally, there is a significant safety ingredient at play through bright colors. You have actually likely noticed that your backup air source is likely yellow. This is due to the fact that the color makes it much easier to see in the water and also easier to discover quickly in one emergency.

Bright colors space also very useful for diving in low visibility problems as it helps you find your dive buddy much more easily. I have typically been diving in quarries through ten foot of less visibility.

The only thing keeping me may be to watch my girlfriend in prior of me were her pink tank or yellow fins.

In short, also if you are leery the predators and don’t desire to lure them, the bright colors are useful as a safety measure. The fact is they space far an ext likely to assist keep you safe than placed you in danger.

The one exemption to this is if you arrangement to take component in a shark diving exploration such together those readily available by dive shops in Jupiter, Florida. These have tendency to it is in baited trips and also bright colors room not enabled as sharks are already being fed which boosts their aggressiveness and can cloud their judgment a bit.


If you do want come stay less visible come predators, you need to opt because that blue gear or potentially black or grey colors. This colors will store you fairly muted underwater.

Final Thoughts

While most fish are believed to check out color, sharks perform not. However, they carry out see contrast between bright and dull colors, an interpretation that shining scuba gear stands the end to them.

When underwater, you space much more likely to encounter an tools problem, come to be entangled, or action improperly in an emergency 보다 you room to it is in bitten by a predator.


Bright colors do tempt fish, consisting of predators favor barracuda or sharks. However, this is a feature rather than a an insect for countless divers. Also, the security benefits that bright colour vastly overcompensate because that the potential the a bite.

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If you would like to mix in underwater, go v a mute color, ideally a blue. Otherwise, feel free to choose any kind of color you’d like.