# Why do things look shallower in water?

## Why do things look shallower in water?

An object seen in the water will usually appear to be at a different depth than it actually is, due to the refraction of light rays as they travel from the water into the air. This tutorial explores how fish, observed from the bank of a pond or lake, appear to be closer to the surface than they really are.

## How do you see an object when it is in water?

Light rays reflected from the fish are refracted at the surface of the water, but the eyes and brain trace the light rays back into the water as thought they had not refracted, but traveled away from the fish in a straight line. This effect creates a “virtual” image of the fish that appears at a shallower depth.

## Why do objects at the bottom of an aquarium filled with water look closer?

An object seen in the water will usually appear to be at a different depth than it actually is, due to the refraction of light rays as they travel from the water into the air. This refraction makes the fish appear closer to the surface than it actually is.

## Why does a pencil appears bent when it is partially dipped in water?

The pencil appears to be bent when it is kept in a glass tumbler with water due to refraction of light. The refraction of light occurs when the speed of light changes when it travels from one medium to another.

## Why do things look smaller underwater?

Since air has an index of refraction of essentially 1 and water has an index of refraction of 1.33 the angle from which the rays of light reach your eyes is larger than the angle they would in air. This makes the angular size larger to your eyes which makes the object look larger relative to how they would look in air.

## Why does refraction occur?

Waves. Refraction is an effect that occurs when a light wave, incident at an angle away from the normal, passes a boundary from one medium into another in which there is a change in velocity of the light. Light is refracted when it crosses the interface from air into glass in which it moves more slowly.