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What Colors Should I Avoid Wearing In The Ocean?

Last update: 2024-03-04

Deciding what colors to wear in the ocean isn't just about fashion - it can actually be an important safety consideration. What Colors Should I Avoid Wearing In The Ocean? certain hues can attract dangerous marine life, while others can help keep you visible to boats and rescuers. Here's a look at what colors to avoid and embrace when planning your beach attire.

Colors That Attract Marine Life

  • Bright colors, especially yellow, orange, and red, can attract unwelcome attention from certain marine animals. This is because the high contrast of these colors mimics the bright warning coloration of venomous coral reef creatures. Predators like sharks interpret these bright hues as advertising that you may be toxic prey. So it's best to avoid wearing these shades in the ocean.
    Rear view of tanned traveler woman standing on top rock beach with open arms in front of amazing seascape, bright yellow dress and hair blowing in the wind.
  • What Colors Should I Avoid Wearing In The Ocean? Specifically, yellow and yellow-orange are known to attract bull sharks, while lemon shark species go for yellow and gold shades. Reef manta rays also respond aggressively to yellow snorkel gear.
  • In addition to sharks, bright colors may draw the interest of aggressive fish like barracuda. And tiny jellyfish are more likely to sting bright colored skin and gear, taking it as a threatening sign. So vibrant warm tones are generally not the safest choice for ocean wear.

Low Visibility Colors

  • On the other end of the spectrum, wearing ocean camouflage colors like blue, grey and black can also be risky. These colors allow you to blend in with the water, which sounds good in theory. But it also makes you nearly invisible to rescuers and boats above the surface.
    A picture of a beautiful young woman with long dark hair in a dress and a straw hat, posing on the beach, standing with her back and looking at the endless sea.
  • So dark muted colors and anything designed to camouflage is not ideal for safety. Without visibility aids like floats and reflectors, dark clothing increases your chances of not being seen by people who could rescue you in an emergency.
  • What Colors Should I Avoid Wearing In The Ocean? Dark colors also provide less visibility underwater, which can lead to accidental marine life collisions. So dark camo gear should be avoided when possible.
  • With thecolors to avoid covered, what are the best choices for safe ocean attire? Bright and light colors are your best options. Shades like white, light greys, greens, pinks and purples make you stand out against the water, helping boats and rescuers spot you.
    Honeymoon couple walking on sunset romantic stroll on Lover's key beach in Florida enjoying evening light relaxing on tropical summer vacation travel holiday.
  • Light colors also make it easier to spot marine life underwater, helping prevent accidental run-ins. Pale yellows, oranges and reds are alright in moderation, but try to avoid large splashes of these colors. Neon and fluorescent shades work well for visibility above and below the surface.
  • Other smart precautions like floats, reflectors and dive flags should be used along with visible colors. Avoiding bold patterns and shiny surfaces can also help decrease unwanted marine life attention. Consider sun protection rating when choosing fabric colors as well.

Key Takeaways

  • In summary, the main What Colors Should I Avoid Wearing In The Ocean?:
  • Bright warm colors like bold yellows, oranges and reds
  • Darker colors like blues, blacks and greys
  • Camouflage prints and gear
  • Shiny surfaces and reflective materials
  • The best choices are light, bright and highly visible colors like:
  • Whites
  • Light greys
  • Pinks
  • Greens
  • Neons
  • Fluorescents
  • Add safety aids like reflectors and floats and avoid problematic patterns. Pay attention to sun protection as well when selecting ocean wear hues. By making wise color choices, you can stay safer and better enjoy your seaside adventures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do bright colors attract sharks and other marine life?

Bright contrasting colors like yellow and red mimic the warning coloration of toxic reef species. This makes predators curious to investigate if you are dangerous prey.

What colors specifically attract sharks?

Yellow, gold, orange and red shades tend to attract sharks like bull sharks, lemon sharks and reef sharks. Neon colors also stand out as unnatural.

What colors make you hard to see in the ocean?

Dark muted colors like blacks, blues, and greys can camouflage you in the water, making it hard for boats and rescuers to spot you.

What colors should you not wear snorkeling or scuba diving?

Avoid bright warm hues that attract aggressive marine life. Also skip dark camouflage colors with low visibility. Stick to light, high visibility colors.

What colors are sharks attracted to least?

Sharks are least attracted to muted natural tones like light greens, blues, purples. Pale versions of warmer colors like pink, peach or beige are also low interest to sharks.


Being thoughtful about what colors you wear in the ocean can really improve both your safety and your odds of an enjoyable, hassle-free day at the beach. Take care to avoid hues and patterns that attract unwelcome marine life attention or camouflage you from rescuers. Instead, embrace highly visible shades that make you stand out against the sea. Stay safe and stylish with the right ocean attire colors.

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