The Fantastical World at the Bottom of the Stream

September 05, 2023



Photographer: Meiying Lee  
Summary Author: Meiying Lee  

Photos numbered 1, 2, and 3 in the collage above are three consecutive shots taken in rapid succession, approximately within a second, capturing these underwater scenes. By observing the position of the rocks, it can be confirmed that the camera remained stationary. However, the shape of the rock appears to have changed, and the patterns associated with it varied. Also, the fish swimming by underwent interesting transformations. 

This phenomenon is caused by the propagation of water ripples. Photo number 4 shows the ripples on the water surface near the time the first 3 photos were taken. The crests of the water waves act like convex lenses, converging the light rays, while the troughs act like concave lenses, causing the light rays to diverge. As the water waves continuously propagate and move, the rocks and fish at the bottom of the stream undergo constant deformation. The refraction of light also results in a dispersion effect, occasionally creating colorful formations on the rocks or the fish. Upon closer observation, nature always leaves us amazed. Photos taken on May 17, 2023.


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