Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Are Polar Bears Sneaky?

June 22, 2015


Totally. Polar bears would make great spies or robbers, in case you’re looking for a large bear to assist you in a jewel heist. We already know that a polar bear’s fur helps it blend in to its environment. But did you know that this camouflage also hides them from infrared technology? In the mid-1990s, scientists were trying to track the bears, but had some trouble seeing them with the naked eye due to the white on white combo. To solve this, scientists set up infrared cameras. Think again, scientists! Cameras were able to pick up heat from the bears’ eyes, nose, and breath, but their enormous bodies were all but invisible. Turns out the bears’ large deposits of blubber keep their bodies from radiating heat, making the infrared signature of polar bear fur almost identical to that of the snow. Now who’s up for a game of super cold hide and seek?

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