Answered: Can fish see water?

fish see water

Fish live in water, eat there, and do everything related to their life in water. Water is an integral part of a fish’s life. Just like humans can’t survive without oxygen, non-amphibious fish can’t survive without water. We, humans, get curious about weird things like we can see water.

Can fish see water? You must have thought about it at least once. Well, just like you can’t see air but still breathe it, fish can’t see water and still live in it. As the brain of fish is looking for water continuously, it automatically begins to filter it.

Can fish see in the dark?

Many aquarists have this odd thought that if fish can see in the dark or not. Most fish species can see in the dark because of the evolved cone cells in their eyes. Some fish are able to see better in the dark than other species because of the difference in the number of cone cells present in each species.

Fish have a different vision than humans, as light reflects differently in aquatic environments. It largely depends on how deep a fish resides in the water to determine the colors they can see or the amount of their night vision. One can also know which colors fish are able to see with the concept of wavelength.

For example, colors like green and blue have longer wavelengths. That’s why fishes deep in the water look black, green, or blue and thus hiding them from predators.

Can fish see water?

As humans aren’t capable of seeing air, fish aren’t capable of seeing water. Through years of change and evaluation, fish’s brains have started to filter out the water as it continuously moves through it.

Fish’s brain filter out water so that the brain can utilize its power on more crucial things or tasks. It can be life functions or anything that needs more concentration or focus. If the brain continuously thinks about water and processes all of it, it won’t be able to function properly.

Fish aren’t able to see water to function properly and do what it needs to do in the water.

Can fish see humans?

We know that our pet dogs or cats get excited when we come home because they can see us. So can your pet fish see you too? Many studies have shown that fish can see humans. Research has also found that fish can more easily recognize a familiar face than see a face for the first time.

The more you know about fish, the more interested and respectful you get about them.

Why don’t fish see water?

The brain constantly operates to help us survive by processing incoming information. So if the brain thinks that something needs to be filtered out to preserve crucial processing water, it will consider it environmental noise.

Environmental noise means any type of noise pollution that you experience every day. Every species has defined its own environment noises that their brains filter out.

Okay, do a simple task. Have a look around and notice things surrounding you. Did you notice your noise interfering with your vision? Did you notice air particles that are continuously moving around? Your brain has filtered such things out of your vision as they’re not crucial to your daily survival.

The fish’s brain works almost the same way as the human brain. It filters out the things that it considers environmental noise. That’s why they view water just like humans view air. Their brain saves space for important processes by filtering out these noises. Air surrounds us, and we don’t see it. Similarly, they live in it and don’t see it.

Can fish see air?

While swimming, we clearly see water surrounding us mostly because we can feel it. As we’re discussing whether fish can see water or not and it’s been made clear, the question about whether fish can see air.

Every creature on earth processes objects and colors in its own specific way. Light reflects on every object differently, which results in how we see it. This is known as the refraction index.

Air has a very low refraction index; it becomes impossible to see it. So neither fish nor we can see air present in the environment.

Can fish see underwater?

When we swim underwater, our vision starts to get a little blurry. Does it happen with fish too? Of course, our vision is different in water compared to when we are on our land. But how the fish sees the world. The structure of a human eye and a fish’s eye is similar, the only difference being in ways of refracting light. However, the outward shape of the eyes of both of these creatures is different.

Our eyes are generally flat as compared to other mammals. The shape of the fish’s eye is round, which makes them appear “bug-eyed.” When going underwater swimming, we use goggles so that we can see clearly. The extra layer of air present in the goggles is needed as air and water have different densities. When we are trying to see in an environment with heavy density, light refracts at a greater angle. The flat-shaped eyes of humans are not ideal for such an environment.

Fish’s round-shaped eyes allow them to refract light differently. To bend light, a round lens is considered optimal. This implies that their vision becomes quite impressive underwater. A fish sees much more clearly and better than any diver.

Which underwater creatures have a good vision?

Talking about vision, some creatures are occupied with better vision than other underwater creatures. Their ability to see can depend on which environment they reside in and how much access they have to light. Here are the underwater creatures that have the best vision.


Barrelyes (Brownsnout spookfish) live very deep in the ocean, even 2,000 meters in depth. Due to this, they have an advanced vision than all other creatures.


It can be said that octopuses have the most advanced set of eyes in the aquatic world. Their vision is superior underwater as they have nerve endings double the amount found in a human eye.

Cuatro Ojos

Four-eyed wish, Cuatro Ojos doesn’t actually have four eyes. They have two normal eyes, but each is individually split due to a tissue membrane. They use these two parts to see underwater while using other eye parts to see above water. As a result, they have a commendable sense of double vision.

Mantis Shrimp

Mantis Shrimp are able to move each eye individually, that is, separately, which makes their eyesight very impressive.

All of the above creatures have their vision as their best tool.

Can fish hear?

As you’ve become familiar with the vision of a fish, you might as well want to know if the fish can hear or not. Many fishermen are worried about if they’re not scaring the fish away with the sound of their motor boat.

Fish can hear, too, although not as clearly as humans do. They are able to hear low frequencies only. Low frequencies sounds are lower in pitch, like a boat engine or bass guitar. Most species of fish are not able to hear high-pitched sounds.

However, there are exceptions here too. For example, some fish have better hearing capacity than humans. So if you want to catch fish in your fishing spot, turn the engine off so that they don’t get scared and run away. Stop talking or turn off the radio too to create complete silence.

If you have a pet fish, you can start having conversations with it. It will get familiar with listening to your voice and might respond to it.

Can fish feel or think?

When we’re discussing senses, you should know about other senses of fish. It’s been studied that fish don’t feel anything at all. Their brainpower is not big enough to process any pain; they don’t feel it.

Fish don’t think as well. They don’t plan their days like humans do but go searching for their food and survival.


Fish are very interesting creatures that are capable of doing some commendable things. This should not surprise you about the fact that fish can’t see water. It makes sense for humans to see air, so it should also make sense about fish’s incapability to see water. Its brain filters out the water.

If humans had lived underwater, their brains would have started filtering out water eventually. Just like fish’s brain are able to do this after years of evolution, this would have been a possibility with humans, too, after a process of evolution.

As humans depend on their vision, fish depend on their eyesight too for performing daily functions. They develop their eyesight with each passing day for a better lifestyle. They might not see water, but they can see other beautiful things worldwide.


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