How can water have shade?

Shadow - more than no light

Shadows are where there is no light. The "dark spots" are much more than that: You can play fun games with them, make great gifts or even set the time

Whether a shadow appears short and stocky, as with this boy, or elongated, depends on the position of the sun: the higher it is, the steeper the light, the shorter the shadow becomes. In the mornings and evenings, your "constant companion" is therefore much more stretched than at lunchtime. Your whereabouts also play a role. So at noon you cast almost no shadow at the equator, as the sun burns straight down from the sky here. At the North or South Pole, however, even those of short stature create gigantic outlines. Here, even in midsummer, the sun only just makes it over the horizon.


The ancient Egyptians were already familiar with this ingenious invention: while the sun moves across the sky, the shadow of the so-called shadow thrower moves across the dial of the sundial. You can tell the time from it. At least during the day and as long as it is not cloudy.

Great gift idea

It's Grandma's birthday and you have no idea what to get for her? Then try a silhouette. It doesn't have to show the whole body right away. Your head in profile also makes a pretty picture. Stick a piece of paper on the wall, point a lamp on it, and then stand between them so that your head casts a sharp shadow on the paper. If a paper cup or a roll of toilet paper is stuck between the temple and the wall, the outline cannot be blurred. Draws its outline - this is of course only possible with two people. You then paint the outline. Or you can make it on black construction paper, cut out the whole thing and stick it on a white sheet.

Colored shadow?

A little experiment proves: There are even colored shadows! Put a green and a red spotlight on a white wall. Red and green light mix here to a yellowish tone. If you now hold a hand in the light, the shadow of the light removes this mixture again. Where no more red light reaches the wall, the shadow appears green, where no more green light appears red. Only where neither red nor green light falls on the wall is the shadow, as one is used to: somehow dark.

Traditional shadow games

Shadow theater has a centuries-old tradition in Southeast Asia. In Indonesia, for example, only football is more popular with the audience than the wayang (from the Javanese word for "shadow" or "spirit"), as the performances with the buffalo leather figures are called here. And that, although mostly the same pieces are played! But a little variety is provided, the audience can at least choose whether they want to follow the story in front of the screen or rather look over the shoulder of the puppeteers.

Shadow figures

To conjure up funny shadow figures, all you need is a light source - such as a desk lamp - a white wall and your hands. Tip: The closer the distance between the wall, hand and lamp, the sharper the dog's outlines will be.