Does Night Vision Work UnderWater?

Technology has gone the farthest for the last few decades; the objects you couldn’t see at night and underwater are made visible thanks to the advancing technologies. You now have night vision lenses installed in the scopes, goggles, binoculars, and many other optical devices that allow you to see your target even in the dark. The underwater sphere is also dark, which prevents you from seeing at distances with ordinary optical devices. Let us discuss in the next section whether and how night vision works underwater.

Does Night Vision Work UnderWater?

Table of Contents

The answer to the above question is yes, some night vision optical devices are used underwater to see in the dark water sphere. Many warfares, marine training, search operation, diving, and water body cleaning require going deep in water. Remember, underwater is never safe; therefore, you need to have full provisions and clear vision. You might encounter many deadly animals underwater and other obstacles.

underwater night vision goggles

By good fortune, night visions for underwater crafts solve all your issues and make it easier to dive under dark waters. Underwater night vision equipment requires various features to be fully working underwater. Not only can you take down your target with precision, but you can also ace your training sessions and dive with a clear head and vision with night vision underwater optical devices. Night vision equipment works on two basic technologies that are optoelectronic image enhancement and digital image enhancement.

In the first-mentioned night vision optics, there are sensors installed in the night vision equipment which senses the infrared rays emitted by warm bodies. These night vision optical devices capture infrared coming out into an image form and then amplify it with the lens. This amplified image is what you see at the end as a green color object. These night-vision equipment are used for nighttime warfare, hunting, and underwater diving.

thermal camera underwater

The later types of night vision equipment use digital image enhancement technology, and these are the most advanced types. They work on the same principle as mentioned earlier; however, these night vision optics are smaller, lightweight, and give you a digitally enhanced image, unlike optoelectronic night visions. The image formed in these optics is converted into digital signals, refined, magnified, and sharpened, and then sent to the display screen for viewing.

You see a greenish and ultra-clear image on the screens. These night vision optical devices are versatile and can be used for many purposes. Many optoelectronic and digital image enhancement night vision optical devices can be used underwater if they are fully water-resistant. Such night vision equipment makes diving, underwater warfare, and training much safer and easier.


Yes, many night vision equipment is specifically made to be used underwater, such as oceans, deep seas, lakes, and rivers. This equipment is thoroughly water-resistant and can be used for many purposes. For instance, they are used by marines, trainees, divers, and people who work as search forces. These night-vision equipment make their work easier.

Some night vision optics might get damaged when you use them underwater; however, a lot of them come to you after full weatherproofing. Weather proofing makes them fully resistant to water. Therefore you can freely use them underwater without the fear of them getting damaged.

Night vision optical devices work by capturing infrared lights coming out from the warm bodies by using thermal imaging technology like other scanning devices. This light is then amplified and shown to you on the screens. You can see a glowing green image on the screen even in the dark.

Final Thoughts

Advance technology has brought nothing but convenience, growth, and much more in every field of life. Who would have thought about seeing in complete darkness? Thanks to the inventors whose mega minds have brought night visions into being. Night vision optical devices and equipment lets you see in the pitch dark and under dark water with thermal imaging technologies to bring convenience and precision in warfare, hunting, training, and much more.

Additional Questions

Can night vision goggles function in complete darkness?

In truth, night vision goggles are incapable of functioning in total darkness. This might come as a surprise, but these high-tech gadgets rely on amplifying existing light to provide us with vision in darker environments. So, even if you’re wearing the priciest pair on the market, if there’s not even a smidge of light around to intensify, they’re as good as a fancy blindfold. Trust me, I’ve spent countless hours testing them for my job in outdoor gear reviews.

Is it possible to view fish underwater using night vision goggles?

Actually, it is conceivable to observe fish underwater with night vision goggles. The rationale behind this is that these goggles can pick up on infrared radiation. As a matter of fact, they are designed to spot any living creature or object emitting infrared radiation — be it in water, air or at the interface of both. I’ve had my share of astounding wildlife encounters at night owing to this feature.

How extensive is the range of night vision?

Night vision devices hold the power to enable us to see things in the dark that would otherwise go unnoticed. Superior quality night vision goggles or scopes can grant us the ability to detect people, animals or even inanimate objects at a distance of up to 1,000 yards on a pitch-dark night. I’ve been on many night-time expeditions and can vouch for the authenticity of these claims. For those interested in night-time photography or videography, night vision monocular cameras perform admirably by capturing images and videos that remain invisible to our naked eyes in darkness.

Can night vision penetrate fog?

Regrettably, night vision does not function seamlessly in all conditions. Yes, these devices can give us a clear vision in dark conditions, but not when it’s overly dark. Plus, if the way ahead is riddled with dust particles, fog, or other obstacles, a night vision camera will struggle to capture anything meaningful. Through years spent in outdoor gear testing, I’ve learned that the effectiveness of night vision technology is greatly compromised under such adverse conditions.