why do bodies of water seem to show reflections of things they should not be able to.


For example standing on the other side of a lake and seeing the bases of trees in the water although they are not right at the water’s edge.

In: Physics

The angle of refraction is equal to the angle of incidents.

Basically think of the water as a mirror (if you have a hand held mirror you can try this and see what I am talking about). If something reflects in the mirror at a very shallow angle then it will reflect at a shallow angle. So let’s say you had a handheld mirror and if you held it parallel to your eyes (and thus perpendicular to your light of sight) you would just see the reflection of yourself, but if you start rotating the mirror you will start to see different things reflect into it.

When you are looking directly into a mirror the angle of incidents is 90 degrees therefore the angle of reflection is 90 degrees.


The Wikipedia explains it a little better given that it has diagrams, however [this](https://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/refln/Lesson-1/The-Law-of-Reflection) page does a good job too.

Because you have a wider viewing angle on reflective surfaces than if you were looking straight ahead. Light reflects off of reflective surfaces such as mirrors and water at the same angle it approached at. So if you’re looking at the water at a 45° angle, you’ll be able to see reflections from 45° the other way, for a total of 90° total field of view.