Rainbow swamps: Why these swamps have rainbow colors?

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Have you ever seen a rainbow swamp? Yes just something like that:

“Me and my girlfriend were walking in the woods the other week and saw a rainbow pool for the first time in First Landing State Park, Virginia. Picture by Ross Brenten via Reddit

This baffling phenomenon was captured in First Landing State Park, Virginia.

But what kind of toxic-spill hell is this?

rainbow swamp, rainbow swamp pictures, rainbow swamp video
What the heck is going on with this swamp in
Tallahassee, Florida? Picture by Michael Hussey

Really baffling indeed! But this is no (or let say not always) toxic spills… 

rainbow swamp, rainbow swamp pictures, rainbow swamp video
Rainbow Sheen in a Cypress Swamp as a Result of Decomposing Leaves Releasing Tannins. Picture by Kate Scott

The rainbow sheens found as a thin film on top of pooled water in swamps and marshes are the result of natural oils released by decaying vegetation or the biological processes of anaerobic bacteria reducing iron in soil.

rainbow swamp, rainbow swamp pictures, rainbow swamp video
Rainbow colors on the surface of the cypress swamp in First Landing State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Picture by Realest Nature

If it doesn’t rain for a couple of weeks the colors and the phenomenon become more pronounced.

rainbow swamp, rainbow swamp pictures, rainbow swamp video
The rainbow swamp Is not magic and it’s not someone’s leaky fuel tank. Picture by Kate Scott

Do you feel the magic?

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[Reddit, Treehugger]





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