29 November 2018

This is a natural "rainbow swamp"

If I saw something like this in the woods, I would assume that some idiot had dumped old oilcans in the pond.  Nope.  It's a natural phenomenon.
Years ago, when I was leading swamp walks at Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery, I noticed what looked like an oil slick on the surface of the water. One of the swamp walk leaders with much more experience, Jeff Ripple, explained that the natural oils from the cypress cones disbursed once they dropped in the water.
Top photo via the Pics subreddit.  The quoted text and the photo below are from Florida Hikes.


  1. Interesting! Atmospheric Optics attributes the effect to "algae, pollen or dust" floating on the water, not oil. Apparently, the effect is called Quételet scattering.

    1. That's interesting too.


    2. Thanks! Fascinating material.

      (Oh dear, It seems my link malfunctions. This was the intended url: https://www.atoptics.co.uk/fza151.htm)

    3. Nice photo of the roadside ditch at your link.

      You learn something every day. Thanks.


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