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This Is An Unedited Photo Of A Rainbow Swamp And It's Completely Natural

Charleston Daily Photo

If there’s one good thing about the world’s social media obsession, it’s the amount of natural beauty we get to enjoy on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds.

While incredible landmarks like Peru’s Rainbow Mountains and Australia’s Pink Lake have become overnight sensations thanks to glamorous travel photos, an unlikely destination right here in America gained a lot of online attention this week.

Brent Rossen shared a picture of a swamp - yes, a swamp - that his girlfriend Allison Goz snapped during their recent trip to First Landing State Park on Reddit.

Rainbow swamp
Rainbow swamps are caused by tannins released under the swamp water.Allison Goz

Within a day, more than 120,000 users had "upvoted" the picture, which shows an incredible rainbow light display on the surface of the swamp’s water.

While it looks magical, the "rainbow pool" that Goz captured is completely natural, according to Jeff Ripple, a tour guide and who once lead a "swamp walk" in Florida.

"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," he told the BBC.

Conditions need to be just right to achieve the effect, since ripples on the water’s surface would remove the film and the color it creates.

Rainbow swamp
Another First Landing visitor captured this "pastel swamp" in 2016.WhitneyGoose - Instagram

Because of this, Ripple says it’s uncommon to see the rainbow effect spread over such a large area.

Hikers, photographers, and nature-lovers who have fallen in love with the look of these rainbow pools actually seek them out, calling the object of their affection "pastel swamps" or "rainbow swamps."

Several swamp-watchers say that conditions are usually good to see pastel swamps around February, when weather is mild and the soil and vegetation beneath the swamp are working their magic.

Rainbow swamp
While oil can collect over the swamp at any time of year, decaying plants encourage bright colors.DaisyIsBobDylan - Reddit

Fall weather, and falling leaves, seem to promote the colorful effect too.

In spring, the effect can still be noticed but the colors will be more muted (like a layer of silver over the water) because of changes in the natural oil the swamp releases.

But a devoted fan of the colorful effect says he only saw the swamp on his property turn rainbow-colored 10 times in 40 years, so don’t expect to capture the look on your first visit.

[H/T: BBC]

What do you think of the rainbow swamps? Have you ever seen one in real life?

I write about all sorts of things for Shared, especially weird facts, celebrity news, and viral stories. CONTACT: zachary@shared.com