Every winter in the Lowcountry, this spectacular natural phenomenon occurs in our swamps: rainbow swamp!
What Causes Rainbow Swamp?
The fall of leaves in autumn gives way to them decomposing in the swamp water. As this process happens, tannins from the leaves are released. These tannins give the water its dark, tea-like appearance. An oily substance floats to the surface of the water. When the sunlight hits it just right, an oil slick effect appears. This is called rainbow swamp.
Where to Find It?
You can find this beautiful phenomenon in stagnant swamp water. In the Lowcountry, we have many nature preserves that have a good chance of showcasing this iridescent display.
You could also take a stroll through a swamp via the boardwalk at Audubon’s Beidler Forest Sanctuary located outside of Ridgeville.