UKC

Oily residue up in the hills

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 Russell Lovett 14 Sep 2021

Have been meaning to ask if anyone could explain what it is I have seen. Up in the Mountains of Scotland last week I seen on numerous occasions what looked to be oil slicks in puddles and pools, that look like the iridescent peacock feather coloured stains you see on roads where a car has leaked oil or petrol on wet ground. Obviously they don't come from cars or even quad bikes as I have seen them well away from big paths out on the sides of realy wild places. Anyone care to explane what I have been seeing, have seen them in other places not just Scotland. Just curious as to what could be causing the slicks.

 gethin_allen 14 Sep 2021
In reply to Russell Lovett:

We've seen this in many places and often wondered the same. It will be great if someone here does know the reason why.

 plyometrics 14 Sep 2021
In reply to gethin_allen:

Ditto! Keen to know what causes it too. 

In reply to Russell Lovett:

Anaerobic digestion by microbes produces heavy hydrocarbons in bogs. I seem to recall that you can tell the difference between this natural phenomenon and pollution as one will shatter when you poke it and the other will wont. Cant rember which way round though.

 Lankyman 14 Sep 2021
In reply to ebdon:

> Anaerobic digestion by microbes produces heavy hydrocarbons in bogs

That's what they want you to think. I'm convinced it's from UFO's. Even aliens must have oil leaks now and then.

 Dave the Rave 14 Sep 2021
In reply to Russell Lovett:

It’s oil leaks from off roaders.

 afx22 14 Sep 2021
In reply to Dave the Rave:

I saw one this weekend, in Langdale, nowhere near the sort of terrain that off-roaders would be able to ride.

 artif 14 Sep 2021
In reply to Russell Lovett:

New oil reserves, should be ready for drilling in a couple of million years

 Tony Buckley 14 Sep 2021
In reply to ebdon:

> Anaerobic digestion by microbes produces heavy hydrocarbons in bogs. 

I figured it was some sort of anaerobic process producing a compound which included ferrous iron.

I have no evidence for this beyond several such sights and lots of miles walked wondering about it.

T.

 Myr 14 Sep 2021
In reply to ebdon:

> Anaerobic digestion by microbes produces heavy hydrocarbons in bogs. I seem to recall that you can tell the difference between this natural phenomenon and pollution as one will shatter when you poke it and the other will wont. Cant rember which way round though.

This - and if the film remains broken, rather than quickly reforming, it is natural.

 toad 14 Sep 2021
In reply to Russell Lovett:

In the main, it's coming from peat, but in one or two places, for example, the Castleton side of Mam Tor, the oily residue is....  oil! You can find it leaching out in tiny amounts from a couple of limestone outcrops

 Dave the Rave 14 Sep 2021
In reply to afx22:

> I saw one this weekend, in Langdale, nowhere near the sort of terrain that off-roaders would be able to ride.

😩

 Russell Lovett 14 Sep 2021
In reply to Russell Lovett:

Interesting. At least next time im out and see this i will now know what it is im looking at. Cheers for all replys.

 Forest Dump 14 Sep 2021
In reply to Myr:

Cheers, one to tell the Mrs to look all knowledgeable 

 Fat Bumbly2 14 Sep 2021
In reply to Russell Lovett:

Like this:

https://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/5541502

Suspect it's something to do with chemicals produced by rotting vegetation, probably in anaerobic conditions.

 Mike Peacock 15 Sep 2021
In reply to Russell Lovett:

Usually it's to do with iron, and often associated with organic/peat soils, and it often seems to be triggered by droughts. This topic has come up a few times for me this summer. One of the councils here in Sweden had contacted our university as some of their lakes had oily films floating on it and they were concerned. I also had a discussion on twitter, with contributions from people who (unlike me) properly know this stuff:

https://twitter.com/caseycbryce/status/1425764019357556738

In reply to Russell Lovett:

Natural oils from decaying vegetable matter.

 Matt Hill 15 Sep 2021
In reply to Russell Lovett:

This is probably Bog oil or Leptothrix discophora.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptothrix_discophora 

It looks like oil flowing from deposits of peat. It is microbial life that 'breathes' iron. The microbes embed themselves in an iridescent film which they manufacture themselves, this is the film that looks like an oil slick, they then proceed to use the iron to maintain their life functions. The colours seen in the 'slick' are a trick of the light being refracted from the surface. You should see it 'shatter' if you run your finger through it whereas an oil slick will flow back together.

Reference: Mike Raine: Nature of Snowdonia. 

Post edited at 09:35
 Hat Dude 15 Sep 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

> That's what they want you to think. I'm convinced it's from UFO's. Even aliens must have oil leaks now and then.


Our lizard masters using remote locations to rendezvous with the mothership!

In reply to Russell Lovett:

The rule of thumb it was taught,

Poke with a stick and if it breaks into plates it's big oil, big gloop around siad stick with nice rainbow colours it's come from an anyone 

 wercat 16:11 Fri
In reply to Russell Lovett:

is it anywhere close to where Boris took that trip up near Applecross last year?

Post edited at 16:12
 leon 1 17:06 Fri
In reply to wercat: That would be a slimy shit not an oily residue !


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