Beach Foam

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The sea is full of organic surfactants (proteins, lignins, lipids) from organisms naturally. That’s what ‘sea foam’ is; so I don’t think it’s related to an oil spill.

The shimmering ‘rainbow’ is due to destructive and constructive interference of light bouncing around in the thin film (lamella) between bubbles. Different film thicknesses cause the light to reflect differently, causing the wavelengths we see to shift (rainbow!).

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