Sunday, May 15, 2016

Is This Pollution?

Knock me over with a feather, this little pool way back in the woods turns out to have all-natural soap suds. As you know, soap is made from plants. Running enough water over decaying leaves and logs releases "surfactants" like the those in your Joy and Suave bottles that lift and dissolve oils. The woodland surfactants form a near-invisible film on top of water, most of the time. But pool the rushing water and churn it in a cove or a tiny pool like this one, and do it for a while, and suds appear naturally.

Most times in unpolluted conditions these natural suds are 99 percent water and air and 1 percent surfactant, so foam appears only under exacting conditions, and cannot be used as soap. It's just for looking at. This foam is white, but it can be off-white or tan. So relax. Unpolluted spots on earth still exist!

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