Multicoloured Natural Phenomena

Waking up to an  overcast sky on a Monday morning doesn’t do wonders for the mood. I decided to explore some picturesque places that would definitely brighten and add colour to anyone’s day.

Roussillion Ochres


From yellow through to violet, iron oxides in the sand colour the cliffs around Roussillion, France.

Ochre Mines below the village of Roussillon in the Luberon of Provence. Image by James Martin

Ochre Mines below the village of Roussillon in the Luberon of Provence. Image by
James Martin

The rich deposits of ochre pigments made Roussillon famous not only for its beauty but also for its wealth in the textile industry – “as many as seventeen different shades of dye were manufactured from the local rock during the 18th and 19th centuries and into the 20th”. To protect the site from degradation or complete destruction, the mining of ochre in this area is now prohibited.

This video beautifully illustrates the story of Roussillion and its ochres.

The Seven Coloured Earths


Situated on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, lies this multi-coloured beauty. seven seven earth It is the only place in the “world where one can see earth of seven different colors in one place” – red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. The time of day influences the colour and colour intensity.

The vivid colours have not only captivated tourists as geologists have long been fascinated with the dunes  “ever since they were first discovered. This natural phenomena has several unsolved mysteries. The colors never disappear in spite of torrential downpours and the sand dunes never erode. In addition, the Coloured Earths has a strange property of settling into their individual colors. Even if they are mixed with other colors, they will eventually settle back into layers of individual color”.

Multicoloured Lake


Multi-coloured lake. Image from:


Located in Jiuzhaigou, China this lake has an exquisite patchwork of colours: pale red, bright yellow, greenish black, dark blue and pale blue.

This colourful phenomenon results from the distributional difference of calcium deposits, algae, ferns and sunken plants on the bottom of the lake.


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