There are few places like Venice, Italy. It has the nickname “The Floating City.” Venice stretches across more than 100 islands. Boats called gondolas glide through crisscrossing canals. One of the city’s most famous waterways is the Grand Canal. People at the canal got an odd sight on May 28. Parts of it turned green.
The Grand Canal curves all the way through Venice. (See Slide Show.) There are restaurants, shops, and homes all along the waterway. Visitors and locals near Rialto Bridge first spotted the green tint. Experts took samples of the water. They it in a lab.
Scientists announced that a chemical had caused the green tint. That chemical is a dye called fluorescein. It is sometimes used when workers are building something under water. If there is a leak in a structure, the dye will give workers a hint at where to patch up. Officials aren’t exactly sure where this fluorescein came from, though.
Officials said the water is safe. Tests didn’t show any in the water. Still, even though the green is gone for now, some people are worried.
Luca Zaia is the governor of Veneto, an area that includes Venice. Zaia thinks that other people might add dyes to the canals to get attention. “ like this could become the showcase for more and more ‘characters,’” he wrote online. “We have to protect the city… the right of everyone to enjoy historical beauties,” Zaia added.
Officials will continue to watch over Venice’s canals. They hope the city’s waters will keep their natural .
Updated May 31, 2023, 5:02 P.M. (ET)
By Ryan Cramer