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What Makes Gasoline on the Ground So Colorful?

By Product Expert | Posted in For Fun, Tips & Tricks on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 at 2:51 pm
Why Does Gasoline Smell Good

The reason for gasoline’s rainbow colors might not be as complex as you think. It comes down to the mixture of oil and water and sunlight. Read on and find out what gives gasoline its rainbow coloring, and why we like the smell.  

Rainbow colors gasoline

Why Is Spilled Gasoline Rainbow Colored?

When light passes through oil and water, certain parts are reflective. The oil in the gasoline forms a very thin film when it’s spilled on the ground, but the thickness of the film varies. When the light is reflected off the oil in the gasoline, it will show different colors depending on the thickness of the oil at that part.

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The rainbow of colors comes from the thickness of the oil, with thicker parts giving off the blues and purples and the thinner parts giving off the reds pinks and yellows. All of that makes the gasoline look pretty, but a gasoline leak is still something you don’t want to see on your driveway every day!

Why Do We Like the Smell of Gasoline?

First of all, not everyone enjoys the smell of gasoline. There are a large number of people who feel nothing positive or negative towards the smell, or even dislike it. However, there seem to be quite a few of us who enjoy the smell.

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The smell of gasoline can actually cause you to feel woozy, if inhaled too much. Most of us don’t go out of our way to smell gasoline, and just happen to notice the smell when we fill our gas tanks. There’s no reason to worry about this, so don’t hold your breath at the gas station, but it seems that the most reliable reason we enjoy the smell comes down to nostalgia. Childhood memories of road trips and going on adventures in the family car may have created your enjoyment of the smell of gasoline.

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