Why a river in Spain flows with reddish water
A famous river in Spain that flows with reddish water continues to have historical and scientific significance.
The Rio Tinto is often noted as the site where the Copper Age and Bronze Age likely began, with the first mines in the area being established around 3,000 B.C.
Stories about the valuable gold and silver being found there attracted various groups throughout history including the Romans and the Moors.
In fact, it is the iron from these activities that is responsible for its signature reddish color.
See photos of the river:
Despite the fact that the water has become dangerously acidic for humans, it attracts biologists because a number of unusual microbes have been found living there.
For astronomers, Rio Tinto is considered to be an analog for Mars, and data from NASA has, indeed, indicated some overlaps between the two.
The general theory is that if life can exist in the highly metallic and acidic river, it might also be present in the similarly harsh conditions of other bodies in the solar system.