Rio Olympics 2016: Green pool mystery explained

British diver Tom Daley takes part in a training session after the water in the diving pool turned green in the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center. Photo / AP.
British diver Tom Daley takes part in a training session after the water in the diving pool turned green in the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center. Photo / AP.

The mystery behind the Rio Olympics' unsightly, swamp-green pool water appears to be finally solved. The explanation, however, is nothing short of bizarre.

During a press conference Saturday, Rio 2016 officials added to a growing list of theories about the greening water. On Aug. 5, someone accidentally dumped 160 liters of hydrogen peroxide - the stuff you use to clean scrapes and burns - into two pools at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center, reported The New York Times. The mishap neutralized the chlorine's ability to kill organics.

Hydrogen peroxide is reportedly effective at cleaning pools, but not when used together with chlorine.

Officials don't have enough time ahead of Sunday's synchronized swimming competition to clean the pool. So, they announced Saturday they would drain and refill the competition pool with some 1 million gallons of clear water from the nearby practice pool, The Associated Press reported. Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada said the "radical measure" was necessary to ensure visibility for athletes competing in upcoming synchronized swimming events.

But a pool used for diving, whose water also turned green, would not be drained, Andrada told the AP.

In the past week, several water players have complained about how much their eyes have stung during matches.

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