The mysterious green diving pool at the Olympics might have a more obvious, and strange, explanation than anyone thought.
The verdant hue might have been caused by the green banners that sit next to the pool, according to the two divers that brought Team GB a surprise gold medal last night. Ink from those banners appears to have run into the pool and turned it green, they said.
The explanation is still more unlikely compared to the more usual, and slightly more disgusting, explanation of a lack of chlorine allowing algae to grow inside the water. Because of the huge amount of water in the diving pool, it would require a substantial amount of ink to change the colour so much – but it might also explain why officials are so sure that the water is safe.
It would also explain why the green of the pool is so similar to the green branding that covers the sides of the pool. Some had joked that it looks like the Brazilian flag – but it also looks uncannily similar to the green and blue branding of Rio 2016.
The divers, Jack Laugher and Chris Mears, who leapt into the green pool to win Britain’s first Olympic diving gold said that they had heard that the boards on the side of the pool were helping contribute to the green.
“We’ve got some big plastic boards that go into the water just for decoration and effect,” Mr Laugher said during an interview, following their win. “But you can see on the waterline that they’re blue when below the waterline, and above the waterline it’s green.
“And we think maybe a load of ink has run into the pool potentially. It’s safe and the doctors have given it the all clear or whatever. And it’s different as well, you know, it’s another one of those added different conditions.”
The pair were keen to emphasise that the green pool shouldn’t be taken as a sign that people were right to worry about whether Rio would be up to hosting the Olympics.
“Some people might see that and be like ‘Oh my god’ and it’s another thing that adds to them spiralling down or whatever, but again to us in training we train for two days with it like that,” Mr Mears said. “It did progressively get worse and it was at its worst when we were competing.
“But it kind of helped you see the water a little bit.”
The divers said that despite the hypothesis, they were still happy not to have consumed any water during the historic win. When asked whether the water tasted the same as normal, Chris Mears said that he “wouldn’t want to have swallowed that!”