Rio Tinto river, which originates in the mountains of Andalucia in the south-western part of Spain, was truly an amazing product of nature.
Beginning in ancient times, the land along the river have been used for the extraction of copper, silver, gold and other minerals. As a result a lot of mines and quarries bizarre, and the water of the river were painted in a dark red color and filled with acid and heavy metals.
More than 500 years of mining contributed to the contamination of the river, making Tinto in an extremely dangerous place. Peak production occurred in 1930, after which production declined.
Copper is no longer mined in 1986, and the silver and gold in 1996, but huge mines, quarries and extraction remained, and metals continue to fall into the river.
In the river originated many iron and sulfur oxidizing bacteria and that their activity has caused such a deep color of water. Rio Tinto is home to thousands of other wonderful bacteria and organisms.
River caused great scientific interest because of the activity of aerobic bacteria extremophile, rapidly proliferating in the water. It is these forms of life are considered a probable cause of the high acid content. Bacteria feed on iron and minerals that are washed out of the mines and in large quantities are on the surface rocks along the river.
This unusual condition of the river caused large-scale study conducted astrobiology. According to them, the river of the same type can also be found in other solar systems, for example in the depths of Mars.
For example, on the moon of Jupiter — Europe is probably in ocean oxidized water, hidden beneath its icy surface and containing the same bacteria as the Rio Tinto in Andalucia.