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Iridescence is an optical phenomenon characterized in the Oxford English Dictionary as the property of things that "[glitter] or [flash] with colours which change according to the position from which they are viewed", such as soap bubbles and butterfly wings.

The word is derived in part from the Greek word ιρισ (transliterated as iris, meaning stem, whose plural is ιριδη&sigma, transliterated as irides). In Greek mythology, Iris is the personification of the rainbow, who acted as a messenger of the gods

See also Tindall effect.

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