Scientists have recently discovered that the Taj Mahal is turning brownish due to carbon particles from cooking, brick-making, trash burning, car exhaust and other human activity, The Times of India reported.
The scientists used pristine pieces of marble placed around the Taj to trap airborne contaminant particles. An electron microscope told them the size, number and chemical element type of all particles trapped. Computer modeling compared the expected reflectance of certain carbon type pollutants with the actual reflectance changes on the Taj, helping the scientists determine which particle types were the likely culprits of discoloration.
The Taj Mahal discoloration could be worse, however. The Taj is routinely and thoroughly cleaned with clay, which traps some discoloring chemicals in the air of Agra.
Top image: Taj Mahal world heritage site in Agra, India. (Credit: David Castor)