Eli5: Why does oil and grease make phones have that weird glitchy look when on a screen? It doesn’t happen with water

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Eli5: Why does oil and grease make phones have that weird glitchy look when on a screen? It doesn’t happen with water

In: Technology

It’s the same effect as water droplets, just really really small because oils have a lower surface tension than water, so they will form smaller drops. This magnifies the pixels just enough that you only see one or two in a drop, and that creates the glitchy pattern.

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bends the light, oil has the ability for a smear to split the whole light spectrum into colour parts

With light hitting it you see one effect, with phone screen light hitting it you see another from the other side, the two together make it look trippy and glitchy

It’s because of the coating on your phone and the surface tension of the different substances. High end phones typically have a coating that makes it hard for oil to stick but eventually that wears off and it just makes it hard for water to stick. If you put water on something without the coating like a tv you’ll notice the same effect.

It’s something called light interference.
Oil makes a thin coat on your screen and light emitting from your phone bends and breaks up to its main components(the colors you see).