One of the upsides to digital photos is that you never have to worry about them getting physically damaged, unlike physical photos where storing them wrongly could result in the colors fading or it getting weird and ruined forever.
Unfortunately for some Google Photos users, it looks like they’re encountering a weird glitch in which older photos stored on the platform are showing some kind of strange effect that gives off the illusion that they are water damaged. This would seem to indicate that there might be some corruption within the files, but it is unclear as to what might have caused it.
This issue is affecting users across platforms, meaning that Google Photos users on Android, iOS, and the web are seeing the same issue. Users are claiming that the corruption persists even after downloading the files to their computers, meaning that it is corrupted at the source as opposed to it being a glitch in the image preview.
The good news is that if you still happen to have the original photos with you, those appear to still be fine and it is only the version uploaded to Google Photos that are affected. It does not appear to be a particularly widespread issue, but even then, for a service that is supposed to store your photos and act as a backup, it is not acceptable and hopefully Google will have an explanation and hopefully a fix soon.