Grand Prismatic

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone, Wyoming, U.S.A

The Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park is the largest hot spring in the United States, and the third largest in the world, after Frying Pan Lake in New Zealand and Boiling Lake in Dominica. It is located in the Midway Geyser Basin. (Wikipedia)

While the Old Faithful geyser may be more famous, the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring is the most photographed thermal feature in Yellowstone. It has unique colors combined with its own steam clouds over a large area.

What Makes the Grand Prismatic so Grand?

Deeper than a 10-Story Building
Extremely hot water travels 121 feet from a crack in the Earth to reach the surface of the spring.

Football Field on Steroids
The third largest spring in the world, the Grand Prismatic is bigger than a football field at 370 feet in diameter. A gridiron is 360 feet long and 160 feet wide.

Rainbow of Colors
The hot spring has bright bands of orange, yellow, and green ring the deep blue waters in the spring. The multicolored layers get their hues from different species of thermophile (heat-loving) bacteria living in the progressively cooler water around the spring. And the deep blue center? That’s because water scatters the blue wavelengths of light more than others, reflecting blues back to our eyes.

A Living Thermometer
What living thing in Yellowstone has helped investigators solve crimes and NASA search for extraterrestrial life on seemingly inhospitable planets? Heat-loving microbes living in the Yellowstone’s thermal pools. In 1968, researcher Thomas Brock discovered a microbe living in one of Yellowstone’s extremely hot springs. In the years since, research on Yellowstone’s microbes has led to major medical and scientific advances, including the sequencing of the entire human genome.  Check out for more information and images.

Below is a neat YouTube video that provides an elevated view of the spring.

The Beauty of Our World Without Words
by Milosh Kitchovitch

Blessings along the Way!


28 thoughts on “Grand Prismatic

  1. I’ve read and heard so much about Grand Prismatic Spring. Wonderful captures, Ron. Looked like that hike was worth the view. I like your description of it geographically as a football field on steroids. This is some magnificent wonder of the world. Not sure if I’ll ever make the trek there, but so lovely to see you take a trip there and share it with us πŸ™‚

  2. God has blessed you with an eye for beauty, and the picturesque view you show in each frame are breathtaking. Thank you.
    I’ll be adding this trip on my bucket list of things to see πŸ™‚
    Many blessings on future travels and equal beauty.

    1. Thank you so much. You’re very kind. I love to look at natural beauty like this and delight in sharing with others. It’s a wonderful place. πŸ™‚

  3. I can see why it’s the most photographed…it’s stunning! Your post is probably the closest I will get to seeing it. Thank you so much for sharing. πŸ™‚

  4. I have a couple of questions about the numbers. How do you measure length & width using diameter, which is used for round objects? And, unless you include end zones, which are 20 yards deep, a football field is 100 yards long. Rarely do you hear of anything including the end zone. Even if a kickoff return is caught in the end zone and run back to the other team’s end zone, it is a 100 yard return, no matter what the announcers say.

    1. Hi Ray. Intriguing thought. Math is not my strong trait. That is the information from Yellowstone National Park. From what I can gather from another website the field has a uniform width of 53 1/3 yards (160 feet). If you calculate the entire area of a football field, including the end zones, it works out to 57,600 square feet (360 x 160). One acre equals 43,560 square feet, so a football field is about 1.32 acres in size. I’m not sure how the diameter was calculated in comparison to a rectangle. πŸ™‚

      1. You don’t have to get that complicated. The playing field is 100 yards long. The end zones are 20 yards deep. The width isn’t relevant in this case. That makes the field 300 + 60 + 60 = 420 feet.

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