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
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 yellowstonepark.com for more information and images. https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/grand-prismatic-midway-geyser-basin
Below is a neat YouTube video that provides an elevated view of the spring.
Blessings along the Way!