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What you are looking at is not a flower, but it is one of the most magnificent and breathtaking sites of the Yellow Stone National Park.
Located in the heart of Wyoming, Yellow Stone National Park is the 8th largest park in the US and contains within it more than 1000 archaeological sites. It covers an area of 8983 km2 and is blesses with many physical features such as lakes, rivers, mountain ranges and volcanoes. The world’s half of the geothermal features are found in Yellow Stone National Park. Old faithful Geyser is one of the famous geysers that attract a large number of tourists. The largest super volcano of the continent Caldera is also situated in Yellow Stone National Park. The park is also known for its largest remaining ecosystem.
The park is known to be America’s first nation park and was established in the year 1872. Besides its significant ecosystem and physical features, there are 100s of species of birds, mammals, reptiles and fishes found here. Not to forget, the park is home to wolves, grizzly bears, and herd of elk and bison are also found there. You can find the most famous and largest Megafuana in that location.
There are tremendous recreational attractions for the visitors and you can have access to the lakes, waterfalls and even major geothermal areas. But today we are taking you for a trip to the Morning Glory Pool.
Yes! This is the name given to the flower like pool that we have mentioned earlier. Now what is it actually? Morning glory pool is not actually a pool but it is a hot spring located in the Upper Geyser Basin of the park.
The name of the hot spring was suggested in 1883 by the wife of the superintendent of the park Mrs. EN McGowan. She called it “Convolutus” which is a Latin word used for Morning glory flower. It wouldn’t have taken her long to think of that name because when you would lay your eyes on it, the funnel shaped spring would instantly remind you of the Morning Glory flower. The shades of deep blue emerge from the centre, then turn light blue and green, and then finally a yellow border encloses the pool. The name got popular in 1889 and later in many guide books it was called Morning Glory Spring.
On average its temperature remains 171.6°F. The dimensions of the pool are 23x 26.6 feet and it is 23 feet deep.
Now you must be wondering that from where the pool got its amazing colors. This is quite interesting; the colors have been created by thermophilic bacteria present in the pool. Not just these bacteria survive in the searing heat of the pool but they also increase in number.
Following are the microbes found in its water responsible for various colors:
- Cyano bacteria (163° F) yellow
- Fungi and Algae (140° F) yellow/green
- Protozoa (133° F) Orange
- Mosses (122° F) Brown
How to reach there? Simple! This magnificent thermal attraction is easily accessible by road which was established in 1971. It is only 1.4 miles away from Old Faithful Visitors Centre.
From Morning Glory to Faded Glory
Unfortunately, some of the tourists have contributed in fading the colors of the spring; turning Morning Glory Pool to Faded Glory Pool (this name is now becoming popular). The early visitors have been dumping debris into the pool, 76 handkerchiefs, socks, bath towels, pennies worth $86.27 and other coins worth $8.10 have been found up till now. This debris reduced the water flow and have also lowered the temperature by blocking some of the thermal vents, as a result the bacteria started to grow in the cooler yellow boundary of the pool and the blue color faded. The park officials have tried several times to artificially induce the pool so that debris may be removed with the help of resulting eruptions. However, mixed results have been obtained so far.
On a few occasions the pool is known to be erupted as a geyser, usually after an earthquake or due to other seismic activity taking place in nearby vicinity.
On your way to the morning glory pool you will also find many notable geysers such as Grotto geyser and Castle geyser. You can also access this area in winters as guided tours are available throughout the season.