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Photographer's Note

This is a photo of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone’s Middle Geyser Basin. It’s absolutely unbelievable and very unique. I have never seen anything like it. It’s 250x380 feet and is 160 feet deep. In the center of the pool the water is 87° C (188° F)—too hot to support life. In the cooler water along the edges of the pool, however, colonies of thermophilic (heat-loving) cyano-bacteria and algae thrive. Yellow, orange, and red pigments are produced by the bacteria as a natural sunscreen. As a result, the pool displays a spectrum of colors from the bright blue of the center to the orange, red, and brown algal mats along the edges.

The best view of this spring is from the air where you can fully see all of the colors and how large it actually is.

In the background of the image you can see one of the many hillsides that burned in the 1988 forest fire that devastated much of Yellowstone.

Emiel_Skyfreak, Michiel, MikiM, gabrielpat, vilius, Dragonheart, raman, fijiphil has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Brian Schwartz (umbrellaphotos) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 400 W: 71 N: 261] (1901)
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