Wyoming, USA – Yellowstone National Park has always been popular for its colorful thermal pools. Many visitors had been thrilled to see the rainbow-like color of these pools during their visit to the park. Adding to the excitement of colors, people have always been amazed about the unique names of these thermal famed pools. Some of these lovely names are Sapphire Pool and Grand Prismatic Spring.
One thing we should know about the famed thermal pools in these national parks is that these pools were not as colorful as it is long time ago. Before this volcanic region of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming was made into a park, the now colorful pools were once a pond with a deep blue color.
There was a research conducted and published in Applied Optics journal. The research is all about the ponds that are magma-heated, such as the Morning Glory pool. Using computer modeling, researchers have found out what these magma-heated pools looks like before.
According to the author of the study, throwing of coins, rocks and trash in the ponds overtime made these magma-heated pools to alter their color. That is the reason why these ponds are now very colorful.
These prism-pattern colors that we see in the pools are due to the vast communities of microbes that thrive in the hot waters of the pool (with a temperature of 140 to 194 degrees Fahrenheit).
According to Paul Nugent, who is the lead study author, these microbes are known to collect in mats, which are comprised of different and complex communities of microbes. Most of these microbes in mats are known to be the thermophilic bacteria, which is most commonly known for its blue-green algae name. The different communities of microbes are the reason for the different colors of these famous magma-heated thermal pools in the Yellowstone National Park.