Make-a-Wish Coins Changed Colors of Yellowstone’s Hot Spring Pool

December 20, 2014 11:32 AM

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Researchers from the Montana State University found how Yellowstone National Park’s hot springs really looked like nearly 75 years ago, before they got polluted with make-a-wish coins and debris coming from tourists. It seems that the hot springs Morning Glory pool initially had a deep blue color, instead of the orangey green tint it displays nowadays.

Scientists said that they got these results by using a simple computer model built from the data gathered on the pools by high altitude cameras on bright sunny days. The one-dimensional model shows how light reflects on the hot springs’ surface due to microbial mats accumulated in the water.

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