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Yellowstone hot spring turned green by good luck coins

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The spring 'Fading Glory' as it appears now

A famous hot spring in Yellowstone Park in the United States has turned from a deep blue to surreal green and yellow as a result of visitors using it as a wishing well.

The 'Morning Glory' hot spring pool in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming has changed dramatically since the 1950s, thanks to an accumulation of coins, rubbish and natural debris.

It is now popularly known as Fading Glory, due to the transformation from its original colour to the present yellowy-green hue.  

Nearly three million tourists flock to Yellowstone each year and many, perhaps seeking wish fulfilment, throw a coin into a spring.

In the case of Fading Glory, debris, largely coins and rocks thrown by tourists, started to clog up the vents and water circulation was affected.

This lowered the temperature of the water and caused a migration of orange-coloured thermophilic bacteria towards the centre of the pool.

Adam Hoffman, writing in Science Friday said: “Pigments produced by swaths of those microbes – called microbial mats are responsible”

However he says the pool, whilst perhaps no longer naturally beautiful, has its own aesthetic merits, calling its yellows, green and oranges “brilliant.”

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Visitors have long used the spring as a wishing well

Independent News Service