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Yellowstone National Park

Natural Wonders of the World – Yellowstone Park

The Old Faithful, located in Yellowstone national park, is widely regarded as one of the wonders of nature and the world’s most famous geyser.

Watching the eruption of the Old Faithful geyser, which can discharge more than 30,000 liters of water over a few minutes and reach a height of more than 100 feet to sometimes 180 feet, is a sight to behold.

Yellowstone National Park is the oldest, one of the largest, and a highly popular national park in the United States. The park boasts breathtaking landscapes, including magnificent mountains, pristine lakes, lush forests, meandering rivers, and impressive wildlife. Combining the geothermal activity that exists in the park and its natural beauty makes for a unique and captivating environment.

Established as the first national park in the USA in 1872 and is therefore widely regarded as the world’s first national park. In 1978, Yellowstone was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The protected status given to Yellowstone marked the beginning of the conservation movement and the idea of preserving natural wonders for future generations.

The national park spans an area of 8,983 square kilometers and more than 90 percent of which are located within the US state of Wyoming.

The region where Yellowstone is situated has been volcanically and seismically active for tens of millions of years. About 2.1 million years ago, a subsurface magma dome building in the Yellowstone area blew up in one of the world’s most violent volcanic eruptions. There were subsequent massive eruptions about 1.3 million and 640 thousand years ago.

Each of those eruptions caused the magma dome that had built up to collapse as its contents were released, leaving an enormous caldera. Millions of years of volcanic activity have shaped cup Yellowstone’s geology which is incredibly diverse and fascinating.

The park boasts breathtaking landscapes, including majestic mountains, pristine lakes, lush forests, and meandering rivers. About four-fifths of the park’s area is forested, with many species of trees, plants, and flowers. Yellowstone National Park has one of the world’s largest petrified forests, trees that were long ago buried by ash and soil and transformed from wood to mineral materials.

The park is also home to diverse wildlife, including bison, elk, grizzly bears, wolves, and more. 

The park contains more than 250 waterfalls of at least 15 feet, and amongst its many scenic lakes, Yellowstone Lake is the highest mountain lake of its size in North America. 

However, the national park’s main attraction includes the greatest concentration of hydrothermal features in the world. There are 10,000 hydrothermal features, which constitute roughly half of all those known worldwide.

Years of volcanic activity in the region has deeply fractured the crust, allowing groundwater to seep down to where it makes contact with the magma. The superheated and mineral-rich water returns to the surface as steam vents, colorful hot pools, mud pots, hot springs, and geysers.

Of the park’s more than 300 geysers—more than 50 percent of the world’s total—many erupt to 100 feet (30 meters) or more. While, as mentioned, the Old Faithful geyser is among the top favorites for visitors to Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Prismatic Spring is another natural wonder that attracts everyone.

The Grand Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world. The multicolored Grand Prismatic, at 370 feet in diameter, is bigger than a football field.  The bright colors in the spring result from different species of bacteria living around the edges of the mineral-rich water. 

Apart from nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, and tourists, researchers are also one of the curious visitors to Yellowstone Park.

Researchers study the park’s unique hydrothermal systems to better understand geological processes and extreme environments. Yellowstone’s geothermal features give scientists valuable insights into Earth’s geology and thermal activity. 



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