The Morning Glory Pool in Yellowstone National Park. Credit: NPS

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyoming – Yellowstone’s Morning Glory pool is one of the most stunning pools near the Old Faithful Geyser. It’s rainbow colors are borderline alien, creating a stunning entrance point for the legendary geyser. But it didn’t always feature the rainbow shades that it now does. In fact, it was once just a pure blue.

While the pool’s colors are pretty cool to look at today, their origin is not so exciting. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, a new study showed that pennies, rocks, and a whole lot of other garbage tossed in could have clogged up the pool’s heat sources, lowering the temperatures and encouraging the growth of photosynthetic microorganisms and changing the pool’s color.

So let the story of Morning Glory teach you a good lesson about Leave No Trace. It’s not just a motto, there are some very good reasons for it.

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