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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Thermopolis in Hot Springs County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Some Like It Hot!

 
 
Some Like It Hot! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2016
1. Some Like It Hot! Marker
Captions: (left to right) Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) dominate the middle temperature around 110F (43C).; At temperatures around 85F (29C), yellow, orange, and brown algal mats are more common.; The yellow, orange, and brown colors are due to pigmented photosynthetic bacteria that make up the microbial mats.; Thermophiles thrive in Big Spring's 127F (53C) water.
Inscription. The reds, oranges, yellows, and greens that paint the hot spring's pools and streams are actually heat-loving (thermophilic_ microscopic life forms (microbes). Microbes which include algae, are visible when vast numbers cluster together. The clusters may form mats in and on top of the water or long, flexible strands called "streamers." The dissolved minerals in the water and its high temperatures create the perfect environment for colorful microbes.

Changing Colors
As water flows away from the Big Spring and cools, the algal mats' color changes. This is due to the different species of algae that are unique in color and have adapted to survive in specific temperature ranges.

Microbes Worth Studying
Many scientists believe that life on Earth started roughly three billion years ago in watery, high-temperature environments and that the first life form might have been primitive thermophiles. This theory not only gives us insight into the origin of life on Earth, it also opens up the possibility of discovering life on other planets.
The heat resistant enzymes in the algae are also the subject of studies related to biofuel production, and have led to discoveries advancing the field of medicine.
 
Erected by Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources
Some Like It Hot! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2016
2. Some Like It Hot! Marker
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Location. 43° 39.27′ N, 108° 11.784′ W. Marker is near Thermopolis, Wyoming, in Hot Springs County. Marker can be reached from Tepee Street near Big Springs Drive. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 168 Tepee Street, Thermopolis WY 82443, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1916 Swinging Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Geology of Hot Springs (within shouting distance of this marker); Ancient Red Rocks (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Washakie's Bath House (about 500 feet away); "The Hot Springs" (about 500 feet away); Healing Waters (about 500 feet away); Hot Springs State Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Tepee Fountain (approx. mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Thermopolis.
 
More about this marker. This marker is located in Hot Springs State Park near Thermopiles, Wyoming. The Big Springs trail system can be accessed from Hot Springs State Park Bathhouse on Tepee Street.
 
Categories. Natural Features
 
Big Springs Pool image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2016
3. Big Springs Pool
Blue-green Algae (cyanobacteria) image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 4, 2016
4. Blue-green Algae (cyanobacteria)
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 104 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page was last revised on September 11, 2016.
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