For one thing, Yellowstone sits atop an active volcano! Much of the park is in a caldera. Molten rock, called magma, boils beneath the park’s surface. All that underground heat fuels the hydrothermal wonders that make Yellowstone famous.
The park’s countless hot springs are pools of boiling water. Some are filled with tiny organisms that turn the water bright colors.
There are also more than 500 geysers (GYE-zuhrz) in Yellowstone. Magma heats up water underground until it bubbles to the surface and blasts into the air.
As for the volcano, visitors don’t have to worry. The last major eruption at Yellowstone occurred more than 630,000 years ago.
“Scientists monitor Yellowstone carefully and don’t see any signs that it will erupt anytime soon,” says Murphy.