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When ground water is heated by geothermal forces and brought to the surface it results natural features like geysers and hot springs. Boiling water eruptions, vivid colors and strange formations are the spectacular features of geysers. For the hot spring aficionado however the greatest pleasure comes not from just looking at the spring, but from getting into the water for its therapeutic powers. Here is a list where you can find out which of the famous geysers and hot springs are for viewing and which are for bathing.
10 World Famous Geysers and Hot Springs:
10. Valley of Geysers
The Valley of Geysers is the second largest geyser field in the world. It is situated on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. In 1941, local scientist Tatyana Ustinova discovered the Valley of Geysers. It became a popular tourist attraction in Kamchatka since then. In 2007, the Valley of Geysers suffered from a landslide which buried about half of all geysers. All the same, the Valley is still alive and attracts a lot of interest from scientists and tourists.
9. El Tatio
At a height of 4,300 meters (13,780 feet), El Tatio is a famous geyser field situated within the Andes Mountains of northern Chile. The geyser field is one of the most extreme environments on Earth due to the high altitude and climatic condition. Consists of over 80 active geysers, El Tatio is the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and the third largest field in the world. Many visitors take a dip in the hot springs despite the icy cold weather.
Known as the thermal wonderland of New Zealand, the Rotorua sits on the shores of Lake Rotorua of New Zealand. In and around the city are numerous geysers and hot springs, many of which are in parks and reserves. Occasionally natural eruptions of steam, hot water and mud occur in new locations. In addition to the Lady Knox Geyser, many famous hot springs can be found in the nearby Wai-O-Tapu, which are noted for their colorful appearance.
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Located in central China, Huanglong (Yellow Dragon Mountain) is known for its colorful pools formed by calcite deposits, in addition to diverse forest ecosystems, snowcapped peaks, hot springs and waterfalls. Including the famous Giant Panda, Huanglong is home to many endangered species.
Located at the south part of Huanglong, Pearl Boiling Lake is a hot, medical, mineral spring with 21°C temperature. During the month September and October are the best time of year to visit the terraced limestone ponds. At that time blue, yellow, white and green ponds can be seen.
6. Geysers of Haukadalur
The largest and most famous Geysers in Iceland are located in the Haukadalur Valley. The valley also contains Geysir and Strokkur. The word Geyser has been derived from the Geysir which is the earliest geyser known to the Europeans. Geysir can hurl boiling water up to 70 meters in the air. However, eruptions may be infrequent and have in the past stopped altogether for years at a time. Right now the Geysir erupts around 3 times per day. Strokkur is situated less than 50 meters from Geysir and erupts in every 10 minutes or so.
Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish. It is an unreal landscape famous for its white terraces. Travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water with a very high mineral content from the hot springs, made up the terraces. Pamukkale is one of top attractions in Turkey. For thousands of year people have bathed in its pools. The kings of Pergamon have built the ancient Greek city of Hierapolis on top of the hot springs of Pamukkale. At the site, the ruins of the baths, temples and other Greek monuments can be seen.
4. Jigokudani Monkey Park
Located near Nagano in Japan the Jigokudani Monkey Park is a famous hot spring. The name Jigokudani means “Hell’s Valley”. This name is given due to the steam and boiling water that bubbles out the frozen ground, enclosed by steep cliffs and formidably cold and hostile forests. The park is famous for its large population of wild Snow Monkeys.
During the winter when snow covers the park, the Snow Monkeys go to the valley. To sit in the warm waters of the onsen (hot springs), the monkeys descend from the steep cliffs. In the evening they return to the security of the forests. So you can only watch them at day time.
Located in Ethiopia, Dallol is a volcanic explosion crater in the Danakil Depression. In 1926, a volcanic eruption has created this site. Numerous other similar craters dot the salt flats nearby. Dallol is subject to the highest average temperatures on earth with an average annual temperature of 34°C (94°F) recorded between the years 1960 and 1966. This remote area resembles the famous hot springs areas of Yellowstone Park, but seems to be more wide-stretching.
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2. Blue Lagoon
Situated in a lava field between Keflavik International Airport and Reykjavik in southwestern Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is a Geothermal Spa. The nearby geothermal power plant has created this lagoon as a byproduct. From the ground near a lava flow superheated water is vented and used to run turbines that generate electricity. The hot water passes through a heat exchanger after going through the turbines to provide heat for a municipal hot water heating system and is finally fed into the lagoon.
There are abundant amount of minerals in the warm waters and bathing in the Blue Lagoon is alleged to help many people suffering from skin diseases. Even in freezing conditions, the temperature of water in the bathing and swimming area of the lagoon averages 40°C (104°F) and enjoyable year round.
The first national park of the world was the Yellowstone National Park. In 1872, the park was set aside to preserve the vast number of geysers, hot springs, and other thermal areas, as well as to protect the incredible wildlife and rugged beauty of the area. On top of a gigantic hotspot, Yellowstone is situated where light, hot, molten mantle rock rises towards the surface.
Containing more than 10,000 examples of geysers and hot springs, the park has half of the known geothermal features of the world. Including a dozen or so super eruptions, this hotspot has generated a succession of violent eruptions over the past 17 million years or so. Nearly 640,000 years ago, the last full-scale eruption of the Yellowstone volcano occurred.
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