The Grand Canyon's Pumpkin Spring almost looks like an inviting place for a soak, but in reality, contains the most poisonous water in the canyon.
The unique limestone formation has taken the shape and color of a large, round, festive pumpkin, deposits creating a fibrous “vegetable” appearance, and the gourd's distinctive downward stripes. Water pours into the top of the pumpkin, turns a caustic, murky green, and then runs over the sides and into the river below.
While the pool may appear to be full of mineral rich, hot springs goodness, and the pumpkin-shaped bowl seems hypnotically inviting, the warm waters are a witch's brew of lead, zinc, copper, and very high levels of arsenic. While limited exposure is not fatal, it's clearly not suggested. Recent testing has shown that 1 liter of water from Pumpkin Springs contains 1100 milligrams of the infamous toxin, and while bathing in the water is not suggested, drinking it is strictly prohibited.
While it's ill-advised to touch, the Pumpkin Spring is one of the many beautiful stops along the winding Colorado River that should definitely be observed, appreciated and photographed.