The original name of the Morning Glory Pool was Convolutus. It was given that title in 1883 by the wife of an assistant park superintendent, after the Latin word for the morning glory flower, which the pool’s blue color resembles. Recently, however, the pool has started to go by another name “Fading Glory.”
The delicate blue water is created by thermophilic bacteria, which thrive in the pool’s searing heat. Long a major tourist stop in Yellowstone National Park, the Morning Glory Pool suffers from inconsiderate visitors who have thrown coins, bottles, and trash into the pool for over a century. The trash has slowly built up and blocked some of the thermal vents and reduced the heat of the pool, allowing other bacteria to begin working their way in at the edges, creating a red and yellow ring around the pure blue center. While this rainbow hue is indeed beautiful, it is a fragile beauty, as the invasive yellow bacteria continues to close in.
Occasionally, often following seismic activity, the pool erupts in a geyser. There is hope that these eruptions may clear the pool of trash. Attempts have been made to artificially induce geysers, but have met with mixed results.