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Not to mention the time Viola insisted on speaking at my school and told students the orange color found around many of Yellowstone’s hot springs is lava, red hot lava. Then she hinted that there was a plot to hide this information from the public! Although it’s true the park has had many volcanic eruptions in the past, Vi prefers to ignore evidence that the last lava flow in Yellowstone occurred about 70,000 years ago.

When I argued that most of the colors are actually microscopic living creatures such as algae and bacteria, Vi replied that microorganisms are too small to be seen without a microscope. This is true if we’re talking about single individuals, but she either can’t or won’t recognize that the bright colors are due to trillions of these tiny life forms grouped together!

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Cast of characters - Maya Crowbes, Dr. A Beadle, Gray Fischer, Viola DeRama
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Q: What causes most of the colors found around Yellowstone’s hot springs?

GLOSSARY: algae—photosynthetic microorganisms which are mainly aquatic and differ from plants because of a lack of true stems, roots, and leaves

bacteria—unicellular microorganisms that are members of Domain Bacteria

microorganism(s)—tiny life forms such as bacteria or algae; individuals are usually not visible to the naked eye