Multicolored Martian Landscape? Nope. Fly Geyser in the Nevada Desert

March 30th, 2011 Permalink

Mother Nature didn’t create this bizarre geothermal wonder located in the Nevada desert, but neither did aliens. The vividly multicolored Fly Geyser phenomena is the result of an accident by man. Since the 1960s, the volcano-shaped Fly Geyser has continuously spewed hot water, as if morphing the land and environment into its own ecosystem and desert habitat.

Fly Geyser Timed Exposure

Mother Nature didn’t create this geothermal wonder, but neither did aliens. In 1916, a rancher drilled a well in hopes of turning the desert into a fertile wetland, but accidentally hit a geothermal pocket of water. It wasn’t until 1964 that boiling water started to escape to the surface and that is how this geothermal wonder came to be. It’s located on private property, the Fly Ranch. This phenomena has been named Fly Geyser in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, located about 20 miles north of Gerlach. Photo #1 by wallpaperpimper

Fly Geyser has an otherworldly appearance, seeming like an alien sculpture in the Nevada desert. Photo #2 by Stephan W. Oachs


Fly Geyser Black Rock Desert Nevada

Fly Geyser has continuously grown since the 1960s. It constantly spews hot water about five feet into the air which can been seen from miles away. The three green and red massive rock pillars that are 10 to 12-foot calcium carbonate cones – actually they are only about 3 feet tall, but the added height is due to the mounds they sit on. The red and green coloring on Fly Geyser is caused by thermophilic algae. Photo #3 by Scenic Reflections

Fly Geyser

Fly Geyser sits upon a sludge and dirt platform and is surrounded by terraces of warm water ponds which have spread to 30 – 40 pools over 74 acres. Photo #4 by Podruznik

People found on Mars - no it's Fly Geyser

The photographer joked, “People found on Mars – No this is actually Fly Geyser in Gerlach, Nv.” Photo #5 by Michael Flick

Fish were added to warm pools surrounding Fly Geyser. Birds come there too as if it is making its own ecosystem in a desert habitat. Photo #6 by Michael Flick

Fly Geyser in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada

Several groups have attempted to buy Fly Geyser and turn it into public land. So far, they have all been denied. Friends of the Black Rock High Rock hope to see the land owners provide management and public access in the future. Photo #7 by Jeremy C. Munns

Fly Geyser on the edge of the Black Rock Desert

The multicolored Fly Geyser is shaped like mini volcanoes. Photo #8 by Ken Lund

Fly Geyser in Gerlach, Nv

There are fences and gates surrounding Fly Geyser. In rural Nevada, trespassing is not advised. A person might get shot! If you ask permission to see Fly Geyser in advance, photographers have noted that the owners may allow access. Photo #9 by Michael Flick

Smoke from Fly Geyser made for a cool sunrise. It looks like a hand full of sun

“Smoke from Fly Geyser made for a cool sunrise. It looks like a hand full of sun,” the photographer noted. Photo #10 by Michael Flick


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