Fly Geyser, situated approximately 32 km north of Gerlach in Washoe County, Nevada, is a hidden gem that many tourists are unaware of. Standing over 3.5m tall, it is located near the edge of the natural Fly Reservoir lake. However, it’s important to note that this phenomenon isn’t entirely natural; there are two geysers on the land. The first geyser was formed in 1916 when the owner of a private farm drilled a well in hopes of turning the desert into fertile grassland. However, he accidentally struck a geothermal pocket of water, which led to the creation of the geyser.
Back in 1964, a company that specialized in geothermal energy decided to do some drilling at the location. During the testing process, they stumbled upon a geothermal geyser that was boiling at an incredibly high temperature of around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. This caused the hot water to shoot up from the well’s surface, and eventually, the pressure caused the geyser to erupt and spew hot water up to a height of 1.5 meters.
The stunning hue of the fountain is created by an interesting combination of minerals, hot gases and thermophilic algae that thrive in warm and damp climates. It’s hard to believe, but upon first glance, it feels like you’ve been transported onto the set of a science fiction film, perhaps even on the red planet, Mars. The Fly Geyser continues to grow over time due to the continuous supply of minerals and hot gases. What’s really fascinating is that beneath the geyser, an entire ecosystem has formed where various bird and fish species have made their home.
As water flows from the faucet, it carries minerals that form a unique and fascinating mound. The mound stands tall at approximately 10-12 feet or 2 meters, adorned with a combination of green and red hues. Inside the mound, there is an abundance of quartz, and what’s surprising is that this type of quartz grows faster than any other geyser known to man. Typically, geysers take about 10,000 years for quartz to start growing, making the Fly Geyser even more enchanting and mysterious.
The Fly Geyser sits on the privately-owned Fly Ranch grassland, enclosed by a fence. A solitary dirt road leads to the underground mound. This site has served as a muse for photographers worldwide, who visit to capture its stunning beauty. A visit to this place is like stepping onto the red planet. Tourists flock here every year to take in the unique scenery and learn about the geyser’s history.