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Devil's Ink Bottle, Yellowstone Park, Wyo., U.S.A., The

THE DEVIL'S INKWELL, YELLOWSTONE PARK. You are in the Norris Geyser Basin now, at the brink of the Devil's Inkwell, and the name is not more strange than is this natural formation. It is quiescent now, hence we can come very close and peer into its depths. Around this remarkable caldron there is at times a bubbling up of mud, producing sounds like a hoarsely whispered "plop, plop." the rock, as you can see, is coral-shaped and perforated in regular form. the opening is about twelve by fifteen feet, but the size of the cavern underneath the black-crusted mouth is something at which we can only guess. Boiling furiously and smelling of sulphur, it certainly is an ominous looking pool. The first recorded visit to yellowstone was in 1810 when John Colter of the Lewis and Clark Expedition took refuge here from hostile Indians while returning home alone. It was the record of a later visit--Joseph Meek in 1829--that tells us of "a country smoking with vapor from boiling springs and burning with gases issuing from small craters." About some of the craters he wrote "blue flame and molted brimstone" issued, and while we are quite sure this was not true, a glimpse of the Devil's Inkwell when active would make it very easy for us as well as Mr. Meek to fully believe it to be true. All this ground surrounding the pool forms part of a plateau over 6,000 feet above the sea level. The plateau is the cooled-off accumulation of stuff thrown up from the mouth of a volcano active long ages ago. Ordinarily it would be quite impossible to conceive of the ground you stand upon as the molten drippings from Mother Earth's Kettle boiled over. Here, however, belief is easy, and the fires are not yet out.
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Photography,Stereoscopic,Yellowstone National Park,Wyoming
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