As the name suggests, Hot Springs are naturally occurring water springs that are warmed by underground geothermal heat. Hot springs are also referred to as thermal springs. The temperature of the hot springs is higher than the surrounding temperature. Generally, a hot spring temperature is more than 36.7 degrees Centigrade (98 degrees Fahrenheit).
How are Hot Springs Formed?
Hot springs generally reach the crust of the Earth from faults, fissures, or cracks. The underground water near volcanic regions seeps deep inside the Earth where it gets heated up by the magma and is released out from the cracks. At times, the release of water is at a very high pressure that generates a spray of steam and hot water from the cracks and is called a geyser. Geysers are mostly found in regions with active volcanoes. Some hot springs emerge out of the depths and are mixed with clay and soil which forms the mud pots.
Regions with no volcanoes also form hot springs. These hot springs are formed by the heating of the groundwater from the radioactive decay of rock elements.
Hot Springs - Interesting Facts
- Hot springs are included in extreme environments which are known to be the hot spots for finding extreme thermophilic (heat-loving) bacteria. These bacteria give the hot springs its typical red, yellow, and orange hues.
- The hot springs generally give out a typical rotten smell due to the release of sulfurous gasses.
- Several research studies aim to understand the role of hot springs in health and wellness.
- Regions with hot springs have become a destination for the development of health resorts and spas.
- The regions near the hot springs are common spots for animals that take resort of their natural warmth. For example, in Japan, the snow monkeys living in areas covered with snow often visit the hot springs for warm baths.
- Some hot springs can also be dangerous for humans. For example, the volcanic hot spring present in the Yellowstone National Park, U.S., is very hot and contains chemicals that can be harmful to humans.
Hot Springs For Health and Wellness
Many natural hot springs have become a destination for health tourism. The warmth of the hot springs in combination with the minerals present in them causes soothing effects for several muscular and joint pain issues. The tourism industry uses these naturally occurring hot springs as a resource for attracting local and foreign tourists. Several research studies have suggested that bathing in the natural hot springs is effective for skin conditions like psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Minerals present in the hot springs which have shown health benefits include chloride, calcium, potassium, sodium, iron, fluorine, and silica.
Most Popular Hot springs in India
List of most popular Hot Springs in India -
Numbra Valley, Leh
- Sulfur Hot Spring
- Height 10,442 feet above sea level
Kheer Ganga Hot Spring
Akhara Bazar, Kullu
Picturesque hot spring
Hari Har Ghat, Himachal Pradesh
- Sulfur hot spring
- Important pilgrimage destination
- Known for curing diseases
Tattapani Hot spring
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
- Hot sulfur spring
- Known for pain relief from stress, fatigue, and joint pain
- 200 mts above sea level
- Natural thermal hot spring
- Sulfur hot spring
- Therapeutic and healing properties
Naturally occurring Hot Springs are found near volcanic regions. Hot springs are formed by the heating of the underground water as it comes in contact with volcanic magma. Hot springs are unique and extreme environments that have drawn the attention of many health tourists. Many tourism industries have developed health resorts and spas that aim towards healing people with skin disorders or joint and muscle issues.
FAQs on Hot Springs
Q.1) What are Hot Springs?
Hot Springs are naturally occurring warm water bodies found near volcanic regions.
Q.2) How are Hot Springs formed?
Hot Springs are formed when the groundwater gets heated when it comes in contact with magma under the surface of Earth. The hot springs find fissures, cracks, and crevices to reach the surface.
Q.3) Why have Hot Springs attracted health tourism?
Hot Springs are known to heal skin disorders and joint or muscle issues. This is the reason why regions near hot springs have attracted health tourism.
Q.4) How do Hot Springs heal?
Research shows that the warmth and minerals present in the Hot Springs commonly lead to healing.