Beloved for its awe-inspiring natural wonders, including wild animals, mountain peaks, lakes, and waterfalls, Yellowstone National Park is certainly considered one of America’s most amazing parks.
However, with all the beauty it offers, Yellowstone is also known to be quite dangerous. One of the many hazards in the park is its natural hot springs. There are hot springs throughout the park and around the world that are completely safe to visit and even bathe in, but some of the springs in Yellowstone can be fatal.
Yellowstone has an almost incredible amount of geothermal activity due to the fact that the park sits atop a “supervolcano” called the Yellowstone Caldera. The supervolcano is technically 43 miles long and 28 miles wide, and geologists report that though it hasn’t erupted in 640,000 years, it is still quite dangerous.
Molten rock and hot magma lay just beneath the Earth’s surface, directly under Yellowstone National Park, which, of course, drastically affects the landscape. And although experts do not believe that the volcano will erupt anytime soon, they are always watching it just in case.
But just because the volcano isn’t erupting, it doesn’t mean that it’s not dangerous. In fact, because of this natural phenomenon, Yellowstone’s various pools of hot springs can be hot enough to kill you.
Sadly, one man visiting the park in 2016 was unaware that the pool he chose for a dip was one such hot spring. Collin Scott and his sister decided that he would take a “hot drop” and jump in while she filmed him.
However, within seconds, it was clear to both of them that the hot spring was fatally hot. The video that Collin’s sister took has never been released to the public as its contents were so distressing and horrific.
Although his sister called for help, it was too late; Collin Scott died in what experts called the “boiling acidic pool” in Yellowstone National Park that day. And according to Yellowstone’s deputy chief ranger at the time, Lorant Veress, the rescue team could not even remove Scott’s body from the hot spring due to its almost unbelievable heat.
The next day, the rescue team once again attempted to retrieve Collin Scott’s body, but sadly, his corpse had all but completely dissolved in the pool. Veress told the local news, “In a very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving,” so no “significant remains” were found.
Since the incident, Yellowstone’s rangers have increased the warning signs and flags near the park’s hot springs. Veress explained that now, “There’s a closure in place to protect people from doing that for their own safety.”
Veress, as well as the many other park rangers, want people to understand that Yellowstone is “a very unforgiving environment.” And although it is considered a fun vacation spot for Americans and tourists from all over the world, it’s crucial to understand the dangers it presents.