Yellowstone National Park is a Minefield of Deadly Acid Pools
Visitors to the park are cautioned against wandering away from designated areas due to volcanic features that turn some hot springs deadly.
Yellowstone National park is a geological wonder and a popular tourist destination for lovers of the great outdoors. But did you know that behind all the magical beauty lies a death trap?
This great video from the American Chemical Society and PBS Digital Studios explains that due to volcanic features in the landscape, Yellowstone is home to some potentially deadly hot springs. Not only can some of these pools be scalding hot, they can also be highly acidic, a combination that could cause potential death.
Some of Yellowstone's hot pools can reach temperatures up to 92 degrees Celsius and have a PH level of 2, which is enough to cause burns on human skin. Other pools meet with cooler waters making them possible to swim in.
But knowing where and when to swim in Yellowstone is a job best left to the experts So if you are planning to visit, stick to the signs, regulations, and warnings that are posted all over the park. Despite having a large number of warnings Yellowstone's acidic hot pools have claimed lives.
In 2016, 23-year-old Colin Nathaniel Scott of Portland, Oregon, wandered away from a designated walking track in the park, fell into an acid pool and died in minutes. His death marked the 22nd life the park's geochemistry has claimed.
"Death is a frequent visitor in raw nature,” the park’s historian Lee Whittlesey writes in Death in Yellowstone: Accidents and Foolhardiness in the First National Park. “And Yellowstone Park, despite the cabins and roads, is raw nature.”