The Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone National Park have some mystery attached to them.
According to the park website, there are two potential sources for the volcanic heat in the area, with possible explanations including a magma chamber underneath the Yellowstone Caldera or a “smaller heat source” closer to the Mammoth Terraces.
But that isn’t an invitation to go closer to the hot springs to try to unravel the puzzle yourself.
The Tourons of Yellowstone Instagram account (@touronsofyellowstone) posted a video by Ian Lange (@ian.lange) that showed one misguided parkgoer leaving the designated boardwalk and strolling around the dangerous hot springs.
Not only can the temperature of the water be scalding hot, but it’s likely to be acidic, too.
“Just watched this dips*** walk on mammoth terraces,” Lange captioned the post. “I yelled at him to get back on the boardwalk and he did eventually.”
“Can’t fix stupid,” one commenter said, with another adding, “Why are there so many fools?”
Yellowstone has spelt out the danger clearly, detailing on its website that “hot springs have injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature.”
Unfortunately, though, some tourists are far too entitled to let such messages of safety sink in.
While burning or scalding are immediate concerns, the crust around the springs is delicate, meaning that avoiding park destruction and saving yourself from personal injury are reasons to stay on the boardwalks and trails at all times.
Many tourists visit Yellowstone because they have a distinct love of nature and want to experience the unique features of the park responsibly. However, the actions of tourists such as the person in this video can spoil things for everyone, not to mention park rangers who could be put in danger while trying to protect others. A respect for nature is important in treating the planet right across the board, and it can be a slippery slope to act selfishly about areas like these.
Thankfully, this person didn’t suffer any harm, but if they did, they could have prevented others from witnessing the incredible hot springs — at a safe distance, of course.
“These clips all make me wince,” one commenter wrote.
“These people are going to ruin things for everyone else!” another said.
Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.