Yellowstone National Park Ranger Finds Severed Foot Left in Shoe Floating in Hot Spring

by Emily Morgan

According to officials at Yellowstone National Park, a park ranger found part of a foot in a shoe floating in a hot spring in the southern part of the park. The park ranger made the grim discovery on Tuesday at Abyss Pool. After, park officials temporarily closed the West Thumb Geyser Basin and its parking lot. The area has since reopened.

“On Tuesday, August 16, 2022, an employee found part of a foot in a shoe floating in Abyss Pool, located in the West Thumb Geyser Basin in the southern part of Yellowstone National Park. An investigation is underway,” they wrote in an official statement.

They added: “Since the discovery, rangers have reopened to visitors the temporarily closed West Thumb Geyser Basin and parking lot.”

On Thursday, the park did not have any other information about the investigation to make public, per park spokesperson Morgan Warthin. 

According to park officials, Abyss Pool, located west of the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake, is 53 feet deep and sits at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It is on the south side of the southern loop through the park.

In these hot springs, scorching water cools as it reaches the surface. It then sinks and is replaced by hotter water from below. 

According to Yellowstone’s website, the constant circulation keeps the water from reaching the temperature needed to set off an eruption, which happens with other geysers in the park.

Yellowstone prepares to celebrate its Founders Day as park sees dip in tourists

In other Yellowstone news, from Aug. 17-28, the national park will host multiple Tribal activities to commemorate 150 Years of Yellowstone and Founders Day. The day marks the anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service on August 25, 1916.

For over 10,000 years before Yellowstone became what it is today, it was a haven for Native Americans. There, they lived, hunted, fished, gathered plants, and used the thermal waters for religious and medicinal practices. 

Today, 27 associated Native American Tribes have historical and modern connections to the sacred land. 

For the celebration, the public is invited to attend and learn about the historical presence of American Indian Tribes in the Yellowstone region during several activities.

Yellowstone is also teaming up with Mountain Time Arts to premiere “Yellowstone Revealed,” a series of public projects and artworks created by an inter-Tribal group of artists in locations throughout the park Aug. 17-28. All activities are also free and open to anyone. 

In July, Yellowstone National Park hosted over half a million visitors, a 45% decrease from July last year. The decrease in visitors could be due to flooding on June 13. As a result of the flooding, all entrances to Yellowstone National Park closed

Park visitors were evacuated over the next 24 hours. Later, on June 22, the East, South and West entrances to the park reopened on a limited entry basis. Then, on July 2, entry restrictions on the East, South, and West entrances were removed.