TikTok User’s Disturbing PSA to Yellowstone National Park Visitors Goes Viral

by Shelby Scott

It doesn’t matter how many warning signs Yellowstone National Park rangers put out. There’s always going to be a “touron” walking way too close to the national park’s wildlife or straying from the boardwalks meant to keep tourists safe from the land’s famed hot springs and geysers. That said, one TikTok user’s disturbing PSA has gone viral as not one but two tourists are seen unwaveringly crossing the fragile crust of Yellowstone National Park’s hot springs.

The clip’s narrator bluntly informed viewers about everything that is wrong with the above image.

“If you come to Yellowstone, please note the thermal activities exceed 200 degrees. Over 20 people have been boiled alive just at Grand Prismatic. This is not only illegal but deadly.”

According to Yahoo! News, Grand Prismatic is Yellowstone National Park’s largest hot spring. It’s also arguably one of the most spectacular because bacteria mats produce the color rings that occupy the spring’s edge.

As per the outlet, the overly bold park visitors may not have been close enough to the Grand Prismatic spring to fall in but park officials have warned that the ground around the famous hot springs can be incredibly fragile. The spring itself reaches about 160 degrees Fahrenheit though the surrounding groundwater can be just as hot. And that crust poses the same danger as the spring itself. There’s a serious possibility that the crust could collapse under the weight of tourists like those in the clip above.

So, in order to avoid unnecessary second and third-degree burns, be sure that when you visit Yellowstone National Park, you stick to the boardwalks intentionally created for passing tourists.

Yellowstone National Park Seeing Little Activity From Its Biggest Geyser

Part of the reason Yellowstone National Park visitors should stay on the boardwalks and away from the national park’s geysers and hot springs is because some, like Steamboat Geyser, shoot scorching hot water more than 300 feet in the air. Imagine practically being on top of a geyser that powerful mid-eruption. There’s absolutely no way you’d walk away unscathed.

That said, despite its reputation, both in the park and around the world, Steamboat Geyser seems to be losing steam. Yellowstone Volcano Observatory’s Scientist-In-Charge, Michael Poland, states Steamboat Geyser did not erupt a single time in August. And it’s erupted just eight times for during 2022 so far. That compares to 32 Steamboat Geyser eruptions in 2018, 48 in 2019 and 2020, but just 20 in 2021.

Per Poland’s account, eight major eruptions would typically be phenomenal, however, because observers have been “spoiled” with major eruptions over the last few years, eight is a ridiculously small number.

Concluding his discussion of the powerful geyser, he said, “It certainly seems as though Steamboat’s activity is waning.”