Reckless tourist caught sticking hand in Yellowstone geyser

Old Faithful erupting at Yellowstone National Park
(Image credit: Getty)

A man has been caught on camera sticking his hand in a geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin at Yellowstone National Park. It appears that the man was uninjured, and a Park Ranger swiftly intervened.

The incident was photographed by another park visitor, Miles Hanson, who forwarded the picture to Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which calls out bad behavior at US National Parks.

"He was also about 20 yards away from a bison that is just out of the picture on the right," Hanson wrote. The National Park Service (NPS) warns visitors to stay at least 25 yards from the animals at all times, so this was a little too close for comfort.

Visitors to Yellowstone are warned to stick to trails and boardwalks, which are designed to give a good view of the park's famous geothermal features from a safe distance. 

"Boardwalks and trails protect you and delicate thermal formations," says the NPS. "Water in hot springs can cause severe or fatal burns, and scalding water underlies most of the thin, breakable crust around hot springs."

Safety at Yellowstone

Despite these warnings, some visitors still stray off the proper routes, which can have tragic consequences. In 2016, a park visitor was killed after accidentally falling into the scalding Norris Geyser basin while looking for a warm pool to bathe in.

As the Guardian reported at the time, poor weather hampered rescue efforts, and by the time responders were able to reach him, all that remained in the hot, acidic water was a pair of melted flip-flops.

Last year, a park employee found a human foot floating in the Abyss Pool. The remains were identified after Park Rangers found an abandoned car containing the man's ID and travel itinerary, but it's not known how he ended up in the water.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.