Yellowstone tourist demonstrates why dipping hands in thermal pools is a bad idea

Abyss Pool at Yellowstone National Park
(Image credit: Getty)

A tourist visiting Yellowstone National Park has gone viral after sharing a video of herself dipping her fingertips in one of the many thermal pools (which she wrongly calls a geyser). In her attempt to show off, she ends up scalding her fingertips. 

The video was recorded a few years ago (as you can tell from the woman's reference to defunct video sharing platform Vine), but has recently remerged thanks to Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which highlights examples of bad behavior at US National Parks.

The clip, which you can watch below, contains strong language.

Straying off boardwalks to get close to hydrothermal features is extremely dangerous, and fellow visitors reported her behavior to Park Rangers. 

Other visitors have been seriously injured, and even killed falling into hot springs and pools at Yellowstone. In June 2016, a man from Oregon died after falling into Norris Geyser Basin while looking for a warm spring to bathe in. Not only is Norris Geyser the hottest hydrothermal feature in Yellowstone, its waters are also unusually acidic.

Last year, a human foot was discovered in Yellowstone's Abyss Pool. The person was eventually identified through DNA testing, but their cause of death may never be known as the hot water accelerated decomposition.

Visitors who get too close also risk damaging the delicate ecosystems that surround hydrothermal features. The multicolored rings around Grand Prismatic, for example, are created by mats of thermophilic (heat loving) microbes, which presents different hues depending on their chemical composition, and the temperature of the runoff.

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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.