VIDEO: Yellowstone Tourist Caught Dipping Fingers in Hydrothermal Feature
Written by Jessi Entel on June 23, 2023
Another tourist has been caught on camera not following the rules of Yellowstone National Park officials, as she stuck her fingers in one of the hottest thermal springs, Fountain Paint Pot area.
Despite warnings from other park visitors by Silex Springs, the tourist dipped her fingers into the scalding springs, appearing to burn herself. She jumped back and complained that the water is “really hot”.
Silex Springs has an average water temperature of 174.7ºF (79.3ºC). In an article published by the Journal of Burn Care Research, being exposed to water with a temperature of 140ºF can lead to a series burn within three seconds.
An accidental slip into the hydrothermal could be fatal.
“I told him that was a bad idea and they shouldn’t get off the boardwalk,” Mackenzie said. He explained that he wanted to report the visitors, but couldn’t find a Park Ranger nearby. “His response was ‘whatever man’. So I hit record.”
The National Park Service added, “Swimming or soaking in hot springs is prohibited.” The NPS said, “More than 20 people have died from burns suffered after they entered or fell into Yellowstone’s hot springs.”
The most recent incident took place in 2016, when a 23 year old man died when he slipped into a Yellowstone geothermal. Collin Scott was looking for a place to swim with his sister and accidentally fell into the Norris Geyser Basin, the park’s hottest geothermal.
According to the Guardian, Scott’s sister attempted to rescue him, but there was no cell service to call for help.
When she was able to get help, efforts to recover Scott were interrupted by bad weather. By the next morning, rescuers were only able to recover his wallet and a pair of flip flops.
“The consensus among the rescue/recovery team […] was that the extreme heat of the hot spring, coupled with its acidic nature, dissolved the remains,” officials stated in a report.