Memories of things trashed: Yellowstone geyser spews litter from the 1930s

October 23, 2018

When Yellowstone‘s Ear Spring started erupting on September 15 on the national park’s Geyser Hill, it was a natural wonder that hadn’t been seen in more than half a century—and what it ejected proved that point, according to a report by CBS News.

After the hot spring, dormant since 1957, belched steaming, hot water, rocks, and dirt up to 30 feet in the air, park officials found piles of man-made debris, including a cinder block, aluminum cans, plastic cups, a rubber heel insert, old metal signs, a plastic straw, dozens of coins; and even a vintage baby’s pacifier, dating back to the 1930s.

The trash now is being catalogued and could become part of Yellowstone’s archives, as a reminder to millions of visitors not to use the park as a dumping ground.

“You might think that if you toss something in a hot spring or in a geyser that it disappears, but it doesn’t disappear. It stays in that and what normally happens is you can actually plug up a feature and kill the feature. And that’s happened in many places in the park,” Rebecca Roland, a Yellowstone National Park supervisory park ranger, told the network news outlet.

It’s been quite a few months of activity in Yellowstone National Park where Steamboat Geyser–the world’s highest eruption, shooting up 300 feet–is approaching a record number of vents this year.

Established in 1872, Yellowstone, which spans almost 3,500 square miles, was the first national park in the world. The preserved wilderness area is known for its many forms of wildlife, dramatic canyons, rushing rivers, and lush forests; as well as the world’s largest number of hot springs and geysers.

Research contact:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *