Going To A National Park Anytime Soon? Don’t Be A Dummy About It.
Yellowstone is having a moment.
America’s oldest national park has shattered visitation records this year. More than 4 million people are expected to trundle through the caldera, check out Old Faithful and gawk at herds of bison. Nat Geo WILD has filmed a stunning new feature on the park entitled “Wild Yellowstone” in celebration of the National Park Service’s 100th birthday next year.
It’s an encouraging thing that so many would choose to spend time exploring one of America’s wildest places.
But despite the love, you can’t really help but notice the signs plastered over all of the rest stops, parking lots and hot springs around the park for the dummies among us. Take a gander at this one, for example.
“Hot Water Will Scald.” This sign, complete with a don’t-stick-your-finger-in-said-hot-water graphic, is staked into the ground near several hot springs and mud pots, two of Yellowstone’s famous geothermal features. The water in these springs can exceed the boiling point and several of the pools have walkways that extend either directly over the hydrothermal areas or within touching distance.
Aside from the fact that humans could disrupt the delicate limestone formations that make up the pools, the temperature of the water could severely burn a would-be tester in seconds.
Other signs warn visitors against other commonsense mistakes, like feeding wildlife. While your grandparents may have fed a marshmallow to a bear back in the ’60s, the practice is now an illegal, citable offense than can land you with a hefty fine. Animals can easily become habituated to humans and either depend on them for food, losing some of their ability to hunt, or perilously injure a visitor in a scramble for a hot dog.