Yellowstone geyser erupts, spewing out 80 years of human garbage and debris


A geyser in Yellowstone National Park recently erupted for the first time in more than 50 years and park officials were stunned to see the human garbage and debris that spewed out along with the boiling water.

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“After Ear Spring erupted on September 15, employees found a strange assortment of items strewn across the landscape around its vents,” park officials said in a Facebook post. “Some are clearly historic; they’ll be inventoried by curators and may end up in Yellowstone’s archives.”

It’s not surprising that dozens of coins were part of the detritus; after all, park visitors had been making wishes and throwing coins into Yellowstone’s geysers for decades, but other objects that were flung out of the geyser were a little more unusual, including an old cinder block, damaged metal warning signs, a rubble heel insole and a baby’s pacifier from the 1930s.

How these items made their way into the geyser to begin with is unclear, but park officials wrote on Facebook that it doesn’t matter because garbage in a geyser is bad news.

>> Related: Yellow Stone supervolcano could erupt much sooner than predicted, study reveals

“Foreign objects can damage hot springs and geysers,” officials said. 

“The next time Ear Spring erupts, we hope it’s nothing but natural rocks and water.”


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