September 15, 2018, Yellowstone National Park’s Ear Spring geyser erupts at the highest magnitude since 1957. Most geysers launch water and rocks into the sky, and this eruption did exactly that. This time, however, decades-old trash was included in the mix, with park employees finding a large assortment of items strewn around the vent.
A large collection of coins was included in the garbage, not an entirely unexpected occurrence (people seem to have a nasty habit of tossing coins into thermal vents for good luck). Bear warning signs that haven’t been used since the ’80s, cinderblock pieces, camera bulbs and film cases, and so much more were included in the mess. The oldest known object was a baby pacifier from the 1930s.
“After Ear Spring erupted on September 15, employees found a strange assortment of items strewn across the landscape around its vent! Some are clearly historic: they’ll be inventoried by curators and may end up in Yellowstone’s archives.” – Yellowstone National Park
While the idea of a garbage spewing geyser is a bit humorous, it’s important to keep in mind that throwing trash into a geyser will damage the spring. According to CNN, in fact, enough garbage thrown into a thermal vent could cause the geyser to become completely dormant, ruining features so many love in Yellowstone and around the world. So, essentially, don’t do it, please.
Image Credit: Yellowstone National Park via Facebook