Dismembered foot found floating in Yellowstone 'Abyss' hot spring

An investigation into the appearance of a lone foot and shoe at the Yellowstone National Park suggests an individual fell to their death in the Abyss Pool.

Published Aug 22, 2022 8:07 AM CDT   |   Updated Tue, Sep 13 2022 2:50 PM CDT
1 minute & 16 seconds read time

On Tuesday, August 16th, 2022, an employee found a foot inside a shoe floating in the Abyss Pool at Yellowstone National Park.

Dismembered foot found floating in Yellowstone 'Abyss' hot spring 01

The Abyss Pool is located in the West Thumb Geyser Basin in the southern region of the park, and law enforcement officers have opened an investigation into its origin. Currently, it's believed that an incident involving an individual to whom the foot belonged occurred on July 31st, 2022, and that no foul play was involved. No photos have surfaced of the incident, and no other details have yet been shared by park officials, but they are reminding park visitors to stay on designated paths and "exercise extreme caution around thermal features."

The West Thumb Geyser Basin and its parking lot were temporarily closed following the discovery but have since reopened. According to the National Park Service (NPS), "the ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface." The Abyss Pool is over 50 feet (15.24 meters) deep, making it one of the park's deepest hot springs, with a temperature of about 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius).

The park has resulted in a handful of injuries and fatalities throughout recent years, with a man in his early 20s slipping and falling into a hot spring at the Norris Geyser Basin in June 2016 after moving off the designated boardwalk and unfortunately passed away. Another death occurred in August 2000 after an individual fell into a hot spring in the Lower Geyser Basin. Individuals also suffered significant thermal burns from different sites across the park in September 2021 and October 2021.

You can read more from the park's news releases about the incidents here.

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NEWS SOURCES:livescience.com, nps.gov

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