When visiting Yellowstone, typically, you see bison, elk, deer, and maybe a bear or wolf. However, one thing you wouldn’t expect to see is a shoe floating in one of the hot springs.
Tuesday, August 16, park rangers found a shoe with part of a human foot floating in the Abyss Pool. There hasn’t been much information about the shoe’s discovery, but officials say foul play is not suspected in this case.
Park officials supposedly believe that the discovery of the shoe and partial human remains in it is tied to an incident that occurred on July 31, 2022. However, they haven’t announced any updates about the shoe’s discovery. It’s expected that local police and park officials will issue a statement about the incident in the next few days.
Visitors might not recognize how dangerous Yellowstone can be. Thermal vents, pools, hot pots, and mud pools are all extremely dangerous and can cause severe burns or even death.
In the book Death in Yellowstone by Lee Whittlesey, he talks about all the deaths in the national park from bison gorings, bear attacks, and falling into thermal pools.
Yellowstone has had more than 20 deaths from falling into thermal pools in the park. Most accidents happen from slipping off boardwalks, chasing after animals, and hiking off paths and trails. There are other instances where people have fallen in thermal pools, but these are the most common.
When observing the hot pools of water, some might underestimate precisely how hot the water is. In addition to the extreme heat, many pools have extraordinarily high acidity levels.
In 2016, a man went off trail looking for a ‘hot pot’ to soak in after a long day to relax. Unfortunately, the man fell into one of the thermal pools, causing him to die. When park rangers were contacted and brought to the scene, all left was the man’s wallet and sandals.
We don’t yet know the circumstances behind this gruesome discovery, but one thing seems clear: Yellowstone National Park has been the scene of another unfortunate and almost certainly preventable tragedy.