There’s a reason there are safety signs at Yellowstone National Park warning you not to walk off of the designated boardwalk, and they’re not there to upset you; instead, they’re there for your safety.
A 23-year-old man has reportedly perished after attempting to find a spot to ‘hot pot,’ which is the practice of trying to find a spot to enter the park’s geothermal water and relax in the warmer water like a hot tub.
The man, who went by the name Colin Scott, was accompanied by his sister, Sable Scott. Sable reportedly recorded the event with her smartphone as the man was feeling the water temperature and accidentally fell in. Sable was reportedly heard in the video attempting to rescue her brother, but with no success.
Authorities have not released this video to the public.
The man’s body was reportedly found floating in the scalding hot water that very same day, but due to lightning-based weather conditions, recovery efforts couldn’t go on until the next day for the safety of authorities. Unfortunately, the next day, the body had disappeared.
The water at Yellowstone National Park is acidic in addition to boiling hot, so the body likely suffered high amounts of decomposition in a short period of time, allowing the body to sink to the bottom of the 10-foot water dish and undergo further dissolving in the acidic liquid.
This isn’t the first time someone hasn’t heeded the warning signs and at Yellowstone National Park and died as a result. The act of hot potting is illegal, punishable by law under the authority of the park rangers, and for a very good reason.
Others who break the rules at Yellowstone National Park don’t necessarily try to hot pot, but rather attempt to take samples of the geothermal water or penetrate the fragile crust. Because Yellowstone is a National Park, it’s strictly protected and fines are heavily enforced.
According to officials, the park has warning signs posted all over the place not to enter the water or walk off the boardwalk “because it is wild and it hasn’t been overly altered by people to make things a whole lot safer, it’s got dangers. And a place like Yellowstone which is set aside because of the incredible geothermal resources that are here, all the more so.”
No one involved in the incident was fined as a result of the tragedy that ended in Colin’s death.