Top 10 CRAZIEST Facts About Yellowstone! From amazing geysers to incredible landscapes…stay tuned to number 1 to find out the craziest facts about Yellowstone National Park!
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From amazing geysers to incredible landscapes…stay tuned to number 1 to find out the craziest
facts about Yellowstone National Park!
Number 10: Yellowstone Is Really Big.
One of the things that sets Yellowstone National Park apart from various other parks is its
Yes, it’s not the biggest park in the United States (that would be Wrangell-St. Elias in
Alaska), but it is rather impressive in terms of scope.
In fact, you could put both the states of Delaware and Rhode Island into the Yellowstone
Park and have room to spare.
Here’s another interesting fact, Yellowstone isn’t nestled within one state, it’s actually
You’ll find most of Yellowstone in Wyoming, but…you’ll also find parts of it in Idaho
That’s another piece of proof for how big it is.
Yet, that’s still not the only identifier for how big it is, but this is: it’s the features
that make it so big.
You see, the Yellowstone National Park has a major amount of geothermal features.
You know, like geysers, and steam vents, and even hot springs.
There are so many of them packed within Yellowstone that it actually holds half of the worlds
All within one park.
Really puts its size into perspective, doesn’t it?
Number 9: No One Believed The Stories About Geysers.
We all know the phrase, “Seeing is believing”, right?
Because sometimes, an idea or theory or sighting is so out of this world that it can’t be believed
until we see it with our own two eyes.
Now, usually, you’d associate this kind of logic with something like Bigfoot, or aliens.
But in the early days of the United States, geysers were something that people had a hard
time believing in.
It may seem odd in context, but think about it.
The early settlers were on the eastern coast of the United States, and thus didn’t have
access to geysers.
And there clearly wasn’t ones in Europe where they lived.
So, when a man named John Colter went through Wyoming and saw the geysers of Yellowstone,
and tried to describe them to others, what do you think they thought?
That he was crazy!
Water shooting out of the ground with incredible power?
And shooting out steam as it did?
To them, it was madness.
The ironic thing though is that 50 years later (when Wyoming still wasn’t that explored),
another explore named Jim Bridges made claims about similar things…and still no one believed
But the most ironic thing of all?
When you think of Yellowstone National Park now?
You think of Old Faithful and the other geysers of the park.
I guess they finally believed.
Number 8: A Painter Helped Create Yellowstone.
Sticking with history a bit longer, let’s talk about how Yellowstone National Park got
For it didn’t just happen, especially not in those days.
But before we learn about it’s discovery, take a moment to like this video and join
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Yellowstone had to be discovered, explored, and then talked about to those in power.
The first officially funded expedition into the park was done in 1871.
This expedition had many people on it, including the leader, Ferdinand Hayden.
Along with him was a plethora of botanists, biologists, and somewhat surprisingly, an
But then again, with camera technology not being anywhere at the time, they needed someone
to make a visual depiction of the land.
This artists’ name was Thomas Moran.
Thomas Moran used his time in what would become Yellowstone to great effect.
He made over 30 watercolor paintings of the region, depicting various parts of the park
in great detail.
At first, the paintings were only shown to the people, who were amazed by them.
But then, they were also shown to the members of Congress.
Well, because many people wanted to make this region a “national playground”, and they needed
Congress’ approval to do so.
The pictures were so lovely, that Congress agreed that this place should be preserved
for all time, and thus, Yellowstone National Park became the first official National Park
in United States history.
Number 7: The Truth About Old Faithful.
As I noted earlier, when you think about Yellowstone National Park, you don’t just have your mind
go to the geysers of the park.
But more specifically, you think about Old Faithful.
This legendary geyser is very different from all the other geysers in the park (did I mention
there are 300 of them in Yellowstone?) because it has a frequency to it that has to be admired.
In fact, people have timed the gaps between the eruptions and found that they are about
92 minutes between eruptions…give or take.
Because of this, Old Faithful erupts around 17 times a day.
But…as time has gone on, people have noted that Old Faithful isn’t as reliable as she
once was, or as they think she is.
In fact, the gap between her eruptions has actually increased over the last few decades.
Which means that this could continue on for future decades, until it takes a lot longer
for her to blow her top.
Here’s another fun fact, you might be under the impression that Old Faithful is the biggest
geyser in Yellowstone National Park, well, it isn’t.
The biggest geyser there, and the biggest geyser in the world in terms of water shooting
height, is the Steamboat Geyser.
This incredible geyser can shoot water up to 300 feet into the air.
Not bad huh?
Number 6: A Stranded Explorer While it is certainly easy enough to get lost
in the world today, even with the advancements of our technology, back in the 1800’s, getting
lost was a much bigger deal.
For if you weren’t careful, you could pass away within a short amount of time.
This almost happened to a man named Truman Everts, who found himself lost in 1870 within
what would soon be Yellowstone National Park.
How did this happen?
Well, before it was a national park, it was just an area that people would travel to and
And thus, a team of surveyors was going to the land to see what it was all about.
Among them was Everts, who wasn’t exactly a survival expert.
In fact, he was a bureaucrat!
So imagine his horror when he got separated from the group, and when the group couldn’t
find him in the park, they left him behind.
Usually, this would spell out a death sentence, but in this case, Everts was able to stay
And he stayed alive for 37 days until he was found by another group of people.
While he did live, including being nursed back to health, it did take a toll.
He weighed only 90 pounds when he was rediscovered, and frostbite had done serious damage to his
There is an upside here though.
Because of this experience, Everts wrote a book called “37 Days In Peril”, and it became
a hit, and that led to serious momentum in making Yellowstone a national park.
Number 5: Where Do The Geysers Come From?
The geysers are a big part of Yellowstone National Park, in fact, they make up a large
part of its identity.
But here’s the question, do you know where they all come from?
For while one can be easily explained based on the land it’s on, when you have 300 of
them in a single area?
Yeah, that’s a lot to factor in.
In fact, this was one of the reasons people didn’t believe in geysers at first, because
there were so many seen by the explorers.
Once scientists got involved though, it was revealed that Yellowstone National Park is
actually on top of a supervolcano!
Yep, a supervolcano!
In fact, it’s the largest supervolcano in all of North America.
So, the question is, is the volcano active?
Yes, yes it is.
But you shouldn’t fear an eruption just yet.
Based on scientific research, the last eruption was 640,000 years ago at best guess.
And it doesn’t seem to be in any mood to erupt right now.
That being said…should it get the “urge” to erupt?
Yeah, it would basically destroy the United States in one form or another.
Number 4: The Park Can Kill Bison.
No, I don’t mean that humans have the rights to kill bison in the park (thankfully), but
rather, the park itself actually has the ability to unintentionally kill bison.
And can you guess why?
Yep, it’s the geysers.
How does that work?
Well, the Norris Geyser Basin has the ability to produce toxic emissions…gasses, in more
So much of a problem were these gasses that in 2004, a group of five bison walking by
the basin were said to have died because of the toxic emissions.
This wasn’t the first time this had happened either, for in 1899, a group of bears died
in basically the same way.
Thankfully for all animals, this is not a regular occurrence, but it is possible.
Further showing how dangerous geysers, and this park, can be.
Number 3: The Military Protected Yellowstone From Poachers.
So, in 1872, Yellowstone National Park was officially born.
Happy ending right then and there, right?
Not even a decade later, in 1882, Congress had pulled all funding from Yellowstone, leaving
it open for all sorts of businesses and poachers to ravage the landscape.
One man in particular was aghast by this: General Phillip Sheridan.
This Civil War leader was a believer in nature, and saw the events going on as heinous.
Therefore, being a general, he made an order to send military troops to Yellowstone in
order to protect the land from all sorts of invaders and disturbances.
Know as the “Spread Eagle Men”, the soldiers of Yellowstone protected the park until 1918,
when the National Park Service took over the job.
But still, had it not bene for Sheridan and his men, Yellowstone National Park may look
very different from what it is now.
Number 2: Wonderland.
It must have been quite a sight to the settlers from Europe to see a park like this in the
So it’s not much of a surprise that they had all kinds of nicknames for Yellowstone.
But in 1883 and on, one stuck out above the rest, Wonderland.
Yeah, like Alice in Wonderland.
In fact, the release of the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland helped ensure visitors to the
They even made an ad with Alice explaining all the wonders she saw in this new Wonderland.
Even back then, they knew how to advertise.
Number 1: Earthquake!
When you hear the word earthquake, your instinct might be to hide underneath a table and hold
on for dear life, and that’s a good instinct.
You might also think that earthquakes wouldn’t happen in a place like Yellowstone.
In fact, the opposite is true.
They happen all the time.
Between 1,000 and 3,000 earthquakes happen in Yellowstone every year.
It gets better, or worse, depending on how you see things.
In 2010, there were 250 earthquakes at Yellowstone in the course of just 48 hours.
So why do people still go there if it’s so dangerous?
Well…it’s not actually.
You see, although there ARE earthquakes there, not all of them can be felt.
They’re tiny, and quick, and don’t shake the ground that much.
There are some bigger ones, sure, but they’re nothing like the monstrous ones we all know
But if you do feel the Earth move when you’re at Yellowstone, now you know why.
Have you ever been to Yellowstone?
Let us know about it in the comments below and…take care!
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Photo credit: Screenshot from video