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20th Sep 2023

Man trying to ‘hot pot’ fell into Yellowstone hot spring and was completely ‘dissolved’ within a day

Charlie Herbert


Temperatures in the Yellowstone hot springs can reach boiling point.

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most breathtaking areas of natural beauty in the world.

Located in the western United States, the area is perhaps best known for its hot springs and geysers. However, while these features are spectacular, they can also prove to be very dangerous.

Yellowstone sits above one of the largest magma chambers on the planet, causing extremely hot water to make its way to the surface of some of its pools.

In the park’s geyser basins, temperatures typically reach 93°C, but can get even hotter. As such, these springs are extremely dangerous and should never be swam in.

One man died in June 2016 after falling into one of them, demonstrating just how careful people should be. Details regarding his death were later released by park officials.

Colin Scott, 23, and his sister were reportedly looking for somewhere to ‘hot pot’. This is the practice of soaking in natural hot springs.


Colin Scott died after falling into a Yellowstone hot spring.

But whilst trying to test the temperature of one particular spring near Porkchop Geyser, he slipped and fell in.

The 23-year-old’s body was found later that day with portions of his head, upper torso and hands visible in the hot spring, The Guardian reports.

US park ranger Phil Strehle wrote in an incident report: “Due to the report of the individual not previously visible, a lack of movement, suspected extreme temperatures and indications of several thermal burns, the subject was determined to be deceased.”

Emergency services were unable to reach Colin’s body due to the “volatile” thermal area and were eventually forced to abandon their recovery efforts due to an incoming lightning storm.

By the time they returned the next day, the high acidity and heat of the water had caused the 23-year-old’s body to dissolve, leaving nothing but his wallet and flip-flops.


In Yellowstone’s geyser basins, temperatures typically reach 93°C.

The incident report noted: “The consensus among the rescue/recovery team was that the extreme heat of the hot spring, coupled with its acidic nature, dissolved the remains.”

Hot potting is in fact illegal in Yellowstone because of instances such as this.

Instead, the National Park Service advises visitors not to stray from boardwalks and trails in thermal areas.

“Hot springs have injured or killed more people in Yellowstone than any other natural feature,” the service has stated.

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