One man’s trip to connect with nature ended in a horrific tragedy.
An Oregon man basically dissolved inside a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming after accidentally falling into it.
The bizarre and fatal incident occurred back in June, when Colin Nathaniel Scott (pictured above) went to the park with his sister to find a spring to “hot pot.”
According to a recently released report from park officials, the 23-year-old and his sister went to an unauthorized area near the Norris Geyser looking for a place to enjoy a natural soak.
But when the geology graduate reached down to check the temperature of the spring, he slipped and fell into it.
Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress told local press the area the siblings ventured off to was very dangerous with boiling acidic waters, explaining:
“There’s a closure in place to keep people from doing that for their own safety and also to protect the resources because they are very fragile. But, most importantly for the safety of people because it’s a very unforgiving environment.”
Search and rescue rangers who arrived at the scene later found the victim’s body in the pool, along with his wallet and flip flops — though recovery efforts were halted due to a lightning storm.
The next day, officials could not find any remains in the churning acidic water. Veress added:
“In a very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving.”
The parks’ geysers and springs are acidic due to the sulfuric acid the thermal water picks up underground — which breaks down hydrogen sulfide in rocks and soil.
Scott’s sister was recording the journey on her cell phone, including her brother’s deadly fall. However, the park won’t release the video — or even a description — out of sensitivity to the family, according to Veress.
The Chief Ranger stressed the importance for park visitors to obey all warning signs, noting:
“Because (Yellowstone) 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.”
Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and we hope this tragedy will caution travelers to not make the same fatal mistake.