By Cassie Kim
Yellowstone, the first National park to be established, contains jaw dropping landmarks that are sure to catch your eye, and perhaps even your nose! One of the most unique characteristics about Yellowstone is its close proximity to volcanic activity. The superheated magma bubbling under the surface of the Earth’s crust mixes with water through cracks that can only be found in the Yellowstone area to create superheated water, vents, mudpots, and other thermal features. These features are home to fascinating microorganisms that thrive at temperatures that would otherwise not support life, but they have also claimed several human lives with their extreme heat and acidic nature. Old Yeller, an active geyser, spews steam and gasses about every 90 minutes, making it one of visitors’ favorite attractions. The dangerous and deadly nature of these features make it especially important to follow park regulations and to stay on designated paths.
Hydrothermal features are not the only attractions at Yellowstone. Beautiful lakes, rivers, mountains, and overall scenery, as well as diverse wildlife, attract visitors and scientists alike. Bears, elk, and bison call the park home and it is important to remember that when you visit, you are a guest in their home. With its scenic and unique views, Yellowstone is an exciting and beautiful place to enjoy nature.