Part of a foot — in a shoe — found floating in Yellowstone hot spring, rangers say

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National Park Service/Johnson

Part of a human foot was found floating in one of the deepest hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, rangers said.

A park employee discovered the foot in the park’s Abyss Pool on Tuesday, Aug. 16, Yellowstone officials told McClatchy News. A shoe with the foot still inside was floating in the hot spring.

Park officials said they’re investigating the discovery and the West Thumb Geyser Basin was temporarily closed to visitors. It’s since been reopened, officials said.

“Evidence from the investigation thus far suggests that an incident involving one individual likely occurred on the morning of July 31, 2022, at Abyss Pool. Currently, the park believes there was no foul play,” the National Park Service said in a news release. “The investigation is continuing to determine the circumstances surrounding the death.”

The Abyss Pool is more than 50 feet deep and is about 140 degrees.

Several park visitors have been injured in Yellowstone’s thermal areas over the years.

In October, a 20-year-old Washington woman was badly burned after she ran into a hot spring after her dog. The dog died from its injuries.

A month earlier, a 19-year-old had second- and third-degree burns over 5% of her body while visiting the Old Faithful geyser. Park officials did not say if the woman walked on the geyser or left the boardwalks before she got burned.

In 2016, an Oregon man may have dissolved after trying to soak in a thermal area. Workers couldn’t find any remains, and park rangers believe he dissolved in the dangerously hot water, the Associated Press reported.

“The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface,” rangers said. “Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features.”

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