YELLOWSTONE IS HAVING A ROUGH YEAR when it comes to misbehaving visitors. There was the bison calf that had to be put down after tourists misguidedly tried to help it, there was the woman who got charged by an elk she got too close to, and, of course, there are the regular bison gorings when visitors get too close while trying to take a selfie.
Wednesday saw the most recent visitor incident, and this one, unfortunately, was fatal. A 23-year-old man visiting from Portland had wandered off of the marked boardwalks and trails with his sister, and fell into one of the thermal springs. The geothermal hot springs in Yellowstone are not like the spa-oriented ones in other parts of the world: they are literally boiling. The Norris Geyser Basin, where the man fell in, is the hottest basin in the park, as it sits on three fault lines right on top of the Yellowstone Caldera. Temperatures in the geothermal features can reach 459 degrees Fahrenheit.