This Yellowstone Geyser Blasted Out Decades-Old Trash—See What Came Up

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At Yellowstone National Park last month, visitors had the chance to see a time capsule of sorts. It just wasn’t in the way they expected.

The Ear Spring geyser erupted with a shot of water bigger than the geyser had been recorded doing in decades. But that wasn’t the major surprise. When the geyser was all finished erupting, park officials found numerous pieces of tourist trash that had built up over decades, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Some of the items included old coins, a baby pacifier, old beer cans, cigarette butts, part of a cement block, and an old pen, among many other items.

 

 

“Employees found a strange assortment of items strewn across the landscape around its vent!” Yellowstone National Park officials wrote on Facebook with a photo of the items. “Some are clearly historic: they’ll be inventoried by curators and may end up in Yellowstone’s archives.”

Here’s a look at everything officials pulled after the eruption:

While not as famous a geyser as Old Faithful is, Ear Spring became the center of attention after the eruption. The U.S. Geological Survey wrote that the eruption at Ear Spring, which reached around 30 feet high, was the largest in size recorded at the hot pool since 1957. Officials chalked up the abnormally-high eruption to small changes in the “thermal features on Geyser Hill” and that the eruption also ejected rocks and natural materials along with the trash and other items.

This is what Ear Spring looked like after the eruption:

USGS

Here’s the geyser erupting: