Human foot found floating in Yellowstone hot spring is linked to July death

Jackson, Wyoming - Earlier this week, a Yellowstone National Park employee discovered something gruesome: part of a human foot – complete with a shoe – floating in a hot spring. Now, park officials think the frightening find is linked to a death last month.

An employee found part of a foot in a shoe floating in Abyss Pool.
An employee found part of a foot in a shoe floating in Abyss Pool.  © screenshot/ Twitter/ @YellowstoneNPS

A national park employee found the foot floating on Tuesday in the Abyss Pool, which is located in the West Thumb Geyser Basin in the southern part of Yellowstone National Park.

The area was temporarily closed while the shoe was recovered. It has since been reopened.

On Friday, park officials said the body part is most likely linked to a death on July 31 at the Abyss Pool. The investigation by law enforcement is ongoing, but officials currently believe there was no foul play, according to a statement. The accident is thought to have involved just one person.

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The Abyss Pool is more than 50 feet deep and is thus one of the deepest hot springs in the park. It boasts a scorching temperature of approximately 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Officials warn Yellowstone visitors to stick to the trails and boardwalks

In their statement, officials reminded park visitors to stay on the boardwalks and trails close to thermal areas.

They also noted that the ground near hot springs is often "fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface."

Park officials know of at least 22 deaths from hot spring-related injuries in and around the 3,471-square-mile national park since 1890.

Cover photo: screenshot/ Twitter/ @YellowstoneNPS

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