Yellowstone bison may be acting strange, but a possible volcano eruption is not the reason for it, scientists have clarified this week.
After conspiracy theories popped up connecting strange animal behavior to a potentially catastrophic volcano eruption, Yellowstone National Park issued a statement on Thursday assuring visitors that a supervolcano located under the park was not expected to erupt.
This week a video showing Yellowstone bison galloping down a paved road in the wake of an earthquake in the park went viral, gaining thousands of views. The earthquake, which had a magnitude of 4.8, struck Sunday near the northwest section of Yellowstone National Park, which spans 3,472 square miles.
The earthquake followed a series of quakes in southern California around the same time. Seismologists have predicted that earthquakes could grow more common in the Yellowstone area within the coming year, though did not predict a Yellowstone volcano eruption.
But some conspiracy theories are starting to make that connection. The Yellowstone bison video was accompanied by commentary from a self-described survivalist suggesting that the animals’ behavior was sign of an “an imminent eruption here at Yellowstone.”
But park officials threw cold water on that theory.
“It was a spring-like day and they were frisky. Contrary to online reports, it’s a natural occurrence and not the end of the world,” park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said.
Peter Cervelli, associate director for science and technology at the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Science Center in California, said any kind of eruption from the Yellowstone volcano is unlikely.
“The chance of that happening in our lifetimes is exceedingly insignificant,” he said.
But on the off chance that the Yellowstone bison are foreseeing a volcano eruption, there wouldn’t be much anyone could do about it. As The Inquisitr reported, scientists said the Yellowstone volcano is so powerful it could kill everyone in the United States if it erupted.