Yellowstone officials confirmed a drone crashed into Grand Prismatic Spring on Saturday afternoon. Authorities are concerned, as the drone may have caused irreparable damage. Grand Prismatic Spring is the third largest hot spring in the world.
In general, drones are defined as unmanned aircraft. They were originally developed for use in military operations However, as they have become widely available to the general public, drones have increased in popularity among hobbyists.
Although drones are prohibited in the national park, rangers have noted an increase in their usage. As the unmanned aircraft are often outfitted with cameras, they allow tourists to film the landscape from a unique perspective.
Unfortunately, the remote control vehicles have caused numerous issues at Yellowstone National Park. Drones have disturbed guests, frightened animals, and crashed into iconic landmarks.
In June, The National Parks Service banned the use of all radio-controlled aircraft. Unfortunately, some visitors have ignored the rules.
As reported by Time, a privately owned drone crashed into Yellowstone’s largest hot spring. As the aircraft disappeared into the water, it could be difficult to recover. At its deepest point, Grand Prismatic Spring exceeds 120 feet.
Yellowstone National Park Spokesman Al Nash said it is unclear whether the drone damaged the spring. Recovery efforts could be a lengthy, and costly, process. However, if it is determined that the “aircraft poses a threat” to the natural spring — it must be removed.
According to the Nation Park Service, Grand Prismatic Spring is approximately 370 feet in circumference. In addition to being Yellowstone’s largest hot spring, it is also one of the most colorful.
As the surrounding landscape is neutral in color, the brilliant blue water looks quite surreal. The edges of the spring provide a stark contrast, as they are tinged in bright yellow. The outer layer, which is colored deep orange, extends from the edges like rays of sunlight.
The first recorded description of the spring was provided by explorer and trapper Osborne Russell in 1839. The trapper described his discovery in such vivid detail that there is no question it was Grand Prismatic Spring.
There is no doubt — the picturesque spring is one of the most amazing features at Yellowstone. Sadly, a drone may have damaged the iconic spring.Park officials are currently attempting to assess any damage. If the drone is found to be causing problems, crews will attempt to remove it from the water.
Officials have not identified the tourist who crashed the drone in Yellowstone’s largest hot spring.
[Image via Photobucket]