New Documentary Discusses How People Have Boiled Or Burned To Death in Yellowstone’s Hot Springs

A new documentary details the "horrors" of Yellowstone National Park's hot springs and how people boiled themselves to death by jumping or falling in.

Ellen Fike

June 28, 20212 min read

Yellowstone pool scaled

A new short documentary on YouTube details the horrors of Yellowstone National Park’s hot springs with three example cases.

Fascinating Horror, a YouTube channel with more than one-half million subscribers, posted the 11-minute video about the park’s hot springs last week.

The video demonstrates how easily people can be injured or killed by the hot springs.

“A simple slip or trip, usually of no consequence whatsoever, can be the cause of death if it happens in the wrong place,” the narrator said in the video.

He told of one man, a pastor named Gilbert Eakins, who died after falling into a thermal pool while walking near the West Thumb area in the park with his family in August 1926.

“At some point, Eakins slipped, falling into a pool,” the narrator said. “In his rush to extricate himself from the boiling water, which at this point had only burned the lower half of his body, he accidentally fell into another hot pool before finally slipping and falling headlong into the first one again,” the narrator said.

Eakins not only was burned all over his body, but inside in as well, since he had swallowed boiling water from the pools. While a nearby doctor tried to save the pastor, he died while being transported from the park.

Another incident in 1981 saw a man jump into a thermal pool in order to save his dog, but his efforts were in vain and both died.

The final incident involved a group of park employees who were burned in a thermal pool after they fell into it from a dirt ledge that gave way under their feet in 2000. Two of the three employees were injured, one died from burns.

“There are just some of the thermal injuries that have been recorded in Yellowstone’s long history,” the narrator said. “Yellowstone is a wilderness, one only slightly tamed. To make Yellowstone completely safe would be to make it no longer wild.”

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Ellen Fike