Video Shows Pair Ignore Warnings To Touch 175-Degree Yellowstone Thermals

In what could have ended as another “floating foot” case in Yellowstone Park, a pair of visitors left the designated boardwalk to dip fingers into 175-degree thermal pool.

Mark Heinz

June 22, 20233 min read

This image capture from a video posted to the Tourons of Yellowstone Instagram account shows a pair of Yellowstone visitors dangerously close to a 175-degree thermal pool.
This image capture from a video posted to the Tourons of Yellowstone Instagram account shows a pair of Yellowstone visitors dangerously close to a 175-degree thermal pool. (Tourons of Yellowstone Instagram)

Had a man holding the hand of a young woman lost his grip as she stretched precariously to dip the fingers of her opposite hand into a Yellowstone thermal pool, the park might have had another “floating foot” mystery on its hands.

Instead, as another tourist recorded it, the unidentified woman exclaimed, “It’s really hot!” and scampered away, in obvious pain.

They Were Warned, Did It Anyway

An Instagram video of the foolhardy thermal pool stunt was posted on the “Tourons of Yellowstone” site Tuesday.

That’s the same site that posted videos of an unidentified man getting out of his vehicle and stupidly rushing black bears by the roadside. It turns out those incidents didn’t happen in Yellowstone.

The dumb thermal pool stunt video was taken this week at the Silex Spring thermal pool, which has an average temperature of nearly 175 degrees.

The video’s poster, who goes by the handle “Caveman Mackenzie,” claimed he tried to warn the man and woman — which he assumed to be a father and daughter — as they left the safety of a boardwalk and approached the scalding hot pool.  

After the man blew off his warning, Mackenzie said he decided he might as well document what very well could have ended up being a human lobster boil.

“OK, I would have called these people in but couldn’t find a ranger or service, but here’s a guy, and I’d presume his daughter, at what I thought said Silex Spring in fountain paint pot trail,” Mackenzie posted. “I told him that was a bad idea and they shouldn’t get off the board walk. His response was, ‘Whatever man.’ So I hit record.”

In the video, the woman fiddles around at the edge of the pool not quite able to reach it. The man finally takes her hand and allows her to essentially dangle over water hot enough to turn her into instant stew while she dips her fingertips in.

A request for comment from the National Park Service about the incident or any possible investigation wasn’t answered Thursday.

Reminiscent Of ‘Floating Foot,’ ‘Florida Man’ Cases

The near self-cooking at Silex Spring is among a few recent bad goings-on at Yellowstone thermals.

In the most gruesome incident, a human foot still in its shoe was found floating in the Abyss Pool in the West Thumb Geyser Basin last August.

The foot was later confirmed to be the last remains of II Hun Ro, 70, of Los Angeles. He was last seen alive July 7, 2022, in Yellowstone. No foul play was suspected in the case, although it was never determined whether Ro had entered to pool deliberately or fallen in on accident.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Thomas Bennett of Sheridan later told Cowboy State Daily that a stout shoe probably preserved the foot, while the heat and chemicals in the pool dissolved the rest of the body.

Also in July 2022, Florida resident Matt Manzari filmed himself walking dangerously close to thermals in Yellowstone and posted the video on social media. He later turned himself into authorities.

In 2021. a Connecticut woman was sentenced to seven days in jail, fined $2,000 and banned from Yellowstone for two years for leaving a designated boardwalk and approaching thermals.

Mark Heinz can be reached at

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter