Scientists debunk fears of a Yellowstone eruption over viral video
A bison herd stampeding through Yellowstone National Park is not proof of an upcoming volcanic eruption, geologists and park officials have said, despite a recent viral video that implies the animals’ instincts tipped them off to an upcoming disaster.
The video was posted online on March 20 and has since attracted millions of views. It shows dozens of bisons running along a road in the park, a popular attraction for tourists and outdoorsmen alike. Much of Yellowstone does sit on the surface of a long dormant volcanic caldera, or super volcano, which last erupted nearly 700,000 years ago.
Images of the running bison were quickly picked up by various media outlets, prompting comments from readers worried about issues ranging from biblical doom to the effects of global warming. Yellowstone officials admitted they have been overwhelmed by hundreds of calls and emails that have come in since the video, which featured a purported survivalist discussing an “imminent eruption,” went viral.
“It was a spring-like day and they were frisky,” park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett told Reuters of the rushing bison. “Contrary to online reports, it’s a natural occurrence and not the end of the world.”
“We have seen no signs to suggest the Yellowstone volcano is about to erupt,” he said. The video of the bison actually shows the animals galloping deeper into the park, not away from it, officials said.
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Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane
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