It’s Time To Review A News Story: ‘Man Dies In Yellowstone Acid’
If you're like many of us, when you heard this news from Yellowstone, you felt it was not just about the Wyoming wild. This tragedy was so bizarre, it's come up in conversations often, and that's how we get that phenomenon that seems like the story changed a bit in just a week. I talked to one person who said that they thought they heard the guy that died was an old man. Another friend said they thought they remembered hearing she was a young woman. Well, it was a 23 year old guy.
So let's go back to how most news sources reported it. Thrillist.com has a style that's personable, and easy to read, so let's just shorten their version. The headline was, "Man Bathes in Yellowstone Basin, Dissolves in Boiling Acid."
A Portland, Oregon man was hoping to hit a hot pool in Yellowstone National Park, and died, dissolved when he fell into the park's boiling, acidic Norris Geyser Basin, park officials disclosed.
On a college graduation trip, Colin Scott, 23, and his sister were looking for a place to "hot pot" - a practice the park forbids. (This actually took place back on June 7th.) The first report on the accident came from a television station after a request under The Freedom of Information Act.
The report quoted the sister, Sable Scott, as saying "her brother was reaching down to check the temperature of a hot spring when he slipped and fell into the pool." She tried to rescue her brother, unsuccessfully. She was recording with her cellphone when he fell; the incident was captured on video. (Oh, for the love of ... "Viewer discretion advised?" Be advised that, on top of what you're imagining, it reads even worse.)
Sable Scott notified park authorities, who sent a search and rescue team, that was thwarted by a lightning storm. They couldn't recover her brother's body from the pool, and upon returning the next day, found that the acidic waters had disintegrated the body. (Okay, it's almost over now. Good grief, that's horrifying.)
Scott was not the first to try to bathe in the park's waters to awful effects. The website of Yellowstone lays out a series of cautionary tales, describing children who burned themselves. 20 people before Scott have died in the park's boiling waters, the last one in 2000. Per the site: "The victims include seven young children who slipped away from parents, teenagers who fell through thin surface crust, fishermen who happened to step into hot springs near Yellowstone Lake, and even park concession employees ..."
After a news story is repeated enough, details remembered incorrectly can change the story. One piece of info I never caught, myself, was that this didn't happen just last week. It was in June. Anyway, there you have it. Just thought you'd like to know.
Otherwise enjoy your day.