A Yellowstone Geyser Shot Steaming Hot Water Roughly 30 Feet Into the Air—Along With Decades of Trash

October 4, 2018, 6:54 PM UTC

A Yellowstone National Park thermal spring erupted to its greatest height in more than 60 years last month, with some surprising downfall: among the rocks and steaming water, park officials found coins, plastic utensils, part of a cinder block, crumpled foil, cans, and other debris.

Yellowstone National Park shared an image of the “strange assortment of items” they found on Facebook following the geyser’s eruption, noting that some are “clearly historic” and will be inventoried by curators before potentially ending up in Yellowstone’s archives. According to ScienceAlert, a science-based news site, among the decades of trash was a baby pacifier from the 1930s.

Ear Spring, named for its shape’s resemblance to a human ear, last erupted in 2004. But on September 15, its water reached heights between 20 and 30 feet, the Associated Press reports. The spewing hot water revealed how much trash careless tourists have tossed into it over the decades, prompting the park service to share a warning with their Facebook photo: “Foreign objects can damage hot springs and geysers.”

“The next time Ear Spring erupts we hope it’s nothing but natural rocks and water,” they continued. “You can help by never throwing anything into Yellowstone’s thermal features!”