Drone crashes in Yellowstone hot spring, causing potential damage

BY Ariel Min  August 7, 2014 at 5:57 PM EDT
Photo of Great Spring and Paradise Lake at Yellowstone National Park by Flickr user jamesbmore.

Photo of Great Spring and Paradise Lake at Yellowstone National Park by Flickr user jamesbmore.

What happens when a drone crashes into one of the world’s largest hot springs? The aircraft might potentially damage the spring, but trying to remove it might cause even more damage.

According to USA Today, a tourist crashed a camera-equipped drone into Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park’s largest hot spring.

If the drone ends up blocking the waters’ flow in the spring, it might change the appearance of the spring. However, officials are concerned about how they can remove the aircraft without causing further damage in the area.

The Grand Prismatic Spring, a popular attraction to approximately 3 million visitors a year, is 370 feet in diameter and more than 121 feet deep. It is known for the natural brilliant colors caused by bacteria and minerals in the water.

Saturday’s crash follows the National Park Service’s ban on drones announced in June.

“We have serious concerns about the negative impact that flying unmanned aircrafts is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy,” said NPS director Jonathan Jarvis in a June statement.