One of the thousands of hot springs in Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Photo by Flickr user m01229.
One of the thousands of hot springs in Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Photo by Flickr user m01229. m01229/ Creative Commons

Tourist's body dissolved in boiling hot springs

THE body of a man who fell into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park in the United States likely dissolved in the boiling acidic water.

Portland man Colin Scott, 23, went missing in the park on June 7 when he fell into a hot spring after walking through a closed-off area of the park to find a spring to soak in. 

Mr Scott had been walking with his sister and leaned towards a spring to check its temperature when he fell in. 

He has been presumed dead, and now an official incident report released under a Freedom of Information Act request has shown why authorities stopped searching for his body.

Local news station KULR spoke to Deputy Chief Ranger Lorant Veress about the death.

He told the station the water in the spring where Mr Scott had fallen was churning and acidic.

Mr Veress said officers had spotted Mr Scott's body on the first day, but recovery efforts had been hampered by a lightning storm.

When they returned the next day, officers could not find any remains.

"In a very short order, there was a significant amount of dissolving," he told the KULR. 

Yellowstone National Park is home to thousands of hot springs and about half the world's active geysers.

This weekend, November 5-6, provides the last chance for visitors to drive to many iconic locations in Yellowstone (like the Upper Geyser Basin pictured here). The West, South, and East Entrances and all roads, with one exception, will close to vehicle travel at 8 a.m. Monday, November 7, so the park can prepare them for the winter season and snowmobile and snowcoach travel, which will begin Tuesday, December 15. The one exception is the road from the park’s North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana through Mammoth Hot Springs to the park’s Northeast Entrance and the communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate, Montana. This road is open all year, weather permitting. Travel east of Cooke City (via the Beartooth Highway) is not possible from late fall to late spring. Visitors driving to and in the park during the fall and winter should have flexible travel plans and be prepared for changing weather conditions. Temporary travel restrictions or closures can occur at any time without notice. For the most current information on road conditions and road closures, visit or call 307-344-2117 for recorded information. Extensive information for planning a winter visit in Yellowstone, including information about lodging, camping, services, and activities, is available on the park’s web site at All communities near Yellowstone are open year-round, with local businesses offering a wide range of fall and winter recreation opportunities. For information about communities in Montana (Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Cooke City, and Silver Gate), visit For information about Wyoming communities (Cody and Jackson), visit And if your travel plans to the park take you through Idaho, visit

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