Happy Birthday Yellowstone National Park!
On March 1st, 1872 Yellowstone became the world's first national park thanks to President Ulysses S. Grant. The Yellowstone National Park Protection Act allowed for the protection of more than 2 million acres of mountain wilderness, spectacular geysers, and vibrant landscapes for future generations to enjoy.
Here are some fun facts about Yellowstone Park that you may have not know.
1) Yellowstone Makes Up Half Of The World’s Hydrothermal Features
Yellowstone has more than 10,000 hydrothermal features, which includes an extraordinary collection of hot springs, mudpots, fumaroles, travertine terraces and geysers. The microorganisms called thermophiles, meaning “heat loving”, live in these features and give the park its brilliant colors.
2) Old Faithful Has Become A Little Less Predictable
Old Faithful is Yellowstone's most famous geysers, which got its name in 1870 for its frequent and somewhat predictable eruptions. Old Faithful has erupted more than a millions times since Yellowstone became a park. Old Faithful can shoot water into the air to a height of 100-180 feet, and the eruptions normal last 1.5 to 5 minuets. During the last few decades, the average interval between eruptions has lengthened. The mathematical average between eruptions of Old Faithful is currently 74 minutes, but it doesn't like to act average! Intervals can range from 60-110 minutes.
3) Yellowstone Is Home To World-Renowned Bison Herds
Yellowstone is the only place in the U.S. where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times. The bison often cause traffic jams (nicknamed bison jams) as cars wait for the animals to cross the road. The bison population fluctuates from 2,300 to 5,500 animals in two subpopulations.
4) Yellowstone Is A Supervolcano
Yellowstone is home to one of the world's larges active volcanos. The first major eruption of the Yellowstone volcano occurred 2.1 million years ago, and covered more than 5,790 square miles with ash. That eruption is one of the largest volcanic eruptions known, and is what makes Yellowstone a supervolcano. Although the volcano is still active, it’s been about 70,000 years since the last lava flow.
5) Yellowstone Has Abundant and Diverse Wildlife
Yellowstone is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states. It is estimated that there are 300 species of birds, 16 types of fish and 67 species of mammals. The list of mammals includes: grizzly bears, wolves, lynx, fox, moose and elk.