There’s a lot of history hidden in Yellowstone, but possibly not in the way you’d think.

By Andrea Romano
Updated: October 22, 2018
Sharon Day/Getty Images

Since Yellowstone is hundreds of thousands of years old, it's easy to assume there are some lost pieces of history hidden in its forests, rivers and canyons. But you probably wouldn’t expect a geyser to spew up random artifacts from the 20th century.

But back in September, Ear Spring, one of the park’s least active geysers, suddenly erupted, spewing out tons of water and steam, but also, surprisingly, some human-made objects dating all the way to the 1930’s, reported Lonely Planet.

Some of the items discovered included a baby’s pacifier, a cement block, around 100 coins, aluminum cans and a metal sign, among others. 

“After Ear Spring erupted on September 15, employees found a strange assortment of items strewn across the landscape around its vent! Some are clearly historic: they'll be inventoried by curators and may end up in Yellowstone's archives,” it says on the Yellowstone Facebook page.

Park officials believe the “trash” got there because of visitors who, over the decades, simply discarded or accidentally left behind their items. It just goes to show that our trash really doesn’t go away quickly, even after almost 90 years.

“You might think that if you toss something in a hot spring or in a geyser that it disappears, but it doesn't disappear. It stays in that and what normally happens is you can actually plug up a feature and kill the feature. And that's happened in many places in the park,” said Rebecca Roland to CBS News.

Ear Spring has been dormant since 1957, according to CBS News, so that might explain why past generations could have thought it was fine to throw their stuff away there. Today, hopefully, things have changed.

“Foreign objects can damage hot springs and geysers. The next time Ear Spring erupts we hope it's nothing but natural rocks and water. You can help by never throwing anything into Yellowstone's thermal features,” it says on the Yellowstone Facebook Page.

Yellowstone National Park may have moved into the future when it upgraded its ticketing system to a mobile platform, but we all have to work together to preserve the park's incredible natural beauty

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