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Old Faithful in Yellowstone | Interesting Facts

a close up of a sign

Three million people from all over the world tour Yellowstone National Park each year. Many of them come specifically to see the magnificent Old Faithful, a hydrothermal feature that has enchanted awestruck visitors since the park’s inception in 1872. The interesting details behind this most famous of geysers will still wow you today. Learn all about them when you book a Yellowstone tour with Scenic Safaris. In the meantime, here are a few quick facts for your visit:

1. You Shouldn’t Wash Your Woolens Here

Rumor has it that soldiers in the 1880s used this boiling geyser to wash soiled laundry. Supposedly, it worked great for cottons and linens but was death to woolen fabrics which it quickly blew to shreds.

2. It’s as Hot Now As It Was Back in the Day

Scientists were recently able to take Old Faithful’s below-ground temperature which topped out at a toasty 244 degrees Fahrenheit, exactly the same as it measured in 1942. This is well above the point at which water boils.

3. Old Faithful Blows Water Higher Than Your House

Old Faithful in Yellowstone shoots its load over 18 stories high. Topping out at 185 feet, the steam pouring from this reliable geyser is an uncomfortable 350 degrees, the same temperature used to bake your favorite cake!

4. The Magma Chambers beneath Old Faithful are Hot Stuff

The water spewed by Old Faithful is superheated by the magma chamber that lies below the surface of Yellowstone National Park. The amount of heat transmitted here from underground is 30 to 40 times hotter than it is anywhere else on Earth.

5. The Magma Beneath Old Faithful Would Fill the Grand Canyon 14 Times

When you’re touring Yellowstone, you’re walking above a massive magma chamber that would fill the Grand Canyon 14 times over. Scientists have known for years that Yellowstone sits atop a supervolcano, but it wasn’t until 2015 that they realized just how massive it is.

So the next time you’re waiting patiently to witness Old Faithful in Yellowstone do its thing, remember the science behind the splash. It will keep you humble in the midst of one of nature’s most wild places. If you’d like to experience the magic of Old Faithful yourself, we invite you to join us on a Scenic Safaris tour. It’s guaranteed to blow you away!