There’s something strange going on at Grand Teton National Park, and it’s starting to seem like all signs are pointing to doom and destruction. Okay, that might be taking things a bit far, but there’s definitely something up. This week, park rangers closed down a part of the National Park, which shares a border with geothermal hotspot Yellowstone National Park, due to growing concerns over growing a 100-foot fissure that appeared on a rock wall in the Hidden Falls area.
This follows a “swarm” of about 200 earthquakes and countless smaller tremors that occurred in Yellowstone in February of this year. I might not know much, but I do know simple math, and earthquakes + fissures + supervolcano that’s overdue = bad news.
Despite all of this, researchers are emphasizing that there’s nothing to worry about… yet. The concern over the fissures is more that the rock wall will collapse and crush a tourist, and earthquake swarms are actually a common occurrence in the Yellowstone Caldera and don’t necessarily cause eruptions.
The Yellowstone Caldera (a more sciencey name for the Yellowstone Supervolcano) is the cause of a lot of the coolest features in Yellowstone, from the mudpots and hot springs to Old Faithful. According to researchers, it appears that it erupts every 600,000 to 700,000 years… and the last eruption was likely about 640,000 years ago. If it were to erupt, a reported 87,000 people would be killed immediately and two-thirds of the USA would immediately be made uninhabitable. Then, whoever survived all of that would have to deal with the ensuing nuclear winter and massive shift in climate, thanks to sulphur dioxide that would be spewed into the atmosphere.
While I trust that the USGS has a close eye on the situation and will tell us when we need to start really freaking out, I think, in the meantime, I’m gonna take up doomsday prepping as a hobby. Just for funsies.