A group of tourists damages thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park in order to take photos

Aug 14, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

A group of tourists damages thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park in order to take photos

Aug 14, 2017

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Taking photos and videos on vacation is what we all do, and it’s totally okay. But when you start ignoring signs and destroy the nature just to get more likes on Instagram, it becomes unacceptable. Recently, a group of tourists in Yellowstone National Park ignored all the warnings and gathered around a thermal feature to take photos.

Not only they walked all around the restricted area, but they even stuck their fingers i the water. All this doesn’t only damage the park, but it puts them in danger of hurting themselves, too. One of the visitors filmed them and warned them not to do it. While a part of them stepped away, some of them stayed persistent in sticking their fingers in the water and taking family snapshots.


YouTube user Jeffh34 took the video, and as he explains, when he finished recording, he realized there was no cell phone service in the area. He looked for a park ranger as his group continued the walk. Eventually, he found a park employee and showed him the video, and he then radioed the park police. While he was shooting, a part of the group stepped away, while the others just ignored him and kept on taking photos. One of them even got angry because he was being filmed, asking Jeffh34 to delete the video.

Some of the comments on the video suggest that maybe they didn’t understand what the sign reads. Still, it’s not an excuse, because there’s also a graphic “No Walking” sign everyone can understand regardless of the language. After all, this isn’t the first time people destroying national park property just to take photos or videos. They also often put themselves and the others in dangers (even their pets) just for the Instagram likes, or because they simply don’t give a damn. But these guys won the game – they disobeyed the rules, put themselves in danger and were destroying nature. Incredible.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the nationality of the tourists or anything like that. Reckless and disrespectful people exist everywhere. But as the creator of the video points out, he’s just glad no one got hurt, burned, or fell through. I can’t agree more, and I hope people will learn something from this, and become more careful and respectful to nature, no matter where they come from or where they travel to.

Update: the user removed the video after we published this article. 

[Asian group damages thermal feature at Yellowstone National Park | Jeffh34]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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41 responses to “A group of tourists damages thermal springs in Yellowstone National Park in order to take photos”

  1. Thomas Jaramillo Avatar
    Thomas Jaramillo

    This is hella dangerous too. Some of that ground is just a thin crust with billing water underneath.

  2. muadibe Avatar

    I certainly understand the concern. However, that sign is absolutely no good. Why is it so tiny and placed in a position where you can barely notice it? It clearly needs to be more prominently placed. I realize we don’t want the natural beauty peppered with signs, but I can see how that one can be missed.

    Also, I think Jeffh34 could have explained things a bit better instead of just saying get out of there. Not sure if they understood everything he was saying.

  3. Neal Grant Avatar
    Neal Grant

    well, this is supremely annoying, but, to be fair, that sign he pointed out was fairly small, and appeared to be only on the ‘south’ side. let’s say, i’ve seen more flagrant violations in my time…

  4. Tim R. Solis Avatar
    Tim R. Solis

    IGNORANT PEOPLE…have them go back their country and ruin it…

    1. Jeff Soto Avatar
      Jeff Soto

      What do we do about the people from this country that also ruin It? Where should they go?

  5. Autumn Jay Avatar
    Autumn Jay

    Thar’s one of the problems with social media….everyone wants to be the star of their own movies, etc. :(

  6. Chris O'Four Avatar
    Chris O’Four

    A number of people every year make this mistake, and some of them don’t get to be told what a mistake they made…


    1. Angie Dutton Avatar
      Angie Dutton

      I was about to refer to this as well. They are fortunate none of them fell through.

    2. Andrew Clark Avatar
      Andrew Clark

      That’s too bad. Their too stupid to know their walking on a volcano. Let me get hurt.

  7. William James Malin Avatar
    William James Malin

    Interestingly, China has actually created a policy that revokes a person’s ability to travel abroad if they are proven to have committed acts that are disrespectful of the host country and cast the Chinese tourists in a bad light. Essentially, “act like a fool abroad, and we won’t let you go again!” (no assumptions on nationality of perps, just interestingly related to topic)

  8. Mika Partanen Avatar
    Mika Partanen

    The stupidity o humans is endless. Shoot them in the foot and let them get bar on their own!

  9. Angie Dutton Avatar
    Angie Dutton

    The signs in that area might be small and obscure, however there are signs posted throughout the park and in the brochures upon entering, that clearly state that people must stay on the paths. I’ve been there, and it is very clear, no matter what language you speak. It’s disrespectful, but even more than that, it’s extremely dangerous. People have died from stepping off the safety of the boardwalks into boiling, acidic water. These people were lucky they walked away.

  10. HollyG Avatar

    Ignorance is no excuse nor is the size of the sign posted. These morons should be fined heavily and/or thrown in jail. Rem,ember Otto Warmbier?

  11. Rock Norris Avatar
    Rock Norris

    *Until* someone gets hurt?!? Didn’t someone get boiled/dissolved ALIVE a few months ago by doing the same thing and sliding down into a geyser?!?

  12. Virginio Savani Avatar
    Virginio Savani

    And not only in national parks in america, even in Italy, in Venice and other city’s they hare fuking moron, China turist….., stay home!

  13. Hugh Mobley Avatar
    Hugh Mobley

    where are the Rangers!! why aren’t tickets issued!! get them people off the springs!

  14. Miroslav Vrzala Avatar
    Miroslav Vrzala

    Asswipes where ever you go
    No respect

  15. Noah Tahl Avatar
    Noah Tahl

    Video is now private.

    1. udi tirosh Avatar
      udi tirosh

      Wouldn’t you set your video to private if it was framing you?

      1. Noah Tahl Avatar
        Noah Tahl

        It’s not framing them; it’s actual evidence of their crime shot by another visitor, Jeffh34, so he was the one who has made it private. I am curious as to why, unless it also shows the he violated the park rules.

  16. Melissa Matejka Buckley Avatar
    Melissa Matejka Buckley

    Actually they will ruin it for the rest of us. No one will be allowed.

    1. Joe Clay Avatar
      Joe Clay

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. I’ve never been there, but I’m sure by the time I get there there will probably be larger fences to ruin the view.

  17. Jennifer Cochrane Lamping Avatar
    Jennifer Cochrane Lamping

    Oh my gosh! And then they sue the park service for their injuries because they broke the law!!

  18. Remfire Avatar

    They file off the buses single file, don’t get in there way, run you over, always going to have some groups who don’t give a sh/t

  19. Adam Lenz Avatar
    Adam Lenz

    The predominant ignorance in Yellowstone park in the summer does lean toward a certain nationality that frequently disregards rules and personal space. I was there last year and really have no want to return.

    1. Cristina Juesas Avatar
      Cristina Juesas

      I also was there last year and it was disgusting :(

  20. Bucky Goldstein Avatar
    Bucky Goldstein

    I recall a story about some monks that spend hours creating sand art only to wipe it away when finished. A lesson that nothing is permanent .. well except stupidity, we never seem to run out of that.

  21. MacNutz2 . Avatar
    MacNutz2 .

    When I first saw this, I knew, before reading anything, the nationality of the destructive tourists. Idiots are every where but tourists from a couple of Asian countries, particularly China, are notoriously racist and disrespectful of other customs, cultures, and people.
    They are greatly disliked by people in many Asian countries because they and the Japanese view other Asians as inferiors.
    This is not about race, but about the odd culture of superiority found among many Chinese and Japanese people.

  22. Eric Avatar

    I like travelled and I think the problem are not coming only of the social media, a lot of people don’t respect the rules when is are outside of their country.

  23. mjones Avatar

    Saw the same blatant disrespect and disregard of posted signs earlier this summer at Rocky Mountain National Park where a large group of Asian tourists were traipsing all over the fragile permafrost to take selfies.

  24. Claudia Hacker Avatar
    Claudia Hacker

    You can’t fix stupid, but maybe nature can. I was in Yellowstone last year when we were moving away from a bison situation per a Yellowstone ranger. Coming towards us was a group of Asian tourists with babies. They were told to hold back moving forward until the these was gone. They ignored the threat and proceeded to mix among the bison who also had babies. It was fortunate no one was hurt but was it worth ignoring the warning by a ranger for that picture?
    Any group, regardless of ethnicity, that blatantly disregards safety rules and rules that protect our ecosystem in our National Parks should be prosecuted. I applaud the person who shot this video, and I hope the offenders were found and thrown out of the park.

  25. homesickyank Avatar

    The problem is that many foreign tourists do not come from a culture where they have been exposed to real (as opposed to contrived) natural settings. They are not educated in the dangers and the fragility of the wild. Another problem is that with the upswing in foreign tourism (hey, we need their money!), the underfunded parks rarely provide information in other languages. And when they do, it is often a poor translation. Hubby is not a native speaker of English and we visited a national historic site this summer.
    They had brochures in his language and they were terrible! I think they used google translation which was often unintelligible. Further more, the Republican Congress has cut so much from the NPS budget, that they do not have enough rangers to keep an eye on popular places and to guide and educate visitors.

  26. RoadrageinWY Avatar

    Contrary to a couple of statements I saw in here, the park furnishes handouts in several languages enumerating the dangers in the park as you pay your fee at the entrance. There is no excuse for this – – people just think they’re entitled to do what they want, and there isn’t always a ranger close by to stop them. It’s a shame. I can’t even feel sorry for people who get themselves badly burned or gored by a buffalo – rules are there for a reason! Pay attention, have respect for our natural wonders or stay the hell home!

  27. Renlish Avatar

    Experienced this in other environmentally sensitive places – and I have observed that it’s mostly the Asian (Chinese, Thai, etc) that do this sort of rubbish. Pleading ignorance for a bland photo of them standing beside something that they often know bloody well that they shouldn’t be near.

  28. disqus_8D8ED07boI Avatar

    To some taking photos and video in dangerous locations is more important than living. Here these people do not know what controls a geyser.

  29. CanonMinolta Avatar

    Perhaps it is time for the Park Service to charge extra for large/medium buses/vans full of tourists and use the money to either ride along with them (yes, like a guard) or place rangers at the locations at witch these groups stop or both. This would be useful for the tourists from Asia, which seems to have to biggest problems being respectful, but wold work for all large groups. One way to do this is to raise fees for large/medium groups. The tour operators would pay it, but would get it back from the tourists.

    And to prevent what happened with the Canadian guys ruining park resources by filming commercials in several parks, placing camera at strategic locations may be in order. There would have to be someone monitoring them however, which also costs money. The park Service could get needed funds to monitor these resources is to raise fees to pay for some cameras and the people to monitor them. Park fees are cheap, so raising prices for these specific reasons would make sense.

    It would be better to pay higher fees and keep the resources than to leave everything as it is and risk losing them.

  30. mobilelover Avatar

    This is just rude and stupid.
    They would be pissed if tourists went to their temples and stick their fingers at their Buddha statues.
    I’m glad you posted this videos. I’m going to share this on the Thailand photography sites.

    1. Joe Clay Avatar
      Joe Clay

      I don’t get why people can be so cavalier about other people’s land and but would be supremely offended if someone did something like this in their country.

      1. mobilelover Avatar

        I agree.

  31. Michael M Avatar
    Michael M

    People like this who put their own selfish needs before others, environment and law deserve massive community service and massive fines. There is no excuse for selfish losers like this to not pay a price.

  32. Susan Avatar

    My husband and I just returned from Yellowstone/Jackson. I appreciate this article as we were extremely frustrated with the lack of respect of the Asian tour groups everywhere we hiked or traveled through Yellowstone.
    This video pretty well sums up the ignorance and entitled attitudes these visitors to OUR COUNTRY have. They all think it’s funny to stand where they are not permitted, stop traffic, stand in the middle of the road, and push their way passed anyone in thier path.
    If US citizens travel to Asia, what would the outcome be if we climb a Buddha? If we scream in a temple?
    There were so many other people who felt the aggravation, it was completely evident.
    Our joy, thankfully was greater than our upset.