Two tourists face criminal charges for taking a dangerously close look at Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park, officials said.
The men were photographed last week at the edge of Old Faithful, peering down into the natural wonder — apparently unaware that they could have been seriously burned, or worse, if the boiling hot water had erupted, as it does every hour.
The tourists, one with a phone in his right hand and apparently taking an up-close-and-personal snapshot of Old Faithful, ignored signs that are prominent on trails throughout the park, a witness said.
“And no, there is no barrier. They simply stepped off the boardwalk,” a woman who took pictures of the misbehaving tourists told NBC News on Monday.
They usually have park rangers roaming around, chasing people out of the off-limits areas. Of course, there are dozens of other way to injure yourself: falling into hot pools, being blasted by steam vents, stepping off a cliff, taunting the wildlife, crashing your car while gazing at the scenery, getting lost in the back country… With thousands of tourists a day, there is enough bad judgment to win some Darwin Awards.