Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park Just Set Record for Shortest Time Between Eruptions

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A geyser being a geyser, Yellowstone National Park. Credit: Peter Gonzalez | Unsplash

Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park set a record earlier this month for the shortest recorded interval between eruptions, at just over three days. The geyser’s shortest rest between noted eruptions occurred June 15 when it blasted steam and water into the air only three days, three hours and 48 minutes after its previous spouting June 12.

Previous quick recharges included a 1982 eruption after only four days, 19 hours and 43 minutes. On June 15, 2018, it went off after four days, 15 hours, 49 minutes. And on Sept. 12, 2018, it gushed forth after four days, 18 hours and 3 minutes, reports the Billings Gazette.

When asked for an explanation as to why,  expert Michael Manga, of the University of California, Berkeley said:

“I wish I could tell you! I think this is what makes Steamboat, and geysers in general, so fascinating is that there are these questions we can’t answer.”

For those unwilling to wait on Steamboat’s unknown eruption times, there’s still Old Faithful geyser a short drive away. True to its name, Old Faithful guarantees visitors an eruption every half hour to an hour-and-a-half. Although maybe not as tall (140 to 190 feet) or as loud as Steamboat, Old Faithful is still an impressive and unusual site.

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