Old Faithful Geyser

Old faithful geyser erupting

Old Faithful in full eruption

Just about everything you never knew about Old Faithful geyser!

Certainly one of the most well-known and frequently visited natural attractions in the United States, most people are very familiar with the Old Faithful geyser even if they aren’t sure of exactly what it is, how it formed, or how it erupts so consistently. It is certainly the most famous of Yellowstone geysers.

A central element and a big part of the lower of Yellowstone National Park, people from all over the world flock to the Old Faithful geyser site to catch a glimpse of this miracle of Mother Nature. The geyser has certainly earned its name in more ways than one (and we’ll break down a couple of them below), and nothing on the planet is more reliable than this!

To learn a little bit more about the Old Faithful geyser, including some details that you’ve likely never heard before, we’ve put together this quick guide!

The discoverers of this geyser used it as a laundry service

Originally discovered in 1870, the first explorers on the scene were absolutely astonished at how frequently Old Faithful spewed piping hot water (boiling hot water, for that matter) almost 200 feet in the air – and they quickly realize just how useful this geyser could be when the it to doing their laundry!

It was only after destroying a dozen or more articles of clothing that these early explorers realized that the ultra-hot water temperatures were going to be disastrous to wool, though they were able to clean their cotton and linen garments with no trouble at all.

Old Faithful Geyser vent hole

Old Faithful Geyser vent hole.

Pretty neat to think of an early expedition marveling at the majesty of this amazing feature of Mother Nature, all while using it to wash the sweat out of their underclothes!

Just how hot is the water pumping out of the Old Faithful geyser, anyway?

According to information published by the National Parks service responsible for monitoring the water temperature of Old Faithful, the temperature has been “stuck” at 244°F since the very first tests were conducted way back in 1942.

Not only does the Old Faithful geyser abrupt every 91 minutes (or so, give or take a handful of seconds here and there), but it also pumps out a water temperature that hasn’t changed in close to 80 years – and always shoots water between 145 feet and 185 feet in the air. She really is Old Faithful, after all!

Theodore Roosevelt Became Teddy Roosevelt Right Near Old Faithful

Today, hundreds of thousands of people from across the planet flock to Yellowstone National Park not only to lay their eyes on Old Faithful but also to enjoy everything that this amazing tract of land has to offer.

President Theodore Roosevelt himself was absolutely transfixed by the Yellowstone National Park site, so much so that he established the early legislation that would go on to found the National Park Service in the first place.

On one of his earliest expeditions to the Yellowstone site he had set out on a bear hunting trip, only to have terrible luck. He never even had the opportunity to see a bear while out in the wilderness. Not wanting to disappoint their world-famous client, the people behind the Yellowstone hunt captured a bear and encouraged Theodore Roosevelt to take it as a trophy.

Sparing the bear’s life and disgusted by the concept of killing an animal that was confined, Theodore Roosevelt’s story became famous across the country and a New York toy seller unveiled the “Teddy Bear” shortly after that.

Theodore Roosevelt had despised being called Teddy in his early years, but fell in love with the nickname – and the long-lasting legacy still on display today – once he heard about the stuffed animals.

Old Faithful sits on top of one of the largest volcanoes in the world – and she’s way overdue for an eruption!

A lot of people are very pleasantly surprised to discover just how large the Old Faithful geyser is when they first lay eyes upon it, but many of these visitors have absolutely no idea how much larger the super volcano lying dormant just beneath its surface is!

According to information published by the US geological survey in partnership with scientists from the University of Utah, the super volcano underneath the Old Faithful geyser is so enormous and so far reaching that it could flood enough hot magma into the Grand Canyon to fill it up completely 14 times over!

At the same time, many researchers believe that the Old Faithful geyser and her eruptions is one of the reasons that the super volcano beneath the surface of Yellowstone National Park hasn’t exploded in a few thousand years and likely won’t explode for a few thousand more.

These are regular and consistent eruptions help to alleviate a lot of the pressure and a lot of the heat that would have otherwise built up inside of the super volcano, forcing it to explode in a situation that would be four or five times larger than the one that occurred at Mount Saint Helens.

Even still, researchers do believe that the Old Faithful geyser will eventually be wiped off of the face of the world when the super volcano inevitably erupts – though the odds of that happening within the next 5000 years are about the same as the odds of you getting hit by lightning (or close to one in 700,000).

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