Yellowstone Lava Geyser Erupts for First Time in Human History-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A Yellowstone Lava Geyser has erupted at the national park for the first time in recorded history after earthquakes shook Montana and Wyoming in early July 2017.

The Truth:

A self-identified satirical social media handle is behind false reports about a Yellowstone geyser spewing lava for the first time in recorded human history.

A Facebook account dubbed Casper Planet posted a “breaking” news story about the Yellowstone lava geyser on July 7, 2017, shortly after moderate earth quakes shook portions of Montana and Wyoming.

The post, which had been shared nearly 78,000 times within days, states that “directly after a string of earthquakes in Montana and very rural Wyoming. Geologists, NASA and an oil rig drilling crew are already on scene to document this never recorded event and try to find the cause.”

yellowstone lava geyser
Casper Planet, a self-described satirical social media channel, is behind false reports about a Yellowstone lava geyser.

It’s true that a magnitude 5.8 earthquake rattled Lincoln, Montana, and rural parts of Wyoming on July 6, 2017, the U.S. Geological Survey reports. The account of a Yellowstone lava geyser following the earthquake, however, are completely fabricated. Casper Planet describes itself as “Delivering the news that doesn’t matter directly to your news feed with a big side order of satire!” — and posts that appear there shouldn’t be taken seriously.

It’s fairly common for satirical or fake news stories to include a kernel of truth. In this case, that’s the earthquake that struck Montana and Wyoming — and, to a lesser extent, long-running theories that Yellowstone National Park is threatened by a massive volcano that is on the verge of erupting.

That rumor, which has been around since the early 2000s, is built on the facts that Yellowstone was formed by a volcanic eruption 600,000 years ago, and that a gigantic underground volcano lurks beneath the park today. However, as we previously reported, experts have described underground activity at the park as geothermal, not volcanic, and reports of a imminent threat have not resulted in volcanic activity there over the last 15 years or so.

In the end, reports of a Yellowstone lava geyser that surfaced in July 2017 were intended to be satirical — and earlier theories about imminent volcanic activity at the park have yet to pan out. That’s why we’re calling this one “fiction.”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

yellowstone lava geyser
Casper Planet, a self-described satirical social media channel, is behind false reports about a Yellowstone lava geyser.