Ice Caves with Rainbow-Colored Lights may be Dangerous, US Officials Warn

Rainbow Ice Caves

Astounding photographs of “rainbow ice caves” at Mount Rainier National Park in the United States prompted the National Park Service to warn about the dangers of exploring these caves. The photographs were taken from within one of the ice caves in the national park by nature photographer Mathew Nicholas. Underneath the summer snow, a meltwater channel was visible. “I couldn’t believe what I saw. I traveled to Mount Rainier specifically to explore the ice caves, but I had no idea they would be so COLORFUL,” Mr. Nicholas has written on Instagram. Natural algae and light refraction cause cold, crystallized colors, and the thickness of the ice control how widely they are dispersed. Mathew Nichols anticipated blue-green hues but was blown away by the psychedelic, surreal spectrum on display.

However, despite the caves’ stunning appearance, NPS officials strongly advised against any attempts at exploration. In a press release, they claimed that the ice caves are prone to sudden collapse because of the accelerated melting at this time of year. In addition, the officials noted that the meltwater channel that ran beneath a perennial snowfield could be hazardous.

The press release stated, “Collapse or ice and rock falls could be fatal or cause serious injuries to those who enter or approach the entrance.”

“Those who enter these channels/caves are at risk for hypothermia due to cold air temperatures and even colder snowmelt water flowing from the snowfield. As stream crossing dangers increase in the afternoon, the volume of internal meltwater will rise throughout the day,” it added.

According to NPS officials, several ice caves that once existed in the national park have since vanished due to the warming climate. Today, only ephemeral and unstable caves and channels exist. In 1980, the park closed the historic ice caves due to unsafe conditions, such as chunks of ice and flakes, some the size of a small car, falling from the cave ceiling, according to the NPS.

Visitors are cautioned that in addition to the risks posed by falling objects, the combination of the cave’s chilly air and even colder meltwater from the snowfield puts them at risk for hypothermia. Before entering the caves, the NPS has urged visitors to take every precaution. They also emphasized that Nichols’ photographs revealed a meltwater channel beneath a perennial snowfield.

There are many more dangerous things for tourists to encounter in the national parks of the United States than just ice caves

A park employee found the person’s remains in a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park in August. Bison cause the most injuries in Yellowstone National Park, according to park officials, but visitors should also be on the watchful for grizzly bears, black bears, and moose. This summer, Yellowstone National Park was temporarily closed due to heavy flooding.

A foot discovered floating in a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park was linked to death on July 31. On August 16, a park employee found a foot encased in a shoe in one of Yellowstone’s deepest hot springs, Abyss Pool. In a statement released on August 19, authorities stated that the foot could be related to an incident involving a single person on July 31 and that they do not suspect foul play. They did not elaborate on why they did not suspect foul play, and they did not identify the deceased individual.

Three weeks after discovering a human foot floating in a Yellowstone hot spring, Yellowstone National Park officials still cannot identify the foot. Linda Veress, a representative of the park, told the Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday that she could not comment on the foot, the shoe, or any other aspect of the case because authorities have not made a conclusive identification of the appendage that was discovered floating in a shoe on August 16.

“Once we have this information, we will release additional information,” Veress said.

Since 1890, at least 22 people have died due to hot spring-related injuries in and around the 3,471-square-mile national park, according to park officials. In June 2016, Colin Nathaniel Scott, 23, of Portland, Oregon, left a boardwalk in the Norris Geyser Basin, slipped on some gravel when he tried to determine the temperature, was unable to do so and fell into a boiling, acidic spring. There was no significant human remains to recover.

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