CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Most Americans are familiar with the geysers and hot springs that make Yellowstone National Park one of the most popular parks in the country, but what happens when that geothermal activity goes rogue?
Yellowstone discovered the answer to that question on Thursday when one of the park's roads melted into a hot, oily mess. The National Parks Service posted a photo of the damage to the park's official website.
"It basically turned the asphalt into soup," park spokesman Dan Hottle told USA Today reporters. "It turned the gravel road into oatmeal."
The extreme heat apparently caused hot oil to rise to the asphalt on Firehole Lake Drive, a 3.3-mile loop in the park.
Thanks to the literal hot mess, Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser and Firehole Lake are closed to motorists and hikers until further notice.
"There are plenty of other great places to see thermal features in the park," Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash told The Associated Press. "I wouldn't risk personal injury to see these during this temporary closure."