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    No, Yellowstone geyser isn't shooting out lava | Fact check

    By Chris Mueller, USA TODAY,

    26 days ago

    The claim: Image shows lava erupting from geyser at Yellowstone National Park

    A June 17 Facebook post ( direct link , archive link ) shows lava and a large cloud of smoke erupting from a ridge.

    "Breaking: Yellowstone Lava Geyser," reads the post's caption. "For the first time in recorded human history, lava has shot out of one of the geysers in Yellowstone National Park. This following (sic) 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. We will continue to update you with more information as it surfaces."

    Many of the nearly 2,000 people who shared the post believed it to be legitimate. Comments on the post included, "Hopefully no one was injured" and "It’s just nature, saying look what I can do."

    More from the Fact-Check Team: How we pick and research claims | Email newsletter | Facebook page

    Our rating: Satire

    The image is a screenshot from a years-old video that shows volcanic activity in Hawaii. The claim was posted by an account that labels itself as satire.

    Yellowstone lava geyser claim posted by satirical account

    There are over 500 geysers around Yellowstone, more than anywhere else on Earth , according to the National Park Service. A geyser is a rare type of hot spring with constrictions in its plumbing that makes it periodically erupt to release pressure that builds up, sending water and steam into the air.

    But the image in the post doesn't show lava shooting out of one of the park's geysers. Rather, it's a screenshot from a July 2008 video of "lava entering the ocean" near the Hawaiian town of Kalapana, according to a version of the video posted on YouTube in April 2014 by the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes . In 1990, a lava flow from Kilauea , the volcano mentioned in the video's description, destroyed most of Kalapana , covering roads and destroying nearly 200 homes .

    The claim was posted by a satirical Facebook account called Casper Planet , which labels itself as "satire, humor and opinion," and says "names/locations are made up." It shared a nearly identical post with the same image in 2017.

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    The post references a "string of earthquakes," but earthquakes aren't unusual in the Yellowstone area, which has about 700 to 3,000 annually , though most aren't felt, the National Park Service says. The post also mentions NASA, but there's nothing matching the post in the agency's news releases or on its social media accounts . Yellowstone's website includes a page for alerts about park conditions , but there are no warnings remotely similar to the Facebook post's claims.

    The U.S. Geological Survey routinely monitors Yellowstone for volcanic activity using seismographs to observe earthquakes and GPS to look for ground motion. The agency says on its website that it "has not detected any signs of activity that suggest an eruption is imminent."

    USA TODAY has previously debunked false claims about Yellowstone, including that a 100-foot-wide crack opened up in the park and that it was closed due to "volcanic uplift. "

    Our fact-check sources:

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    USA TODAY is a verified signatory of theInternational Fact-Checking Network, which requires a demonstrated commitment tononpartisanship, fairness and transparency. Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant fromMeta .

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: No, Yellowstone geyser isn't shooting out lava | Fact check

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