In the past few weeks, videos of Bison “fleeing” the Yellowstone National Park have gone viral on Facebook and other social media sites. According to the description accompanying the video, bison and other animals were fleeing the national park, possibly due to an upcoming eruption of the supervolcano the park rests on. Now the park is trying to fight this negative perception.
The Bison aren’t running away from the park says a spokesman for Yellowstone, but are actually trying to find more hospitable land that isn’t covered in snow at this time of the year. The bison are apparently moving towards the volcano, rather than away from it.
Officials stress that it isn’t unusual to see bison migrate in and out of the park at a regular basis.
The park also suffered a 4.7 magnitude earthquake, its largest in three decades, but that too, isn’t a sign of an imminent eruption. The earthquake originated at a fault just north of the caldera boundary. According to Bob Smith, a professor at the University of Utah, that means the quakes come from seismic faults, not maga below the earth’s surface.
If the volcano does erupted, although it isn’t anticipated to for tens of thousands of years, it will likely have a catastrophic effect on the entire planet’s ecosystem and would have a chance to cause a mass extinction event.
So, it appears, we don’t have anything to worry about.