Drone crashes in National Park as nature and technology collide

A drone has crashed into a hot spring at Yellowstone National Park, potentially endangering the geothermal site.

The incident highlights the dangers of allowing anyone to buy and operate a drone.

This particular drone had a camera built-in and was being used by a tourist to capture photos of the Grand Prismatic hot spring. This has happened since a ban on unmanned aerial vehicles was announced by the National Park Service in June.

The worry is that the fragile hot spring may be damaged by the drone. The geothermal spring is the third largest in the world, attracting three million visitors a year. It has stunningly vivid colours which are the result of the minerals and bacteria in the water. Crashing a drone into that ecosystem may end up ruining it.

The spring is 121 feet deep, 370 feet in diameter and reaches temperatures of around 70 degrees Celsius. Park spokesman Al Nash said: "What we have to determine is whether the presence of this radio-controlled recreational aircraft poses a threat to that unique resource."

It's a tough time for technology and nature. While drones offer new angles for photographs and videos, are they worth risking destroying the nature they're trying to capture? Perhaps drone pilot licences could be a way to curtail accidents and lower risks in the future. The skies will be filling up with drones so it seems like something will need to happen soon.

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