Steamboat Geyser Erupts In Yellowstone: Watch World’s Tallest Geyser Blow Its Top In Amazing Surprise Explosion [VIDEO]

By Philip Ross on August 2, 2013 3:16 PM EDT

steamboat geyser
The Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park erupted Wednesday, giving guests a surprising show. (Photo: Reuters)

Steamboat Geyser erupted in Yellowstone National Park this week, giving park guests a surprise show. According to NBC, the amazing eruption lasted nine minutes and spewed boiling hot water hundreds of feet into the air, awing visitors who rushed to pull out their cameras. Looks like Steamboat Geyser knows how to put on a performance.

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Unlike other park geysers that have predictable patterns of eruption, the fickle Steamboat Geyser is known to go dormant for months or even years at a time, and then blow it's top without warning. The park uses electronic monitors to measure when eruptions will occur, but Steamboat Geyser still manages to be unpredictable.

But on Wednesday, the world's tallest geyser decided to make a rare public appearance. The spout reached 200 to 300 feet in height, and lasted for just a few minutes before sputtering out to a pillar of steam. It's the first time Steamboat Geyser has erupted in over eight years.

"It was an amazing experience. This thing sounded like a locomotive," one park visitor, Robb Long, told NBC News. "Everybody was frantic, taking pictures. People were running down there trying to get to it before it went away, and park rangers were running around trying to gather up people so they didn't get too close."

The Steamboat Geyser is one of more than 300 active geysers in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park. It is also the world's largest active geyser, with massive eruptions that can reach up to 400 feet in the air and last as long as 40 minutes.

The Steamboat Geyser was dormant for 50 years between 1911 and 1961. One year, in 1964, it erupted 29 times.

"For us, it's exciting," Yellowstone spokesman Dan Hottie told CNN. "Every time you're down there, you wonder if that'll be the time that it erupts."

Luckily, 40 or so other park guests were able to witness the Steamboat Geyser eruption on Wednesday.

Here's video from Live Science Videos YouTube page of the Steamboat Geyser eruption in Yellowstone:

Read more from iScience Times:

Fly Geyser Erupting; Watch Nevada's Strangest Natural Wonder At Work [VIDEO]

Ted Turner Bison: Why Does Billionaire Have Yellowstone National Park Bison?

Most Famous Wolf Shot Outside Yellowstone: 832F Was A 'Rock Star' For Animal Watchers

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