15 Things You Might Not Know About Yellowstone National Park

Everyone should travel to Yellowstone National Park at least once in their life. I did a couple of years ago, but there’s so much to see that you’d have to spend weeks there to even scratch the surface. Which means, of course, that there’s a lot to learn about the huge park. It’s got geysers, volcanos, extremophiles, and more wildlife than you can shake a stick at. But don’t do that -the animals may find it annoying. You don’t want to annoy bears, bison, and wolves. And the things you don’t see are interesting, too.

13. YELLOWSTONE IS THE SUBJECT OF A LEGAL ANOMALY.

All Yellowstone National Park territory falls under the legal jurisdiction of the United States District Court for the District of Wyoming. However, only 96 percent of Yellowstone falls within Wyoming state lines; the remaining four percent is split between Montanan and Idahoan land. This makes Wyoming’s the only district court to oversee land in more than one state.

14. THE PARK HAS ITS OWN JUDICIAL SYSTEM.

The previous point is more than just legal trivia. While Yellowstone offers a treasure trove of spectacles that any visitor should make a point to see, the park’s jail isn’t a must-see destination. As of 2006, Yellowstone boasts its own justice system, which includes a courtroom, presiding judge, and four holding cells. Furthermore, major crimes that occur on park grounds fall under the legal jurisdiction of one specifically assigned FBI Agent.

Read more of the history, features, and trivia of Yellowstone National Park at mental_floss. 

(Image credit: Daniel Mayer)


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I've been there twice. But was only able to spend a day or less there each time. The first time I was there we had to leave because my mom is allergic to sulfur and her throat was starting to close up. We didn't know smelling the sulfur would cause that to happen. The second time I was able to visit, I was traveling with friends and they could only stay one day. I did get to see a lot of wildlife and Old Faithful each time but would love to be able to explore a lot further.
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