Steam-Powered Time Travel

Peter King of Sports Illustrated inspired the idea-tripping title of this post with an anecdote about Old Faithful:

…Yellowstone National Park ranger, Jim Evanoff… told us one of the most amazing things I’d heard in a while.

When Old Faithful erupts at Yellowstone, the water gushing out of the ground is more than 600 years old, scientists have told Evanoff. That’s how long it takes the mountain snow to melt, run down through rivers and streams into the ground, and then percolate below the earth and explode into the sky every 93 minutes (give or take 10 minutes) at very high temperatures.

“That means,” Evanoff told our group, some of whom would be visiting Yellowstone the next day and witnessing Old Faithful, “that the geysers you’ll see tomorrow are formed from water that entered the earth before Christopher Columbus discovered America.”

I’m pretty sure that’s also how long it took for hot water to get going in the shower at my old apartment in Van Nuys.