New Zealand Mud Pools
YouTube/Guardian News/Rotorua Lakes Council

Huge Boiling Mud Pool Opens Up in New Zealand Family's Yard

A volcanic phenomenon of boiling mud caused a New Zealand family to evacuate their home.

A bubbling mud crater suddenly opened up in the yard of a suburban Rotorua, New Zealand home, causing a family to flee, uncertain of the fate of their house and property.

The New Zealand Herald said the mud pool opened up early on Tuesday morning, and was cordoned off.

Susan Gedye lived in the house with her family, and has been evacuated until the property can be secured. At this point, it's not sure that will happen.

Here's a Guardian video report from the scene.

"We saw steam venting under pressure from the lip at the back and subsequent boiling and mud being ejected from the site," said geothermal and regulatory inspector Peter Brownbridge, as reported in a CNN article. "At the moment we are just letting it take its course—the resident has been moved out of the house for precaution and we've fenced off at the top there just to stop people coming too close," he added.

The Rotorua Lakes Council has said it's "essential" people stay clear of the area, as geothermal activity is "unpredictable." A boiling mud pool like this one poses a serious threat.

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??Please stay well clear of the geothermal activity that has emerged on Meade Street in Whakarewarewa.?? . Currently an area around the site has been cordoned off and it is essential that people stay on the outside of the cordoned area. Geothermal activity is unpredictable and while the ground may look safe it is currently unstable and could change at any time. Please ensure that children are supervised at all times if in the area. . Early on Tuesday morning (25 June) Council received a report that the ground was shaking and a loud noise was coming from the bank behind a house on Meade St. Since then an active mud pool has developed at the site and a safety cordon has been put in place. Read more at . #rotorua #geothermal #mudpool

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Geothermal mud pools are not uncommon in this part of New Zealand, where dealing with the effects of volcanic activity is a day-to-day experience. On the morning this particular pool opened up, Gedye felt the earth shaking, and assuming it was an earthquake. She told Radio New Zealand that by the time she'd looked outside, she saw "a big geyser coming out of the ground."

Although hot springs are found in much of the island nation, the region between Rotorua and Taupo to the south has the highest concentration of hot springs, geysers, sulfuric hot pools, silica terraces, bubbling mud, and geothermal features on Earth.