Hiker Finds Pipe Feeding China’s Tallest Waterfall

A social media controversy has erupted in China following a hiker’s video post, which unveiled that water from Yuntai Mountain Waterfall, hailed as China’s tallest uninterrupted waterfall, was sourced from a concealed pipe within the rock face. Since its release, the clip has amassed over 70,000 likes, prompting extensive online discourse. The Yuntai tourism park operators admitted to implementing this “small enhancement” during the dry season to ensure visitors felt their journey was worthwhile.

“The one about how I went through all the hardship to the source of Yuntai Waterfall only to see a pipe,” the caption of the video posted by user “Farisvov” reads.

The video captioned by the user “Farisvov” noted the irony of reaching the waterfall’s source only to find a pipe. This revelation led to the trending topic “the origin of Yuntai Waterfall is just some pipes,” amassing over 14 million views on Weibo and nearly 10 million on Douyin.

The uproar prompted local government officials to investigate, urging the park to inform tourists about such enhancements in advance. In response, the park issued a statement from the waterfall itself, explaining the seasonal adjustments and expressing regret over the unexpected revelation.

“As a seasonal scenery I can’t guarantee that I will be in my most beautiful form everytime you come to see me,” it adds.

“I made a small enhancement during the dry season only so I would look my best to meet my friends.”

Situated in the UNESCO Global Geopark of Yuntai Mountain in central Henan province, the 312-meter Yuntai Falls attract millions of visitors each year, drawn by its ancient geological formations. Park officials reassured that the spring water used for pumping would not harm the natural landscape.

“Yuntai park: Does this person not have better things to do?” a comment liked nearly 40,000 times on Douyin reads.

“I think it’s a good thing to do. Otherwise people would be disappointed if they end up seeing nothing there,” a user on Weibo said.

Public reaction has been mixed. Many social media users empathized with the park’s decision, appreciating the effort to maintain the waterfall’s appeal during dry seasons. For instance, a popular Douyin comment criticized the hiker for not having more significant concerns, while a Weibo user praised the park’s initiative to prevent visitor disappointment. However, there was also notable criticism. Some users argued that the artificial enhancement disrespected nature and deceived tourists, questioning the authenticity of the waterfall’s title as the “No.1 waterfall.”

“It’s not respecting the natural order, and not respecting the tourists,” a Weibo user wrote.

“How could it be called the No.1 waterfall anymore,” another user commented on Douyin.

This incident is not unprecedented in China, as the Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou province has relied on a water diversion project since 2006 to sustain its flow during dry periods.

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