China’s Tallest Waterfall Exposed As Fake By Hiker’s Shocking Discovery

Waterfall or waterfake?

China’s Tallest Waterfall Exposed As Fake By Hiker’s Shocking Discovery

Image: CNA

A hiker has exposed China’s tallest waterfall as fake sparking viral outrage and a fierce debate over its authenticity.

China can be relied on for a pretty out-there travel headline. Just take the self-proclaimed “time traveller” who grounded a flight last year or the airline that decided to put “dog food” on their in-flight menu as prime examples. However, where both of these can be easily dismissed as the work of one slightly hectic individual, this story represents a cover-up on a far larger scale…

The Hiker’s Revelation

An otherwise ordinary hike turned into a viral and awkward sensation when a bounding explorer stumbled upon a startling secret behind China’s tallest waterfall. Known for its breathtaking and uninterrupted flow, the Yuntai Mountain Waterfall in central Henan province has long been a must-see attraction for locals and travellers alike. However, this natural wonder’s reputation has recently come under scrutiny after the hiker released a video exposing an artificial enhancement hidden high in the rock face…

WATCH: The Video That Changed Everything

Posting under the username “Farisvov”, the hiker shared the video to native social media platforms Weibo and Douyin where it quickly gained massive traction with the public. The footage, which showed water flowing from a carefully concealed pipe, rather than naturally cascading down the mountain, has been liked over 70,000 times and predictably sparked a heated debate.

Expressing the hiker’s disappointment, the video caption reads:

“The one about how I went through all the hardship to the source of Yuntai Waterfall only to see a pipe…”

Yuntai Mountain Fall
Image: Yuntai Mountain Net

Park Response & Public Reaction

Operators of the Yuntai Mountain, a UNESCO Global Geopark, soon found themselves at the centre of the controversy. In response to the uproar, park officials admitted to installing the pipe to maintain the waterfall’s appearance during the dry season. They explained that this so-called “small enhancement” was intended to guarantee visitors a memorable and worthwhile experience when the natural water flow was… insufficient.

Pipe at the top of Yuntai Mountain Fall
The controversy-sparking pipe. Image: Douyin

In a slightly baffling turn, a spokesperson for the park posted a statement from the perspective of the waterfall itself, before emphasising that the water used in the pipe was spring water and assured the public that the enhancement would not harm the natural landscape:

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

Some social media users expressed understanding and support for the park: “I think it’s a good thing to do. Otherwise, people would be disappointed if they end up seeing nothing there.” Others, however, fiercely criticized the deception. One Weibo user lamented, “It’s not respecting the natural order, and not respecting the tourists.”

Sadly, this incident is not the first of its kind in China. Similar measures have been used to maintain the flow of other famous waterfalls, such as the Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou province, which has relied on water diversion projects since 2006.

How does ‘Pipegate’ land with you? Would you rather see a rocky outcrop with barely a dribble flowing across it or enjoy the blissful ignorance of a fake?