Hiker finds pipe feeding China’s tallest waterfall

A controversy over a waterfall has become a social media storm in China, even prompting an explanation from the body of water itself.

A hiker posted a video showing that the water flow of the Yuntai Mountain waterfall, considered the highest uninterrupted waterfall in China, came from a pipe built high into the rock face.

The clip has received more than 70,000 likes since it was first posted on Monday.

Yuntai tourist park operators said they made “small improvements” during the dry season to make visitors feel their trip was worth it.

“The one about how I went through all the difficulties to the source of Yuntai waterfall just to see a pipe,” says the legend of the video posted by user “Farisvov” says.

The topic “the origin of Yuntai waterfall is just some pipes” began to trend on all social networks.

It received more than 14 million views on Weibo and nearly 10 million views on Douyin, causing such a stir that local government officials were sent to the park to investigate.

They asked operators to learn lessons from the incident and explain improvements to tourists in advance, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

The park later posted on behalf of the waterfall saying, “I didn’t expect to meet everyone this way.”

“As a seasonal scenario, I can’t guarantee that I will be at my best every time you come to see me,” he adds.

“I did a small upgrade only during the dry season to look my best to meet my friends.”

Located in the central province of Henan, the 312-meter Yuntai Falls is located within the Yuntai Mountain Geopark, a UNESCO World Geopark.

Millions of visitors travel there each year, attracted by geological formations that date back more than a billion years.

Park officials told CCTV that the water they used to pump water into the falls was spring water, adding that it would not harm the natural landscape.

Many social media users seemed to understand the situation.

“Yuntai Park: Doesn’t this person have better things to do?” reads a comment that received almost 40,000 likes on Douyin.

“I think it’s a good thing. Otherwise people would be disappointed if they don’t see anything there in the end,” said one Weibo user.

But there are also criticisms.

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

“How could it still be called waterfall number one?” another user commented on Douyin.

It is not the first time that artificial measures have been used to “help” famous waterfalls in China.

Huangguoshu Waterfall, a famous tourist destination in the southwestern province of Guizhou, has been helped by a project to divert water from a nearby dam since 2006 to maintain its flow during the dry season.

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