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Yosemite visitor shares video of fellow tourist hopping over safety rail for waterfall stunt: 'Gives me anxiety just looking at it'

"My heart was beating fast."

"My heart was beating fast."

Photo Credit: Instagram

A visit to Yosemite National Park is sure to provide some barely believable sights. From the stunning views to the incredible rock formations, and, of course, the breathtaking waterfalls.

One tourist certainly couldn't believe what they were witnessing when looking down at Vernal Fall, but that wasn't because of the cascading water.

They posted a video to the TouronsOfNationalParks (@touronsofnationalparks) Instagram page showing another visitor posing for pictures on the cliff edge after climbing over a safety fence.

"I lost brain cells witnessing this," said Maddie Hopkins (@madisonxhopkins), who captured the heart-stopping footage.

The tourist was crouching with their back to the abyss for the photoshoot, and they even pretended to dive off the edge at one point. 

For some Instagrammers, it was too much to bear. "Gives me anxiety just looking at it," one user said, with another adding: "Oh that makes my stomach hurt watching this." 

"Anybody else thought he was gonna slip?" said a third. "My heart was beating fast."

According to Yosemite National Park's website, Vernal Fall is 317 feet high. While it's by no means the highest waterfall in the area of stunning natural beauty, a fall from the summit toward the rocks at the bottom would not end well. 

This particular tourist not only put themselves in danger, but they likely caused some damage to the rock structure, eroding the cliff edge. Barriers and fences in national parks not only keep visitors safe, but they protect the natural world, too. Unfortunately, this type of thing isn't an isolated incident, with another recent case even involving the same Vernal Fall overlook.  

There is absolutely no need to scale these protective features for the sake of a picture. Some visitors might think they are demonstrating their appreciation for nature with such audacious snaps, but all they do is show a lack of respect. 

"These people need to be [banned] from all National Parks for life," another commenter said, before pointing out another troubling factor of this person's actions. "Not to protect them but to protect the rescuers that have to put their own life at risk if [they fall]."

Indeed, the treacherous rocks at the base of the falls and the fast-flowing water will put anyone trying to save a life in peril. 

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