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Video shows tourists putting themselves at risk for closer look above powerful rushing waterfall: 'Everyone thinks they're the exception'

"This type of behavior always ruins the experience of seeing the falls, for me."

"This type of behavior always ruins the experience of seeing the falls, for me."

Photo Credit: Instagram

A video showing tourists getting dangerously close to a waterfall at a national park will have many viewers instinctively moving back in their seats. 

The clip, posted to the Tourons of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks) Instagram account, reveals several people getting a closer look at a roaring waterfall at Yosemite, at what appears to be Vernal Fall. Some are hanging out just over the safety barrier. Others are walking on the rocks to get closer. Two are right by the edge — one standing, the other sitting.

"Water in Yosemite is incredibly beautiful, but can be powerful and deadly," the National Park Service explains on its website, sharing a list of water safety tips. It notes that the water is extremely cold, with the risk of hypothermia for swimmers. It also warns that even slow currents are faster than you expect them to be. 

Since the park opened in 1890, 53 deaths have involved waterfalls, according to a 2021 article by SFGate

Getting too close to a waterfall is dangerous not just for the visitors who disregard safety rules, but it's also a risk for the search and rescue teams that have to try to save the person. Recently, a tourist had to be saved at Long Canyon after jumping to a precarious cliff off the trail. Nature is beautiful, but it can be unpredictable. It's also easy to slip because the rocks are slick.

When tourists don't respect park rules, it can also be stressful for other visitors.

"This type of behavior always ruins the experience of seeing the falls, for me," one Instagram user wrote. 

Visiting places like this is supposed to increase awareness and the desire to protect nature. Waterfalls are a great example of how the ecosystem works. They don't always flow as powerfully as the video shows. According to the NPS website, the falls typically peak in May or June because of melting snow. 

The falls can be completely dry or only trickle in August, but late fall storms can rejuvenate them. In addition, the falls can have frost during winter nights.

Planning a vacation close to home can be a more planet-friendly type of retreat by reducing pollution from travel. In Yosemite, temperatures can impact when waterfalls are at their peak, as waterfalls are predominantly fed by snowmelt

Meanwhile, people in the comments had a lot to say about these tourists' behavior. 

One user noted: "People treat this place like it's Disneyland or something."

"Everyone thinks they're the exception," another said. 

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