Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

Yes, ‘Top Secret Waterfalls’ are stunning...but those vistas have a dark side.

Angela Latham admiring Burney Falls from shore in Burney, California as seen on Travel Channel's Top Secret Waterfalls episode TTWF101H.

Photo by: Citizen Pictures

Citizen Pictures

The ladies of TLC knew what they were about when they sang that their listeners should “[p]lease stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to.” Most people consider that famous chorus a metaphor, but have you given serious thought to how tragic actual cascades can be? Delight and despair are two sides of the same waterfall. Consider the following perks and consequences of seeking them out.

Belen Lois, Federico Suriani, Alejandro Plata, and Eli Lucas posing next to Rio Celesete Waterfall in Catarata de Rio Celeste, Costa Rica as seen on Travel Channel's Top Secret Waterfalls episode TTWF101H.

Photo by: Citizen Pictures

Citizen Pictures

Pro: Your pictures will pretty much win social media (and regular media, if you’re the kind of person who sends holiday cards or ‘family newsletters’). You instantly have a killer Facebook profile photo, a new, humblebraggy desktop wallpaper for your computer—you get the idea.

Con: Literally and figuratively, where can you go from there? Are you going to take up skydiving next year? It goes without saying that you can’t expect a big reaction for sharing a photo of your desk lunch ever again. 

Stephanie Blozejik, Taigo Po Frorap, Caio Lopes Vieira, and Jorge Lucas Lopes Caetano posing next to Fumacinha Falls in Chapada Diamantina National Park, Brazil as seen on Travel Channel's Top Secret Waterfalls episode TTSWF101H.

Photo by: Citizen Pictures

Citizen Pictures

Pro: Scientists have demonstrated that high concentrations of negative ions (not unlike the ones generated by tumbling water) can significantly improve symptoms of depression. One might argue that waterfalls are the ultimate natural high.

Con: Air that’s chock-full of water vapor, in turn, is the ultimate natural bad hair day. So much for the expensive blowout you got back at the resort before your romantic hike. 

Whitney Stroup walking under rocks near Great Falls in Rock Island, Tennessee as seen on Travel Channel's Top Secret Waterfalls episode TTWF101H.

Photo by: Citizen Pictures

Citizen Pictures

Pro:  A solo swim surrounded by scenery is the stuff bucket lists are made of. If the falls themselves aren’t too thundering, you might even get a massage out of the deal. 

Con: Getting to far-flung spots can be a bit of a scramble, to put it mildly. Are you prepared for rock climbing in a bikini?  If you lose your top, that sucker’s gone.

Small rain waterfall next to Great Falls in Rock Island, Tennessee as seen on Travel Channel's Top Secret Waterfalls episode TTWF101H.

Photo by: Citizen Pictures

Citizen Pictures

Pro: Everyone knows pirates hide treasure behind waterfalls. You could strike it rich!

Con: If you do find treasure, it could be cursed, and who wants to be pursued by vengeful ghost pirates? Even if that doesn’t happen, you’ll be pursued by family, friends, and “friends” who want a piece of your fortune. What a hassle.

Akafwequa, Josh Nelson, Jack, and Angel admiring view near Ngonye Falls in Sioma Village, Zambia, Africa as seen on Travel Channel's Top Secret Waterfalls episode TTWF101H.

Photo by: Citizen Pictures

Citizen Pictures

Pro: You can totally get naked at a secluded waterfall.

Con: Time it badly, and strangers will totally see you naked at a secluded waterfall. 

Josh Nelson sitting next to Ngonye Falls in Sioma Village, Zambia, Africa as seen on Travel Channel's Top Secret Waterfalls episode TTWF101H.

Photo by: Citizen Pictures

Citizen Pictures

Pro: Some would argue that nothing makes you feel quite so alive as the rush of adrenaline that courses through your body at the edge of a precipice.

Con: How to put this delicately? You could just straight-up fall to your death. 

Despite these warnings, we know that you’re gonna have it your way or nothing at all. Tune in for the premiere of Brazil’s Fumacinha Falls this Sunday, January 29, at 10pm|9c.

 

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