A photographer has captured stunning drone footage of a rare “reverse waterfall” in Utah.
Photographer RJ Hooper filmed the gravity-defying phenomenon in Kayenta in Ivins, Utah on January 16.
According to Fox13, strong winds ripped across the state of Utah that day creating intense updrafts along a cliff in Kayenta that caused the waterfall to spray back upwards.
Hooper’s drone footage shows powerful gusts blowing the waterfall’s stream in reverse and back up a steep cliff.
A reverse waterfall is often considered to be one of the rarest and most spectacular sights in nature.
‘My Drone Struggled’
In a post on his Facebook page, Hooper writes of the drone footage: “Seriously the most incredible day for such unique conditions.”
He says the one-minute aerial footage of the reverse water was “just a small snippet” of the “hours of content” he shot that day.
Hooper recalls how the phenomenon of a reverse waterfall is extremely uncommon. Conditions have to be perfect for the rain to wash over the cliffs, let alone flow in “reverse.”
“In the last 20 years I can only remember a couple of times the waterfalls in Kayenta (Utah) flowed backwards,” Hooper adds.
The photographer also notes that he encountered difficulties controlling his drone camera against the strong winds.
Hooper says: “My drone struggled against the 60 mph wind over the cliff edge!”
A Rare Phenomenon
A reverse waterfall is a phenomenon in which water is blown upward due to strong wind in waterfalls.
Meteorologists say they occur when high winds above about 75 kilometers per hour come off the ocean and hit the cliffs with such force that it pushes the water back up the way it came — giving an apparent perception of water flowing upwards.
In 2020, PetaPixel reported on aerial footage of the incredible reverse waterfalls that were seen over cliffs in Royal National Park just outside Sydney, Australia.
The reverse waterfalls were a result of torrential rains combined with high wind speeds off the coast of Australia. As those winds hit the sheer cliff face, they did so with such force that they pushed the waterfalls into the air and back onto land.