"Law of Ōkami: if there is a waterfall, there's a secret behind it."
Waterfalls aren't just pretty to look at, they're also great for hiding stuff. Who would ever think to look behind Niagara Falls
to find the hidden treasure of King Whatshisname II? And who would suspect that the Big Bad
would keep his reserve of Mooks
in a cave where nobody would dare enter? The rush of water alone would keep any sane person away.
This is geological Truth in Television
to a certain extent, as the churning water at the base of a waterfall erodes the rock behind it faster than the merely flowing water at the top. However, unlike their fictional counterparts, these caves tend to be shallow, flooded, incredibly wet and mossy
, and thoroughly devoid of Inexplicable Treasure Chests
Naturally, such a cave would be at the bottom of the Inevitable Waterfall
. If you try going that route before entering the hidden cave, chances are you'd be dead before you hit the bottom. But remember, as the Grand List
says, "There's always goodies behind the waterfall", so sometimes the risk is worth it.
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Anime And Manga
- The Wolf Demon clan's lair in InuYasha lays behind a waterfall.
- For maximum dramatic entrance potential, the hangar for Allen's airship the Crusade is located in a cave behind a waterfall in Vision of Escaflowne. Lampshaded by way of Zelda reference in The Abridged Series.
- A Naruto OVA introduces Takigakure, the Hidden Waterfall Village. Naturally, the whole village is one of these.
- In the main story, the entrance to the temple where Kumo's jinchuuriki learn to control their bijuu was located behind the Waterfall of Truth.
- Toriko had one, with delicious fish swimming inside it. Oh yeah, and the waterfall was 1000 meters thick.
- Gundam SEED: The main hangars at JOSH-A, the Earth Alliance's Alaska headquarters, is located behind a waterfall. The Earth Alliance even built a mechanism for parting the falls to allow the passage of ships and aircraft.
- Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: "Super Bem, the Synthetic Iron Beast" has a whole Galactor base hiding behind a waterfall. The 'garage door' swings upwards and outwards when being used.
- Tintin goes through one in "Prisoners of the Sun".
- The home of The Phantom is in a valley that can only be entered through a tunnel hidden by a waterfall.
- In the French graphic novel Pyrénée the Wild Child title character spends some time living with a wise old eagle in a cave behind a waterfall. The cave was once occupied by a human hermit, who left behind a cache of tinned food and some other interesting artifacts.
- In Lucifer, Mazikeen discovers her estranged mother Lilith's headquarters behind a fortified waterfall. Made of swords!
- In some versions of the Buck Rogers franchise, Buck's headquarters is hidden behind Niagara Falls.
- Batman often has one of the entrances to his Batcave behind a waterfall, usually the one that the Batmobile exits and enters, somewhere near Wayne Manor. So people do not find it, the waterfall is located at the end of a condemned road, and the Batmobile has to jump a cliff to reach it.
- In Last of the Mohicans, the plot not only hinges on one, but the last three Mohicans actually jump out from behind it to escape. (after passionately kissing the Monro girls behind the fall.) Also, it's shot on location; God knows how they recorded in there.
- In the film version of Eragon, the Varden's home base is hidden behind a waterfall. This is acceptable in Eragon.
- The Hidden City of Gold in The Road to El Dorado is in a valley that can only be entered through a tunnel hidden by a waterfall.
- Draco the dragon lived in a cave behind a waterfall in Dragonheart.
- In The Incredibles the entrance to Syndrome's hideout is a waterfall of lava with a mechanism that stylishly parts the water for a dry entrance.
- As well as the underwater cave where Mr. Incredible found the password.
- George of the Jungle attempts to "make Ursula George's mate" (with a gorilla courtship display, get your minds out of the gutter) in one of these, lampshaded by the narrator as the "really big and expensive waterfall set."
- The Tumbler exits the Batcave of Batman Begins by leaping through a waterfall.
- The Mask of Zorro has Zorro's hideout in a fairly visible cave behind a tiny waterfall.
- In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, the protagonists (and a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of real-life Robert Bakker) hide in a cave behind a waterfall to escape the rampaging female T.rex. The Robert Bakker-lookalike gets a snake crawling down his shirt and panics, running right into the rex's jaws.
- The Myth (2005), starring Jackie Chan, who enters the mystical cave near the end of the film through one of these.
- The titular MacGuffin Location (in which the MacGuffin itself is located) in Behind the Waterfall is a cave located... wait for it... behind a waterfall.
- Lord of the Rings
- The Ithilien Rangers' hideout was behind such a waterfall in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
- One possible explanation for the name "Elrond" (given in the Letters) goes thus: after the Sack of Sirion, he and his brother were dragged away and later found beside a waterfall. Elros was playing in the water but Elrond had gone into the cave behind the waterfall, hence his name, "Elf of the Cave."
- Sun Wukong from Journey to the West discovered Shuilian Cave after jumping through a great big waterfall. He was named king by his monkey clan afterwards, and they all moved in and made the cave their home.
- In the book version of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park, after Alan, Tim, and Lex go tumbling over the Inevitable Waterfall, they hide behind said waterfall in order to escape the Tyrannosaur. Grant finds an access door and leaves the kids there while he makes sure it's safe; the kids nearly get eaten in his absence.
- Whoever designed the sets for the South Seas Treasure Game in Dream Park likes this trope, as Griffin and Acacia find such a niche behind a waterfall in which to mess around. It's also where the thief hides the stolen vial of Neutral Scent.
- In The Inheritance Cycle, the entrance to the Varden is located behind a waterfall.
- Book three of the "The Magician's House" series is called The Tunnel behind the Waterfall.
- In the Warrior Cats series, the Tribe of Rushing Water lives in one of these, and actually is named after the falls.
- In The Saga of Grettir the Strong, a cave behind a waterfall is the lair of the murderous trolls that haunt Bardardal.
Live Action TV
- According to Hawaiian myth, the goddess Hina lives in the cave behind Rainbow Falls on the Big Island.
- Magic: The Gathering: Sulfur Falls
- Classic Traveller Adventure 2 Research Station Gamma. One room in the station has a Hologram of a rippling waterfall on one wall. Behind the hologram is a room containing a security station. The hologram is one-way, allowing anyone inside the security station to see through it into the other room.
- Dungeons & Dragons module UK1 Beyond the Crystal Cave. In the title cave one wall has a waterfall that magically falls in slow motion. Behind the waterfall is a hidden observation room carved out of the rock.
- Niagara Falls has the "Journey Behind The Falls", consisting of an elevator descending 150 feet through bedrock to two portals and two observation decks behind Horseshoe Falls.
- Niagara Falls has an even more impressive "cave behind the falls" — the tailrace tunnel deep under the decommissioned Toronto Power Company generating station (known as "Confluence" to urban explorers). Sadly, access now appears to be permanently sealed off.