Ruby Falls, underground waterfall in Chatanooga, TN | by /u/jaconphil. [2448x2448]

Ruby Falls, underground waterfall in Chatanooga, TN | by /u/jaconphil. [2448x2448]

But have you seen Rock City?

Now I have seen Ruby Falls. Screw off millions of billboards!

Imagine how awesome this place would be if it were originally treated like a National Reserve/Park/Forest instead of a tourist trap. That place has been so hokey for years but is so naturally beautiful

And the lights changing colors every 30 seconds and the stupid atmospheric music they play...

I have a funny story about this place. My parents took me here when I was about 8 years old (about 1995). We did the whole tour thing and hiked back there to see the falls. When we got to the waterfall, I realized I had to go to the bathroom really badly. I am squirming around and doing the dance and my mom asks me what is wrong. I decide to scream "I GOTTA POOP!" at the top of my lungs. We are in a cave area so it echoes all over the place. Everyone else on the tour turns around and stares at me. The tour guide tells my mom the only bathroom is back where we came from. So my mom is holding my hand running at full pace back towards the bathrooms. It doesn't matter bc I shit my pants while running full speed towards the bathrooms. My mom just looks so disappointed in me. We walk the rest of the way back with my pants covered in shit. The people working at the little gift shop have to get us towels and stuff to clean all the shit off of my legs. I think we threw the pants away. That is all I can remember about Ruby Falls.

Ugh, it's awful. Would be such a cool site just by itself, but the tour, the music, the lights...

Chattanoogan here-

Rock City, Ruby Falls, Incline Railway (straight up the side of Lookout Mountain), TN Aquarium, "Rock" climbing on the outside of a building downtown... Lots of touristy things here. We used to be a dirty, depressed, industry driven town. I'm proud of our city, despite plenty of the usual problems.

Chattanooga is a beautiful place

So, about the year 2000 when I was 8 and my family went for the first time, one of the tour guides was talking about this.

The lower cave was sealed off by the railroad tunnel next to I-24 when they built it, which is why they dug the elevator shaft in the first place. They just happened to hit the Ruby Falls cave on the way. They gave tours in both caves for a while, but closed the lower cave when the falls level proved more popular. They used to allow employee tours and I got to go in the 90s. It was so cool! Some of it's paved, but a lot was still wild. When they replaced elevator cables a decade or so ago, they did not extend them down there. So sad! I hope some day, it will be reopened!

Personally, I think it has its place. I went to Ruby Falls when I was younger and thought "Wow, I need to explore more caves like this".

I know Ruby Falls is a "show cave", but for me it opened up a new love for caving and exploration. I went from Ruby Falls, to a guided tour at Raccoon Mountain, and now I'm getting in-touch with my local grotto in order to find more caves in my area.

By the way, Raccoon Mountain also has some gorgeous falls inside. I highly recommend taking a caving tour there.

Lol. I keep going there and the roof of that barn on 411 keeps telling me to go back... :( ;p

I'm totally for real. When our tour guide was talking about how there's no restrooms down there, I remember the guy talking about a kid that proclaimed loudly that he had to go poop. And didn't make it.

No fuckin' way.

Fucking internet dude. This is amazing. Your shitcident will be immortalized as a word of caution for future generations

Rock city bitch, Rock, Rock city bitch.

If you're traveling with kids through that area, the children's museum in Chattanooga is AWESOME.

Can confirm. The aquarium is one of the best I've been to.

They pump water through it to make it look better.


This is what I remember seeing along the highway between Alabama and Tennessee on road trips. That and Stuckey's billboards.

I live in north GA, and at one point years ago people kept vandalizing the signs nearby to say "Ruby's Balls."

LOL. Chattanooga born and bred here. It's a paved path all the way in. I've been there many times over my 45 years.

Rock city is cool as shit!

Yup. Still shady and super dangerous. Ah, Tennessee.

Ruby Falls also has a giant cave below it that's been shut off for years. I think it's accessible from a railroad tunnel but it's highly illegal to go down there. It's probably dangerous as well.

For the first time on Reddit I think I am speechless. If what you say is true then that means people that work there still talk about me shitting my pants almost 20 years ago.


PS if you're a chatt native, this place gets really fucking boring after the 60th visit. You go every year in grade school. Then at least once a year with your family. Then in high school you go for the "haunted caverns". I just wanna smoke a fucking bowl down there man.

423 pride mothafuckas

I was a tour guide there about 10 years ago! Easily the best summer job a kid could ask for.

Bonus- it did wonders for my public speaking skills.

But have you accepted that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD?

I really want to go back there now and take a tour and hear this. This is insane. Maybe I should go back there and shit my pants again for the 20 year reunion.

Is that shady rope bridge still there?

Even more depressing side note: It's fake. The real waterfall dried up decades ago. They say the source of the water has never been discovered but most locals know they just installed a pump.

Shady, super dangerous, the most fun bridge to ever walk across. I love Chattanooga. Makes me glad that I work and play here.

God- I wish it was just one kid. It happened about every other month.

The WORST was when someone took an absolutely gargantuan shit in an area we called "The Twilight Zone"- for the uninitiated it's a narrow and dark passage with black lights. So shortly after the deed was done another group comes waltzing through- so now you have 60 people walking in shit caked shoes.

I remember the smell when the elevator doors opened and there was my fellow tour guide in tears- people gagging. I made a tough call that day: I shut the elevator door right in their faces. I had my own group of non-shit caked tourists to worry about.

Imagine how awesome it would be if OP knew how to use a tripod.

It's definitely changed in the last 15 years. Single, young professionals are moving here in droves especially since we got the Gig internet. We are rapidly building new housing downtown and a lot of microapartments for singles. And the recession had the same effects on marrying age here as the rest of the country. Millennials are waiting longer here too. Most of my friends waited til 30.

Don't forget that Chattanooga Choo-Choo!

Came here to say this; all those drives from Louisville to Atlanta and now I've finally seen it.

And the battlefield for you Civil War buffs.

Can you debunk this for us:

Was there really a kid who shit himself at Ruby Falls and now you guys always warn people to use the bathroom?

I grew up less than an hour away from there and have always heard that it's fake. The real water flow dried up years ago and they now pump water up there. That's why it's not a park, it's fake.

Next stop, Wall Drug!

I smell hyperbole. 20 people and they all had three kids each? You were teaching a software package, so I'm assuming it was to a semi-educated class.

I graduated from UT Chattanooga in the mid-2000's and have worked there since. I'm sure we have more than our fair share of young marriages with three kids, but claiming 100% in a 20 person sample size seems a little extreme.

Were you teaching software at a Pentecostal church?

Can confirm. I went in 97. Our guide told everyone to use the bathroom if they needed to because we wouldn't get another chance until we got back. "I'm serious, there was one kid who couldn't hold it and couldn't get to the bathrooms in time."

Sounds like you're not used to bring in the bible belt.

(Disclaimer: Chattanooga is one of my favorite places in the whole world. It's also changed a lot since then.)

It's not totally dried up. When the power goes off, there is still a small flow. And when it rains heavily, it floods. The pumps are there to keep the flow more consistent. Now, the lights are there to make it as kitschy as possible; that's for sure!

My hometown.

edit - didn't realize how OP mangled Chattanooga.

True. During the summer months they pump in their own water.

yeah they do. guy I knew got sued over writing about it(he won).

Wait, I've seen signs for Ruby Falls my entire life but have never seen it... that's it?

"Shitcident" is by far one of the best words I have ever read. Will have to use in the future. Have this upvote, IrrelevantEskimo.

Chattanooga love!!! Although there are much much better caves and waterfalls in the area. Not to mention the Grand Canyon of the east, the Tennessee river gorge. Best outdoor city in america!

Is that what they call it now? Last time I was there in the 70's they called "Fat Man's Squeeze".

You may be thinking of Rock City

tell us more, now

During all months they do that.

Excellent point Chris.

I've been a redditor for a while, this is my work account, have other account for home. This is the first time I have looked at something on EarthPorn and was able to say, "yep, been there."

So good job me, super awesome.

Hey OP are you from the TN area or are you just vacationing?