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Oct '14

Hands That Cut Through Stone

Balanced Rock Karate Chop

SUBMITTED BY: Jadelyn & Greig Nakamura  LOCATION: Arches National Park, Utah (2014)

Pretending to hold a famous landmark, such as the Liberty Bell or the Leaning Tower of Pisa, is one of the toughest photo-ops to pull off. Everything needs to be perfect. The camera angle, the palm arc, the wind conditions, everything. The slightest deviation can cause your Tacky Tourist Photo to look like this, causing tremendous embarrassment for generations to come.

So a lot of pressure was put on Greig to cup Balanced Rock, a popular rock formation in Utah’s storied Arches National Park. Positioned just an inch or two lower and Greig may have pulled this illusion off. (We know that he meant well, and that’s the only important thing). Instead, Greig inadvertently gives off a karate chop vibe, looking as if he is severing the boulder from it precarious perch.

It turns out that these natural stone formations are a lot more fragile than they appear. In 2013, two Utah Boy Scout leaders were caught toppling a 170 million-year-old rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park. They were caught primarily because they made a YouTube video of themselves destroying the rock formation while pushing the 1990 dance single “Wiggle It.” The leaders were subsequently thrown out of the Scouts for violating the “Leave No Trace” hiking motto.

Staying behind the fence, Greig wasn’t taking any chances.

(Greig Nakamura is a high-profile guidance counselor in the Hawaii public schools.)

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