Unless you are a celebrity or have a massive social media following for some other reason, you don’t typically expect photos of your personal life to go viral. That’s what happened when one mother posted photos of herself and her friend vacationing in Canada. The images seemed ordinary enough– just some friends posing in front of a valley at the top of a trail. It wasn’t until she looked much closer that the woman realized what was hidden in the background. Read on to discover what made an ordinary hiking photo seem so extraordinary.
The woman and her friend had gone to Dundas Peak, a popular hiking spot in Hamilton, Canada. The park is in the greater region of Ontario and overlooks colorful trees and hillsides, especially in autumn.
The park not only offers rocks that the daring can sit on for a breathtaking view, but it also is where the Tew’s Falls waterfall can be found. The waterfall is the tallest in its city, making it all the more attractive to tourists and locals alike
Given all of the incredible views you can capture at this park, it's no surprise that thousands of people visit it each year. The cliffhanging rocks offer a place to capture incredible photographs over a sea of colorful trees.
This stunning perspective makes it a great spot for photographers and models. And regular visitors enjoy feeling like models while they show off their bravery and pose on the cliffs. The thrill of sitting on the edge of a cliff is an attractive quality of the park to some.
The mystery of the photograph all started when a woman named Kim decided to visit the park with her friend. She felt she needed a break from her everyday life as a mom to go and do something adventurous.
Kim and her friend had decided on the park for its sweeping views and daring reputation. They first got the idea from the friend's cousin, who had shown them a picture of himself on the famous cliffs.
Kim and her friend braced themselves for the moderate 2.4-mile hike. Though it wouldn't be terribly long, they would be going uphill to reach the peak with the gorgeous views. The women made it to the site where other hikers were also taking photographs.
They decided to take turns snapping photos of one another so that one could play photographer while the other played model. They had a very specific image in mind of how they wanted to pose for the photo.
Coming up, things started getting strange when they went to pose for the photos.
Kim and her friend agreed that they would try to recreate the photo that had initially inspired them to go on the hike. The friend's cousin had posed on the edge of the peak while his friend took a photo from the side.
Unlike the popular pose where the model is looking straight ahead, the angle they were going for would show their faces. They figured that if they were lucky, they might find someone who would take a picture of them both.
The women took turns so that one took the photo while the other posed. First up was Kim's friend, so she headed up to sit on the rock the same way that her cousin had.
As she adjusted to find a comfortable position, she noticed something glimmer below. She looked around to try to find what it was that had caught her eye. Then she discovered that the item was dangling from a branch and reached down to grab it.
The branch that the keys hung from was only three feet below, but when you're hanging over a cliff the stakes are much higher. Kim joined her friend to see what was happening. The women looked at the keys then at one another.
They knew that they could save someone a lot of trouble if they reached out for the keys. So Kim swung her arm out to grab them while her friend kept Kim stable.
After the friends retrieved the keys, they went on with their photoshoot. Sure enough, they were able to find someone to grab a picture of them together before they went on their way back to the car.
Before they knew it, dusk was approaching and the hiking trail started to feel a little less welcoming. They hurried back to the nearly empty parking lot hoping that they would find the car that the missing keys belonged to.
Next, see how they attempted to get the keys back to the owner.
Kim and her friend returned to the parking lot as the sun disappeared beyond the trees. They were able to easily discern which vehicle the missing keys belonged to since all of the cars were nearly gone.
Though the car was still there, the owner was nowhere in sight. They didn't want to stay out in the cold as the sky grew darker, so they decided to leave the keys on top of the car on the driver's side
A week later, the women discovered who the owner of the car was after it appeared on the news. Apparently, someone had gone missing from the park. Though the authorities had recovered the car, it was still a mystery what had happened to the individual.
The two wished the stranger and those investigating all the best, but before long the mystery faded from their minds. It wasn't until another month had gone by that Dundas Peak resurfaced in their lives.
One day, Kim logged onto her social media and discovered that the photograph of her friend's cousin had gone viral due to a post on Reddit. The user had seen something in his photograph that would immediately make the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.
As soon as news spread of what was hiding in the back of this photograph, the post went viral. Everyone was trying to figure out what it could be.
At first glance, the image of that captured the cousin at Dundas Peak seemed perfectly normal. After all, it was this image that convinced Kim and her friend to go to the hiking trail in the first place!
The cousin stands out since he's in all black attire and the trees are mostly thin and barren. A quick scan of the photo wasn't enough for Kim or her friend to see it. But then they looked closer.
Coming up, see what made everyone take a second look at the picture.
They zoomed into the photo as far as they could without lowering the quality so much that they couldn't make anything out. Once the image was closer up, they could see what had made the photo go viral.
In the middle of the image appeared to be a figure in a white top and dark bottoms standing on the cliffside. This shook Kim and her friend because they were sure there was no way to safely access that area.
The first thing that Kim and her friend thought to do was to look back at their photographs. If it was a trick of light or something on the rock, they assumed that it would probably show up in their pictures, too.
Oddly enough, the figure was not in any of their pictures. This was especially odd since the women had made sure to recreate the cousin's photo by posing at the same spot and getting the right angle.
Kim and her friend tried to remain rational about the series of events. Still, they couldn't help but feel a little uneasy about it. After all, they discovered a woman had gone missing from the park.
As they began to think about the series of events, they started to wonder if the figure could be the woman who had gone missing. The timing made it seem like it could be a possibility, but they didn't want to get ahead of themselves.
Since Kim and her friend couldn't figure out the mystery, they decided to take to social media for some help. She made a post that explained the entire story, starting with her and her friend's idea to recreate the cousin's photo.
She then explained what appeared to be in the photograph. She stated that she was sure there was no way to access that part of the cliff. Then she figured out what she needed to piece the mystery together.
Coming up, one Reddit user's response explained it all.
Kim figured that between her, her friend, and her friend's cousin, they didn't have a ton of material to go on. It was still possible that what was in the photo wasn't a person at all.
In order to feel more reassured, Kim wanted to look at more photos to see if any other ones had a similar effect. She decided to add to the end of her social media post a request for her followers.
Kim asked them if they would send her any photos that they have of the same location. She hoped that her followers would also share her post so that more people would send in their photos.
Since the photo had already gone viral, she was sure there would be plenty of people out there who would be interested in the story and willing to contribute to the picture collection. Kim sent off her post and awaited the responses.
People starting contributing their theories about what the figure could be. Some thought that it was the ghost of one of the missing hikers of the past. Others believed it had to have been a technological problem or something with the light.
Still others claimed that there is a trail that leads to the area the figure was seen. They were sure that the figure wasn't an optical illusion or a ghost, but merely another hiker.
The search for the truth came to a tentative end when one Reddit user claimed that it was them who was captured in the photo. They said that they had been at Dundas Peak the same day that the mysterious photo was taken.
Furthermore, they remembered wearing a light grey sweater and dark jeans. It seemed that all of the hype was overexaggerated. Still, it's possible that the person was only saying it was them to put an end to the discussion. Perhaps we'll never know the truth but it's fun to think about!