Incredible Facts About Earth’s Most Amazing Waterfalls
Waterfalls are among the most spectacular creations of Mother Nature, but are you aware just how amazing they are? By looking at some of the most famous waterfalls on Earth, we can see what they are all about.
Victoria Falls – The Largest Curtain of Falling Water
Named after Queen Victoria but also known as The Smoke That Thunders and The Place of the Rainbow, Victoria Falls site on the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Interestingly, it is classed as being the biggest waterfall, despite not being the tallest or widest.
It has a height of 108 metres and a width of 1,708 metres. While other falls are taller or wider, these statistics mean that Victoria has an unrivalled curtain of water that crashes down and can be heard up to 25 miles away. The famous Devil’s Pool is a natural barrier that allows brave visitors to get right up to the edge of the falls, resulting in some vertigo-inducing images.
Angel Falls – The Tallest Waterfall
Due to its remote location, Angel Falls in Venezuela doesn’t receive as many visitors as its outstanding beauty deserves. At 979 metres tall, this is the highest uninterrupted waterfall on the planet. It is so tall that the relatively small curtain of water often turns into mist before it hits the ground.
While theories about the first Westerner to see the falls include unlikely tales of Sir Walter Raleigh’s adventures, the first concrete sighting of it came from aviator Jimmie Angel in the 1930s. It was a further 40 years before someone was able to successfully climb the rock face. Getting here usually involves a plane trip to Canaima followed by a boat ride.
Niagara Falls – The Most Annual Visitors
For many people, this is the first waterfall to come to mind, which is probably because it is the most visited on the planet. Niagara is made up of a series of three falls on the border between the US and Canada. It is thought that about 30 million people visit this natural attraction every year. Over six million cubic feet of water drops over the falls every minute during the day.
Thrill-seekers have leapt from the falls, plunged down them in barrels and tried to swim them. The first person to make it to the bottom in a barrel was 63-year old school teacher Annie Taylor. She did it in 1901 and later said that no-one should ever do it again. Plenty have tried to emulate her feat, with no fall protection post or other safety equipment, although it is now illegal to do so.
Iguazu Falls – The Widest and Arguably Most Beautiful
This dramatic series of over 270 different falls sits on the triple border between Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, over a 1.7-mile distance. The huge dimensions make it the world’s widest falls, while the fact that it is split up into different drops means that it is also broadly classed as the most beautiful waterfall.
Unlike some other major falls, these are easily accessed from towns on each side of the border. Set inside national parks on either side of the river, visitors can get up close with helicopter rides and boat trips. Most guides suggest viewing from both the Argentine and Brazilian sides, as they offer completely different aspects and experiences.