Angel Falls is the tallest waterfall in the world, as well as the tallest single drop in the world and one of the eight natural wonders of the world. The waterfall is 979 meters high (3,212 ft) and it drops over the edge of the Auyantepui mountain in the Canaima National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Gran Sabana region of Bolívar State, Venezuela. Pilot Jimmy Angel is widely credited for discovering the falls in 1937, but the true discoverer was one Ernesto de Santa Cruz, who found the falls in 1910. The falls were subsequently named for Jimmy Angel, since he was the first westerner to view the falls. The height of the falls is so great that before getting anywhere near the ground, the water is atomized by the strong winds and turned into mist. The mist can be felt a mile away.
Iguazu Falls (Iguassu Falls or more accurately Iguazú Falls) are known throughout the world as the widest waterfall and one of the most beautiful and majestic natural waterfalls man has ever seen. The waterfall system consists of 275 falls along 2.7 kilometres (1.67 miles) of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentine province of Misiones. During the rainy season of November – March, the rate of flow of water going over the falls may reach 12,750 cubic meters (450,000 cubic feet) per second. Iguazu Falls is actually split into two main parts by the San Martin Island (La Isla San Martín). The part with the largest volume of water is the narrow horseshoe of the Devil’s Throat (La Garganta del Diablo).
The Victoria Falls are one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. The Falls are just over 1.7 kilometre wide (1 mile) and 108 meters (355 feet) high. During the wet season over 500 million litres (19 million cubic feet) of water plummets over the edge into the Zambezi River between Zambia and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa. The Victoria Falls are divided into five separate waterfalls: Devil’s Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls and Eastern Cataract. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, is believed to have been the first European recorded to view the Victoria Falls in November 1855. The original Victoria Falls was 8km downstream from the present falls. Weaknesses in the basalt perpendicular to the river’s flow and 2 million years’ erosion – have resulted in the river cutting through seven subsequent gorges, each further upstream from the previous one. The present-day falls is actually in its seventh location.
The Niagara Falls is the largest waterfall (by volume) in North America. The falls actually consists of three separate components – Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls on the Niagara River, straddling the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of New York. The Canadian “Horseshoe” Niagara Falls are 60 meters high (180 feet) and 833 meters (2,500 feet) wide. The Falls at Niagara are about 12,000 years old and they were formed when melting glaciers formed massive fresh-water lakes (the Great Lakes) one of which (Lake Erie) ran downhill toward another (Lake Ontario). In 1848, Niagara Falls actually stopped flowing for 30 hours when ice fields from Lake Erie jammed at the source of the river.
The Yosemite Falls is the highest measured waterfall in North America located in Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, USA. The waterfall drops in three major stages. The first stage is the Upper Fall, which plunges 436 metres (1430 feet). The second stage is the Middle Cascades, which tumbles down a height of reportedly 205 metres (670 feet). The final stage is the Lower Fall, which drops 97 metres (320 feet). The falls were formed by creeks tumbling into the Yosemite Valley over the edges of hanging tributary valleys (which eroded more slowly than the glacial and river carved Yosemite Valley and were left “hanging” above it) into the Merced River below. The name for Yosemite is a corruption of the name of a Native American tribe that lived in the area. They called themselves, Uzumati, which means Grizzly Bear. Now, this name is but a tribute to Yosemite’s past, when Grizzlies roamed the park.
Langfoss or Langfossen, located in the municipality of Etne in western Norway, as it is sometimes called is possibly one of the more beautiful cascade waterfalls in the world. A width of 76 meters (250 feet), the river spills over the side of a mountain slope for a length of 2000 feet before it joins the waters of the Åkra Fjord. With the total height of 612 meters (2008 feet), Langfoss is the 5th highest waterfall in Norway and is among the tallest waterfalls in the world. Surprisingly, this waterfall remains completely untapped for hydro production – a rarety for streams of this size and waterfalls of this height in Norway. Because the European route E134 runs along the base of the waterfall, many people get to stop by for pictures or just to admire the majestic natural phenomenon.
The Havasu Falls is one of the most beautiful and photographed waterfalls in the world. This is an absolutely amazingly beautiful waterfall located in a remote canyon of Arizona, USA. The water flows out of limestone, which gives it a pleasing blue-green hue. The falls consist of one main chute that drops over a 37 metres (120 feet) vertical cliff (due to the high mineral content of the water, the falls are ever-changing and sometimes break into two separate chutes of water) into a large pool.