Did You Know?
Iligan City, located in the Province of Lanao del Norte, Philippines, is sometimes called the City of Majestic Waterfalls because of the numerous waterfalls situated in the area. There are around 23 waterfalls in and around Iligan, Maria. Cristina Falls is the most popular amongst them.
Waterfalls have long been a subject of great interest for nature enthusiasts. A waterfall is formed when the flowing water of the river falls steeply over a cliff or an area that is steep in nature. This flowing water generally falls a long distance and with a great amount of force. Depending on how they flow when they fall from an elevated height, waterfalls are classified into different types. These are, cascade, plunge, horsetail, fan, and segmented. Not only are these waterfall intriguing geographical features, they're also places of great tourism value, some even declared as World Heritage Sites. Here, we take you on a journey to virtually visit the best!
Famous Waterfalls Around the World
The Angel Falls, named after its discoverer James Crawford Angel, is the world's highest waterfall. It falls from a height of 979 meters and has a plunge of about 807 meters falling to meet the Churun river. It is located in the Bolivar state of Venezuela and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site where it drops off the edge of the Auyantepui mountain. A lot of its water is expelled as mist much before it reaches the ground.
Located in Vatnajokull National Park in Iceland, it is situated on the Jokulsa a Fjollum river. The waterfall is largely considered to be the most powerful waterfall in the European continent. As of 2012, you can visit the waterfall using the new road that was finished last year. The view is obstructed by the spray of the waterfall on the west bank but the eastern side is better maintained and can be visited easily.
Located in the canyon of the Hvita river of Iceland, it is one of the most popular waterfalls in the country. The literal translation of the name of the waterfall is Golden Falls. It flows into a three step staircase and then falls into a crevice in two stages. The crevice that the falls plunge into are about twenty meter in width and 2.5 km in length. The waterfall is so formed that the crevice is not visible and it looks like the river has vanished into the earth.
This waterfall is situated along the Brazil-Argentina border and is famous for its scenic beauty. Though its height is just about 89 meters, it is said to rank as the fourth best waterfall in the world because of its beauty. The U-shaped cliff in the waterfall which is known as the Devil's throat is the most striking feature of this waterfall. These falls were discovered by the Spanish Conquistador Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca.
The Niagara Falls is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world with about six million cubic meters of water flowing per minute. It is situated on the border between Canada and America. The Niagara Falls is the collective name for a set of waterfalls which consist of the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls. It is well-known for its beauty and attracts a large number of tourists from around the world.
Located on the border of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, these are situated in Croatia between Zagreb and Zadar. Sixteen separate lakes made of 12 upper cluster and four lower cluster lakes make for naturally tiered heights that create some of the most gorgeous falls in the world. Another reason that these falls are extremely famous are because the color of the water is known to reflect different colors due to the minerals or organisms present in it.
Located in the town of Schaffhausen in northern Switzerland, the Rhine Falls is the largest plain waterfall in the continent of Europe. It is believed that the falls were formed about 17,000 years ago which make them one of the oldest falls in the world. The falls cannot be climbed by any fish, except eels who use the support of the rocks to make their way up.
Located in Milford Sound, South Island in New Zealand, Sutherland Falls were for the longest time believed to be the tallest in the country. At about 580 meters tall, they are only second in height to the Browne Falls, that are about 843 meters high. The falls are made of three cascade falls, with the first one being about 229 meters tall, the second one about 248 meters high, and the lowest one about 103 meters in height.
Victoria Falls are considered to be the largest waterfalls. This claim is based on its dimensions; the width of the waterfall being about 1708 meters and the height being about 108 meters. They are located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe. The source is river Zambezi. Locally these falls are known as the Mosi-oa-Tunya or the Smoke that Thunders due to the sound that it makes.
The highest waterfalls in North America, Yosemite Falls are located in the Yosemite National Park in California. They're seventh highest in the world with the total height equaling 2425 feet or 739 meters. The falls are made up of two plunge falls and one cascade falls. The upper falls plunges from a height of 425 meters and forms a cascade type of waterfall. The flow gets united again and forms the lower falls which falls a distance of 97 meters.
One of the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Kaieteur falls are located in Kaieteur National Park, central Guyana. According to World Waterfall Database, it is a single drop waterfall and is also the 123rd tallest waterfall in the world. Kaieteur falls is also the 19th largest waterfall in terms of volume and the 26th most scenic globally. These falls are about three times higher than the more well-known Niagara Falls.
Yellowstone Falls are located in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. They consist of two major waterfalls, the upper falls which are 109 feet (33 m) high and the lower falls which are 308 feet (94 m) high. The lower falls are almost twice as high as Niagara Falls, it tears through the canyon and falls to a shallow pool creating an ethereal mist at all times. There are many vantage points for viewing the falls and none of them should be missed.
Jog Falls, located in waterfall-rich southwestern state of Karnataka, is the second-highest plunge waterfall in India. These waterfalls are segmented, falling from a height of 253 m (830 ft). Jog Falls is created by Sharavathi river, and has become a major tourist attraction, especially in the monsoons. The tourism department has built 1500 steps from the viewpoint till the bottom of the hill, where tourists can get a better view of these falls.
Tugela falls is the second highest waterfall in the world with a total height of 948 m (3,110 ft). It is located in the Drakensberg (Dragon's Mountains), in the Royal Natal National Park in KwaZulu-Natal Province, Republic of South Africa. Many tourists hike up to the source of the waterfall to get a better view.
Ban Gioc - Detian Falls is the fourth largest waterfall along a national border, after Victoria Falls, Iguazu Falls and Niagara Falls. It consists of 2 waterfalls on the Guichun River. Many species of endemic plants are found in the gorge of the waterfall. Believed to be a hideout of the local bandits in the past, hidden treasures are occasionally found here. The waterfall falls from a height of 30 meters; the thundering effect of the water hitting the cliffs can be heard from a distance.
Blue Nile Falls
One of Ethiopia's best-known tourist attractions, the Blue Nile Falls are approximately 40 meters (131 ft) high. They are known as 'tis issat' in amharic, which translates into 'smoking water'. It is situated on the upper course of the Blue Nile river. These falls consist of four streams that vary from a trickle in the dry season to over 400 meters wide in the rainy season. The first stone bridge constructed in Ethiopia, is located a short distance downstream from the falls.
Düden Waterfalls are a group of waterfalls in the province of Antalya, Turkey. The Düden River extends from the Taurus mountains all the way to the Mediterranean, and creates two cascades. The Upper Duden waterfall is 15m high and 20m wide and set in a valley. A natural cave formed behind the falls is the main attraction as one can sit and watch the cascades. The Lower Düden Waterfall forms a spectacular cascade as the Düden River spills off the Antalya City cliffs into the Mediterranean Sea.
Ramona falls is a 120 feet long waterfall, that drapes across a stair-stepped cliff of columnar basalt. It is located in Mount Hood wilderness in Oregon, USA. The amazing stair-stepped honeycomb shape that the rocks have are a result of lava eruptions. When lava cools slowly, it fractures into a hexagonal pattern perpendicular to the cooling surface. Later, erosion contributes in forming the unique shape. The total elevation of the fall is 3,560 feet (1,090 m).
Dudhsagar, which translates into 'Sea of Milk', is one of the world's most exquisite falls. From a distance, the waterfall appears like streams of milk rushing down the mountainside. It is located near the border of Karnataka and Goa, in India. This waterfall is formed by Mandovi River. This is a four-tiered waterfall with a total height of 310 meters (1017 feet) and an average width of 30 meters (100 feet).
Triberg Falls are located in the Black Forest region in Germany. They have a descent of approximately 163 m. At the cascades of the Gutach River in the midst of Black Forest, water tumbles over seven naturally created steps, forming this beautiful waterfall. The small town of Triberg is situated at the end of the valley. The walk on the trails takes the hikers across the tiers of the falls and treats them with fabulous views of both, the falls, and the town down in the valley.
The Goðafoss, that translates into 'Waterfall of the Gods', is a wide 12 m tall waterfall on Skjálfandafljót River. It is located in the Mývatn district of North-Central Iceland. It is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland and has an interesting history attached to it. According to legends, after Christianity had been declared as the official religion of the state, the pagan chieftain Thorgeir threw the wooden images and sculptures of the Pagan Gods into the waterfall.
Interestingly, you might want to know, that meditating while standing under a freezing waterfall is till date, a Japanese tradition. While it may be a bit too much to expect one of us to go stand under a freezing, free-falling mass of water, watching these beautiful creations of nature might just change our mind!