5 Wonderful Waterfalls Around the World

Water water everywhere… witness the power of nature at these unbelievable falls

By Google Arts & Culture

1. Niagara Falls

Three falls and two nations! Niagara Falls is perhaps North America's most famous waterfall. Every minute, 168,000 cubic metres (or, six million cubic feet) plunges over the precipitous edge, flowing from Lake Eirie into Lake Ontario.

The falls are famed for their beauty, and for their raw energy. In 1961 when a new hydroelectric power plant was built, it was the most powerful in the world. However this plant interfered with the falls' flow so, for tourism purposes, it's only fully operational at night.

2. Iguazu Falls

The Iguazu falls border the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. Together, they make up the largest waterfall in the world. When the United States First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt first saw Iguazu, she is said to have exclaimed, "Poor Niagara!"

Local legend holds that a god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her human lover Tarobá in a canoe. In a rage, the god sliced the river in two, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.

3. Victoria Falls

Known in Lozi as Mosi-oa-Tunya, 'The Smoke That Thunders' and Tonga as Shungu Namutitima, 'Boiling Water', Victoria Falls also claims the title of World's Largest waterfalls, based on its combined width of 1,708 metres and height of 108 metres.

David Livingstone is held to be the first European to see the falls, at which point he named them in honour of Queen Victoria. During British rule, the falls became a major site of tourism. Following independence, this widened to include kayaking, bungee jumping, and rafting.

4. The Khone Falls

The Khone Falls and Pha Pheng Falls together form a waterfall located in Champasak Province on the Mekong River. They are the largest falls in South East Asia, and for centuries have blocked ships from travelling up the Mekong into China.

Surprisingly, these treacherous rapids are a delicate ecosystem. Hemimyzon khonensis is known from a single specimen collected at the Khone Falls, which are also home to the plabuck, an endangered species of catfish said to be the largest freshwater fish in the world.

5. The Yucumã Falls

The Yucum, or Moconá, Falls also claim a record - the second widest in the world after the Iguazu Falls. The falls only drop an average of 15 metres, but their sheer length makes them a sight to behold. 

Unlike many other falls, these are actually best viewed during the dry season - between November and March or April. At other times the year the river is so deep that the shallow falls are submerged!

NASA-funded study says glacier shape matters and influences vulnerability to melting (2017-12-08)NASA

Want to discover more extreme natural wonders? Explore Inside a Glacier in this 360-degree video!

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