The sublime power of white water crashing over cliffs to the depths below has a mesmerizing effect on anyone who has witnessed the spectacle of some of the world’s biggest waterfalls. Whether they are thousands of meters tall have the largest volume of water flowing over their edge at any one time or have the widest curtain of free falling water, here are 10 waterfalls selected as the biggest are extraordinary to say the least.
The Angel Falls
The Angel Falls in Venezuela is the world’s highest waterfall at 979m. It is so high that the water actually atomizes, due to the force of the strong winds in the area and simply disappears in a fine mist before it even reaches the ground.
The Inga Falls, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is one of the largest waterfalls in the world. Although only 96m high and with no measurement of its width currently available, the rapids boast the highest volume of water at an average of 1,500,000 cubic feet / second.
The Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River is easily one of the most impressive cascades in the world and is deemed one of the largest, with a width of 1.7km and a height of 108m.
The Niagara Falls in North America is effectively made up of three different falls one in Canada and two in the USA. Although comparatively diminutive in height, the sheer volume of water flowing over the falls elevates it to the most powerful on the continent.
Located in the majestic Drakensberg Mountains in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, the Tugela Falls are the second highest in the world at 947m. ‘Tugel’ means ‘sudden’ in Zulu.
Chutes de Khone
This enormous, segmented cascade on the Mekong River in Laos is easily the widest in the world, extending to almost 15 kilometres in the annual monsoon.
Cataratas Ias Tres Hermanas
Located on the Rio Cutivireni in Peru, these falls have largely gone unnoticed until recently. Consisting of 5 drops, the height has been estimated to be in the region of 914m, making it one of the highest falls in the world.
Olo’ upena Falls
Situated in Hawaii, the Olo’ upena Falls are rated as one of the top 20 in Oceania. At a height of 900m, it certainly rivals some of its lofty peers.
The Vinnufossen in Norway may be more of a trickle than a waterfall as far as volume goes, but at 860m it is the highest waterfall in Europe and therefore deserves its place in the sun.
The Iguazu Falls in Brazil is not so much about height, width or volume but rather the fact that the entire waterfall system is made up of no fewer than 270 individual cascades that extend for well over two and a half kilometres.
Author Ahsan Mukhtar