Located on the Niagara River, Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that make the international border between Canada and the United States. From largest to smallest, the three waterfalls are the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.
The combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow, and almost four million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average. The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power.
Victoria Falls, or Mosi-oa-Tunya (meaning: the Smoke that Thunders), is a waterfall in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
While it is neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, it is classified as the largest, based on its width of 1,708 metres (5,604 ft) and height of 108 metres (354 ft), resulting in the world’s largest sheet of falling water. Victoria Falls is roughly twice the height of North America’s Niagara Falls.
The most notable aspect of the area’s vegetation is the rainforest nurtured by the spray from the falls, containing plants rare for the area.
Iguazu are waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of Argentina and Brazil. Numerous islands along the 2.7-kilometre-long (1.7 mi) edge divide the falls into many separate waterfalls and cataracts, varying between 60 to 82 metres (197 to 269 ft) high.
The name “Iguazu” means “big water”. Legend has it that a deity planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, who fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe. In a rage, the deity sliced the river, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
With an astounding width of 25 meters and a drop of 60 meters, Skogafoss is one of the biggest and most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. The water comes directly from two glaciers. Due to the amount of spray the waterfall often produces a single or double rainbow on sunny days.
Skogafoss is an impressive curtain of glacier melt water falling from the cliffs of the former coastline. After the coastline had receded, the former sea cliffs remained, parallel to the coast over hundreds of kilometres, creating together with some mountains a clear border between the coastal lowlands and the Highlands of Iceland.
Located in the Sierra Nevada of California, Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest in North America and fifth highest in the world. Yosemite Falls is one of the major attractions of Yosemite National Park. Its three separate falls drop a total of 2,425 feet—nearly half a mile.
Spring is the best time to experience Yosemite’s waterfalls, when the winter’s massive snowfall melts away and the water flow is at its peak. There is a sound of the crashing water throughout eastern Yosemite Valley and a colorful rainbow can be seen.
Located in the Palouse Falls State Park in Washington State, Palouse Falls is a magnificent sight. The drop of 200 ft (60 m) is spectacular and the hike around the back of the falls offers amazing views.
According to a story of the Palouse tribe, the Palouse River once flowed smoothly into the Snake. But four giant brothers, in pursuit of a mythic creature called “Big Beaver,” speared the great creature five times. Each time Big Beaver was wounded, he gouged the canyon walls, causing the river to bend and change. The fifth time he was speared, he fought the brothers valiantly and tore out a huge canyon. The river tumbled over a cliff at this point to become Palouse Falls. The jagged canyon walls show the deep marks of Big Beaver’s claws.
Havasu Falls (also known as Havasupai Falls) is a blue green waterfall hidden in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, within Havasupai tribal lands. It consists of one main fall that drops over a 90-foot (27 m) to 100-foot (30 m) vertical cliff into a large pool.
Due to the high mineral content of the water, the configuration of the falls is ever-changing and sometimes breaks into two separate chutes of water.
The 2nd highest waterfall in the United States, Multnomah Falls is located on the Oregon side of the stunning Columbia River Gorge. Fed by underground springs from Larch Mountain, the flow over the falls varies, usually it’s highest during winter and spring.
The falls drops in two major steps, split into an upper falls of 542 feet (165 m) and a lower falls of 69 feet (21 m), with a gradual 9 foot (3 m) drop in elevation between the two, so the total height of the waterfall is conventionally given as 620 feet (189 m).
Plitvice Lakes National Park is situated in central Croatia, at the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The beauty of the National Park lies in its sixteen lakes, inter-connected by a series of waterfalls, and set in deep woodland populated by deer, bears, wolves, boars and rare bird species. The National Park covers a total area of 300 square kilometres (74,000 acres), whilst the lakes join together over a distance of eight kilometres (4 miles).
There’s also quite an altitude difference – the highest point is at 1,280m (4,200 ft), the lowest at 380m (1,250 ft) – although the total height difference between the lakes themselves is only 135m (440 ft). Veliki Slap, the largest waterfall, is 70m (230 ft) tall.
Gullfoss is a waterfall located in the canyon of the Hvítá river in southwest Iceland, and originating at Lángjökull glacier about 40km to the north. Glacial water is brownish in color since it carries lots of sediments that the glacial ice has carved off the earth.
Gullfoss means “Golden Falls” because on a sunny day the water plunging down the three step cascade and then tumbling two steps down into the 32 m deep crevice truly looks golden. As one first approaches the falls, the edge is obscured from view, so that it appears that the river simply vanishes into the earth.
Seljalandsfoss is one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland. This picturesque waterfall plummets 60 metres (200 ft) over the cliffs of the former coastline to a deep pool below.
If you are planning a visit, make sure to wear waterproof gear as you will have the opportunity to hike around the pool to the back of the falls. A truly unique experience.
One of Washington’s most popular scenic attractions, Snoqualmie Falls is a 268 ft (82 m) waterfall on the Snoqualmie River.
For the Snoqualmie People, who have lived for centuries in the Snoqualmie Valley in western Washington, Snoqualmie Falls is central to their culture, beliefs, and spirituality. A traditional burial site, to the Snoqualmie, the falls are “the place where First Woman and First Man were created by Moon the Transformer” and “where prayers were carried up to the Creator by great mists that rise from the powerful flow.” The mists rising from the base of the waterfall are said to serve to connect Heaven and Earth.
Akaka falls, located in Akaka Falls State Park, is probably the most well known waterfall on the Big Island, Hawaii.
Akaka in the Hawaiian language means “A rent, split, chink, separation; to crack, split, scale”. Considering how it plunges 442 feet into a stream-eroded gorge, it’s easy to see why.
McWay Falls is an 80-foot waterfall that falls into a beach situated within a picturesque cove (McWay Cove; also called Waterfall Cove) opening out to the Pacific Ocean.
Situated in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, about 37 miles south of Carmel, California, McWay Falls flows year-round and is beautiful at almost any time of day.
Spa Pool in Hamersley Gorge
Located in Karijini National Park, Western Australia, Spa Pool in Hamersley Gorge is a pool that rests inside large curved walls of rock formation as old as time itself.
The Spa Pool is an ice blue pond that appears to have gorged out its home over billions of years. Today it’s the perfect swimming hole fed by a gorgeous waterfall.
Top 15 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World
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