Water And Oceanography

Tallest Waterfalls in the World



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The Tallest Waterfalls in the World:
This is a difficult topic to discuss with 100% accuracy because there is no universally accepted standard as to what makes a waterfall a waterfall, let alone how they can be accurately measured. There are many waterfalls that are not recognized as such because they are not steep enough; on the other hand, some of the world's largest waterfalls are actually recorded as beginning upstream, before the "fall" begins. Moreover, there is some discrepancy over whether a waterfall which ends with water cascading over boulders, or talus, should be measured to the end of the cascades, or simply to the end of the bedrock descent, or free fall. General consensus seems to only allow the length to be measured to the end of the bedrock descent, not including any following cascades; the exception being if there a section of talus between two bedrock-based falls, in which case the entire length would be calculated. Though it is a debatable topic, the most commonly accepted list of tallest waterfalls are:
Angel Falls, Venezuela: The Guayana highlands of Venezuela harbor the tallest know waterfall in the world, with a recorded free fall of 2421 ft off of a Tepuy, or plateau, mountain, happily named "Devil's Mountain". The total length is measured between 2937 and 3212 ft. The fall is named after Jimmy Angel, an adventurous bush pilot from Missouri, who remains a legend in the area to this day. The base of the falls flows into the Kerep River, and ultimately into the Carrao River. Amazingly, despite their sheer size, on cloudy days the falls cannot be seen.
Tugela Falls, S. Africa: The second tallest waterfall can be found in the Drakensberg, or Dragon Mountains, in the Kawzulu Natal region of South Africa. With a total of 5 free falling drops, the tallest drop being about 1350 ft, the fall is measured at 3110 ft in its entirety. Falling from Mont-Aux-Sources into the Tugela River below, the waterfall is best seen after a heavy rain. The falls are a huge tourist location with two well-known hiking trails leading to spectacular viewpoints.
Tres Hermanas, Cataratas Ias, Peru: Also known as the Three Sisters Falls, due to the three tiers of waterfall, the Ayachucho region of Peru makes this waterfall difficult to view. While the first 2 tiers are clearly visible from the air, they flow into a basin from which the third tier empties into the river Cutivireni; this third tier is quite difficult to see, and rarely receives the attention it deserves. Together, the Three Sisters measure an astonishing 3,000 ft.
Olo'upena Falls, USA: Olo'upena falls are located on the island of Molokai, Hawaii; being one of the most remote and isolated of the Hawaiian Islands, this is one of the more difficult waterfalls to view as a tourist. Classified as a ribbon' waterfall because of its incredibly thin appearance, it is nonetheless the tallest waterfall in North America, and the 4th tallest in the world with a total length of 2953 ft.
Yumbilla, Catatata, Peru: With four tiers, Yumbilla falls has a total height between 2854 ft and 2937 ft; the exact length is arguable, depending on the source. Due to its remote location, this waterfall was only recently discovered; however, Peru is proud to have yet another high-ranking attraction and has created many tourist activities surrounding the area since its discovery. In many references, this fall is actually claimed to be the third largest in the world, which proves the obviously difficult task waterfalls present when measurements are taken.

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