World Facts

The Highest Waterfalls In The World

The Spectacular Angel Falls Located In Canaima National Park, Venezuela, Is The Tallest In The World.

Waterfalls are beautiful, natural occurrences that attract onlookers all over the world. While there are many amazing waterfalls to be found all over the world, the tallest waterfall is the 2,313 foot Angel Falls in Venezuela. Below is a list of the ten tallest waterfalls in the world.

Waterfalls form where river rapids run over hard rock surfaces (like granite) with soft rock bases (like sandstone). The rushing water cuts away at the softer rock and creates a sort of step, or plunge pool. The plunge pool continues to grow as water continues to erode and eventually creating an overhang of the hard rock. The overhang is unstable and breaks off under the weight of the running water, thus creating the waterfall. Waterfalls also occur where meltwater spills over the edge of an ice shelf. This process leads to waterfall formation, no matter the height. The taller the falls, however, the more impressive they seem. This article takes a look at the highest waterfalls in the world.

List of Waterfalls By Height

10. Browne Falls - 2,743 Feet

Browne Falls are the world's tenth tallest waterfall, with a total drop hieght of 2,743 feet. This waterfall is located on South Island, New Zealand in Fiordland Park. Browne Falls is in the middle of a temperate rainforest. Its 2,743 feet originate from a glacial mountain lake and fall into the Doubtful Sound.

9. James Bruce Falls - 2,756

The eighth tallest mountain in the world is in Canada. The James Bruce Falls are 2,756 feet tall and located in British Columbia. This waterfall holds the distinction of being the tallest in North America and originates from a snowfield. It empties into the Princess Louisa Inlet and is surrounded by breathtaking mountains.

8. Pu’uka’oku Falls - 2,756 Feet

The same height as the James Bruce Falls, the Pu’uka’oku Falls are located in Hawaii, USA. They are surrounded by lush, green mountains that make up some of the world's highest seaside cliffs, called the Haloku Cliffs.

7. Balåifossen - 2,789 Feet

Balåifossen, in Norway, is the world's seventh tallest waterfall. It has a drop of 2,789 Feet. The waterfall is located in Ulvik, Norway.

6. Vinnufossen - 2,822 Feet

Vinnufossen is the world's sixth tallest waterfall in Europe and is part of the Vinnu River. The waterfall is located in a remote area with only small villages nearby. However, it is easily accesible by car.

5. Yumbilla Falls - 2,940 Feet

The Yumbilla Falls are found in the Amazonas region of Peru. At 2,940 feet, they hold the fifth place on the list of the tallest falls in the world. Surrounded by the Amazon rainforest yet still in the Andes mountains, this waterfall is tiered in four or five different parts that make up its 2,940 feet. Whether or not there are four or five drops is often a subject of debate. The Utubamba River creates the Yumbilla Falls.

4. Olo’Upena Falls - 2,953 Feet

The Olo’Upena Falls are next on the list at number four. Molokai, Hawaii in the United States is home to this 2,953-foot waterfall. Molokai is a tropical, volcanic island. These falls are notable because they can only be seen from air or ocean. There are no access trails that lead to the falls. The falls are seasonal.

3. Tres Hermanas Falls - 2,999 Feet

The world's third tallest waterfall is the Tres Hermanas Falls in Peru. The "Tres Hermanas" translates from Spanish to mean the "Three Sisters". This impressive 2,999-foot waterfall is located in the Otishi National Park of Junin, Peru. It originates as the Cutivireni River, is surrounded by montane forest and falls in 3 different sections.

2. Tugela Falls - 3,110 feet

The world's second tallest waterfall is in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. The Tugela Falls form a cascade of 3,110 feet. This waterfall runs through the Royal Natal National Park, a rocky mountainous and brush covered area, and is formed by the Tugela River. The area is also part of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, which is a World Heritage Site.

1. Angel Falls - 3,212 feet

The highest waterfall in the world is Angel Falls. It is located in the Canaima National Park in Venezuela. This waterfall is 3,212 feet tall, which is over half a mile! The falls lead into the Carrao River and are located in the rainforest. Although not officially one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the falls are a truly remarkable sight in their own right. Interestingly, during the hottest and warmest months of the year, the water from the falls evaporates before it hits the ground!

Tourism

Waterfalls across the globe are just as, if not more, appealing to tourists as the Leaning Tower of Pisa, as not only do they provide something marvelous to behold with the eye, but they allow people to feel closer to nature, even awed become by it, as well. When properly protected and maintained, waterfalls can be an important source of tourism revenue for countries. Tourists may come to see the falls, but they spend money on lodging, food, and souvenirs while visiting.

The Highest Waterfalls In The World

RankWaterfallLocationHeight (in feet)
1Angel FallsCanaima National Park, Venezuela3,212
2Tugela FallsKwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa3,110
3Tres Hermanas FallsOtishi National Park, Junin, Peru2,999
4Olo’Upena FallsMolokai, Hawaii, United States2,953
5Yumbilla FallsAmazonas, Peru2,940
6VinnufossenMøre og Romsdal, Norway2,822
7BalåifossenHordaland, Norway2,789
8James Bruce FallsBritish Columbia, Canada2,756
9Pu'uka'oku FallsHawaii, United States2,756
10Browne FallsSouth Island, New Zealand2,743

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