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12 Stunning Waterfalls From Around The World
Our planet is covered in 71% water, and quite often this essential natural resource can create wondrously beautiful sights. Today we’re going to travel to tropical rainforests, icy mountains, and even the savannas of Africa. Let’s check out 15 Stunning Waterfalls From Around The World!
#12 Rainbow Falls Hawaii
Of all the waterfalls named Rainbow Falls in the world none are near as famous as the Rainbow Falls in Hilo, Hawaii. These falls are part of the Hawaii state parks, and easy to get to, so any day of the week crowds gather to see this scenic sight. They are open to the public, and there is no fee to see them. The falls are 24 meters tall and almost 30 meters across. Depending on the time of year and amount of precipitation the falls will be composed of 2 or more drops. Part of the Wailuku River the falls end in a large pool below, surrounded by dense tropical rainforest which perfectly compliments the beautiful scenery. In the Hawaiian language these falls are known as Waiānuenue meaning rainbow water and they flow over a natural lava cave, that is the legendary home of Hina, an ancient Hawaiian goddess. The Rainbow Falls get their name from a regular phenomenon of a rainbow appearing in the mist of the falls on Sunday mornings around 10AM.
#11 ‘Akaka Falls
Another spectacular waterfall located near Hilo, Hawaii is the ‘Akaka Falls of ‘Akaka Falls State Park. A 135 meter tall waterfall, the name ‘Akaka means “a rent, split, separation, to crack” as well as a few other meanings in the Hawaiian language. High on the right shoulder of the deep gorge into which the waterfall plunges, is where the falls can be viewed from several points along a loop trail that runs through the park. According to local Hawaiian folklore there is a stone located 21 meters upstream from the falls called Pōhaku a Pele. The tale says that when struck by a branch of lehua ʻāpane, a local tree with dark red blossoms, you can call the sky to darken and rain to fall. Honestly that sounds a lot more efficient than choreographing an extensive rain dance.
#10 Wapta Falls
Next we head to British Columbia, Canada in Yoho National Park where you’ll find the beautiful Wapta Falls. These falls are the largest falls of the Kicking Horse River at around 30 meters high and 150 meters across. The name of the falls is derived from the Nakoda word meaning “river”. The Nakoda are a western Canadian indigenous people who also lived in parts of the northern United States. One of the unique features of these falls are the pools at the bottom which are a vivid turquoise color much of the time a likely result of finely ground rock, such as glacial flour present in the waters, which can cause light to scatter and change the appearance of the water’s color. During the winter it’s also possible for parts of the falls to freeze, due to the temperatures dropping to much below freezing. These falls are truly a gorgeous sight to see if you can ever make the hike there!
#9 Iguazu Falls
Now we head to South America where we find the Iguazu Falls, this immense and spectacular waterfall is located on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian stat of Paraná. Factoring in both parts of the falls, they make up THE largest waterfall in the entire world. While most of the Iguazu river flows through Brazil, the majority of the falls are actually on the Argentine side of the border, and below it’s confluence with the San Antonio River it forms the border between the two countries. The name of the river, “Iguazú” comes from the Guarani or Tupi words “y” for “water”, and “ûasú” meaning “big”. There is a legend surrounding this waterfall, which tells of a deity who wanted to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, she ended up fleeing with her mortal lover in a canoe. The deity sliced the river, in a rage, creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
#8 Saltos del Mocona
Another captivating waterfall in Argentina, the Saltos del Mocona or Mocona Falls, are uniquely famous for how long they are…these falls actually run parallel to the river for nearly three kilometers! This is due to the fact that the Uruguay river runs along a fault line, which causes the water from the upper part of the river to flow into the lower part when the water levels are low. The indigenous Guarani people named these falls after the word Mocona, which translates to “that which swallows everything”, an apt description as the waters gush with a force that looks as if they are swallowing everything around. Just as the falls can get larger when there is less water in the river, when the water levels get high enough the falls can actually disappear completely.