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What are the Largest Waterfalls in the World?

Tugela Falls in South Africa is the second highest waterfall in the world.
Norway has five of the world’s biggest waterfalls, coming in the rankings at third, fourth, eighth, ninth, and tenth.
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  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2014
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A waterfall is an unsupported drop or cascade of flowing water that is sudden and comes from a height, such as over a precipice. There are many high waterfalls in the world, and among the top thirty largest waterfalls, one can find waterfalls on every continent except Antarctica — but even Antarctica is developing waterfalls with record high temperatures.

The single largest waterfall in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela, but overall, one would have to say that the biggest waterfalls in the world are in Norway. Norway has five of the world’s biggest waterfalls, coming in the rankings at third, fourth, eighth, ninth, and tenth.

The largest waterfalls on each of the continents are:

Of the fifteen largest waterfalls, two are glacier fed, two have their source in a creek, one in a stream, and the rest in rivers. Two of the top fifteen waterfalls are in Venezuela, two are in California — both in Yosemite National Park, and Norway can claim six.

Of the thirty largest waterfalls, eight are in Norway and seven in the United States, either in Hawaii or California. Eleven are in Europe, six are on the mainland of North America, five in South America. Four of this thirty are on islands: one in New Zealand and three in Hawaii.

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The largest waterfalls in the United States, according to the World Waterfall Database, are to be found in Hawaii, Washington State, California, Montana, and Alaska, with Hawaii boasting the three highest. There are seventeen listed at 2,000 feet (610 m) or higher.

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Discuss this Article

arod2b42
Post 5

The Great Lakes vary in depth and in position. This is what creates the effect of Niagara falls. One lake is dripping into another lower lake, on a very massive scale. It is beautiful.

GigaGold
Post 4

@BostonIrish

I think that waterfalls can develop over time, and also that surprisingly warm temperatures are a genuine issue in the world today. The problem with the side of "doubters" about global warming is that they tend to see the whole thing as some sort of scheme, when it is completely rational.

BostonIrish
Post 3

What do you mean Antarctica is "developing waterfalls"? Aren't waterfalls usually just there or not there? It's not like there is such thing as a "half-waterfall" is there? I think that the whole global warming debate has become filled with some blurry scientific "facts" and seems to have an obvious agenda.

anon49837
Post 1

These are the tallest waterfalls in the world but waterfalls are classified by the volume of waterflow and not height. The largest waterfall in the world based on volume is Inga Falls on the Congo river.

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