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:
- South America: Angel Falls in Venezuela, at 3,212 feet (979 m)
- Africa: Tugela in South Africa at 3,110 feet (947 m)
- Europe: Utigord in Norway at 2,625 feet (800 m)
- North America: Yosemite in California at 2,425 feet (739 m)
- Asia: Dudhsagar in India at 1969 feet (600 m)
- Australia: Tin Mine in Kosciusko National Park at 1182 feet (360 m)
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.
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.