Waterfalls, with their cascading grandeur and power, are top destination spots for travelers all over the world. Intrepid tourists usually seek out the biggest, tallest waterfalls for their adventures, but how exactly is the biggest waterfall calculated? Waterfalls are measured by width, height, and water volume, so here is a list of the most impressive in all categories.
The tallest in the world: Angel Falls, Venezuela
Angel Falls, located in the Canaima National Park, is the tallest waterfall in the world at 3,212 feet. The falls were named not for its otherworldly beauty, but for the American explorer James Angel who claims to have discovered the falls. Ironically, Angel Falls cascades down a peak named Devil’s Mountain.
The widest in the world: Khone Phapheng Falls, Laos
The widest waterfall in the world is located in Laos on the Mekong River. The 35,376-foot wide waterfall is actually a combination of the Khone and Pha Pheng falls in Ban Hang Khone. Khone Falls also boasts the title of producing the most water of any other waterfall in the world. Two and a half million gallons of water flow through these falls, which is double that of Niagara Falls on the Canada-US border.
The largest in Asia: Ban Gioc-Detian Falls
Ban Gioc-Detian Falls is the largest waterfall in Asia and the second largest transnational waterfall in the world. Detian Falls straddles both Vietnam and China, with one waterfall in each country. Visitors are entranced by the beauty of the falls all year round, with its golden leaves in the fall and the sheer volume of water in the summer (with a 98-foot drop), so there is no bad time of year to visit.
The tallest in North America: Yosemite Falls
Located in Yosemite National Park, this spectacular waterfall is made up of three different snow-fed falls. The Upper Yosemite Falls drops 1,430 feet, while the Lower Falls drops 230 feet. May and June are the best times to visit, as water flow is at its greatest. With the backdrop of incredible mountain vistas, sequoia trees, and abundant wildlife, this is one waterfall worth the trip.
The biggest in the world: Victoria Falls
Located on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, Victoria Falls is considered the largest waterfall in the world. The falls are named after Queen Victoria, after being discovered by a British missionary in 1855. The indigenous name for the falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya, means “the smoke that thunders.” This is due to the fact that the mist can be seen 12 miles away, while the thundering roar of the falls can be heard up to 25 miles away. During the rainy seasons millions of gallons of water cascade 30 feet down to a gorge below, and is best viewed from Knife Edge Bridge or Victoria Falls Bridge.
While there are hundreds of other waterfalls that could make this list, these are by far the most impressive either by the sheer height, width, or the mighty power of the gallons of water that flow through them each day.