Interesting Facts about Waterfalls for Kids

Have you ever been hiking and viewed some awesome waterfalls throughout it? Waterfalls are one of the coolest things you will find on this planet and they can be found almost anywhere in the world. 

Formation of Waterfalls

Waterfalls can be formed in many different ways. One of the most common ways is erosion. The process of erosion is when natural materials are transported away by natural causes. With waterfalls, the top layer of bedrock falls onto the softer rock and erodes faster. This causes there to be a “fall” and a waterfall will start. 

Types of Waterfalls

Many different waterfalls types can be found around the world. Each one has its unique feature. This makes them each special and interesting in their own way.

Block Waterfall

A block waterfall is wider than it is tall. It usually covers the entire distance across a stream and drops at a vertical angle.  These are sometimes referred to as a cascade. Wider than it is tall, that usually covers the entire distance across a stream and drops at a near vertical angle. Blocks are often referred to as horseshoe falls.

These types of waterfalls are also ledge waterfalls. They keep partial contact with the rock underneath. 

Punchbowl Waterfall

A punchbowl waterfall is when water is forced to a very narrow width and squeezed down into a pool. 

Chute Waterfall

This is a waterfall in which the stream passage is very narrow, forcing water through at unusually high pressure. A chute waterfall can often look like rapids because of the white tops of the falls. They often are flowing down a series of rock steps. 

Horsetail Waterfall

This waterfall is a nearly vertical drop, and the water is constantly or almost in constant contact with the rock that it is flowing over.

Fan Waterfall

This is a steep-angled cascade (waterfall) that fans out from a narrow beginning at the top to a larger base at the bottom. Most fan waterfalls are also horsetail waterfalls because they are always in contact with the rock underneath during their descent. 

Plunge Waterfall

A plunge waterfall is one in which water drops at an entirely vertical angle from higher land. It flows over a large ledge and does not come in contact with the rock underneath while descending.

United States Waterfalls

If you didn’t know, the United States has over 17,000 documented waterfalls. There are probably plenty more that are undocumented and that no one knows exist. But there are plenty of famous waterfalls right in our backyard. 

California

If you’ve never visited Yosemite National Park, you may want to add it to a bucket list. It is one of the most famous national parks with many beautiful waterfalls. 

  • Yosemite Falls is 2,425 ft high and is one of the world’s tallest waterfalls. You can see Yosemite Falls from many places around Yosemite Valley and you can even do a 1 day hike up to the top of the falls.
  • Bridal Veil Falls is 620 ft high. It is often the first waterfall visitors of Yosemite National Park spot. It is one of the loudest waterfalls in the park during the Spring. However, during the rest of the year it has a light swaying flow.

New York 

New York may be known as the Empire state because of the number of apples grown and picked within the region. But they also have some pretty beautiful waterfalls.

  • Niagara Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the United States and Canada. Two waterfalls make up Niagara falls the Canadian Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls. Four of the five Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie) drain into the Niagara River. Because of this, about 3,160 tons of water flow over the falls every second.

Hawaii (Kauai)

A beautiful state that is full of flowers, hikes, the ocean, and some absolutely breathtaking waterfalls. 

  • Wailua Falls is located on the island of Kauai. It is actually a very famous waterfall and was featured in the opening credits of the long-running TV series “Fantasy Island.” It drops about 80 feet but can become taller depending on the amount of rainfall in the mountains.

Tennessee

It’s all country music, cowboy boots, and cattle in Tennessee. But they also have some amazing waterfalls you may want to hike to the next time you visit. 

  • Cataract Waterfalls are located in the Smoky Mountain Range and is one of the best kept secrets. A simple ¾ mile round trip hike will drop you off right at the base of the falls. You’ll want to visit after a large amount of rain. That is when this falls is most impressive. 

Worldwide Waterfalls

The United States has some pretty impressive waterfalls. However, many of them do not compare to the waterfalls you could visit around the world. 

Venezuela 

Venezuela is located on the Northern Coast of South America. It is home to the Andes Mountains and many tropical areas and islands. It also has some beautiful waterfalls.

  • Angel Falls is the world’s tallest waterfall that is uninterrupted which means it flows vertically down without hitting rocks. Angel Falls dropped off the side of Auyán-tepui mountain in the Canaima National Park.

Guyana

This country is full of rainforests and is known for its calypso and cricket music. Guyana is also known for one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls.

  • Kaieteur Falls is the world’s biggest waterfall and is considered a single-drop waterfall and is one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. It is located in the Amazon Rainforest.

 Argentina & Brazil

Just like the United States and Canada, Brazil, and Argentina share one of the most magnificent waterfalls. 

  • Iguazu Falls, or the Iguaçu Falls, are falls from the Iguazu River and are in both Argentina and Brazil. Together they make up the biggest waterfall system in the world.

Zambia and Zimbabwe

These countries are landlocked, which means there are countries surrounding them, and they do not have access to the ocean. But they do have access to one of the world’s most famous waterfalls. 

  • Victoria Falls is located on the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe.  It is located on the Zambezi River and provides a habitat for several unique species of plants and animals. 

Democratic Republic of the Congo 

Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa is bordered to the west by the South Atlantic Ocean. It is also the second largest country in Africa.

  • Inga Falls are part of a larger group of rapids in the lower Congo River. They also have neighbor falls named Livingstone Falls which are located upstream closer to the Pool Malebo.

Switzerland

Switzerland is located in Central European country and is a very mountainous country. It is home to numerous lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps and waterfalls. 

  • Reichenbach Falls is a waterfall cascade of seven steps on the stream called Rychenbach. A hydroelectric power company harnesses the flow of the Reichenbach Falls during certain times of year which causes the flow to reduce. 

India

India is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and the second most populous country. It is also home to a waterfall taken over by monkeys.

  • Monkey Falls is a place where you are sure to see monkeys. People love coming to the falls in the monsoon months when the falls start to glimmer. When it comes to how to reach Monkey Falls, you can choose to trek uphill and spot some amazing views on the way.

New Zealand

A country that is made up of islands in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, it consists of two large island (North and South Island) and over 700 smaller islands. It also have many beautiful waterfalls to see. 

  • Sutherland Falls is one of the world’s highest waterfalls. It is fed by water from the snow-fed Lake Quill. It is located within the Fiordland National Park. The name Sutherland falls came from the prospector Donald Sutherland who was the first to see the falls. 

Waterfall Facts

Here are some quick waterfall facts for you. They are not only quick but interesting too.

  • Murchison Falls National Park is famously known for having the most powerful waterfall in the world and is located in Africa. 
  • Angel Falls (in Venezuela) is considered the highest waterfall in the world it drops about 2,600 ft.
  • The widest waterfalls in the world are the Khône Falls in Laos. The width is 35,376 ft.
  • Depending on the amount of erosion, it can gradually lead to the formation of rapids and waterfalls.
  • A waterfall, by definition, is river water or other body of water’s steep fall over a rocky ledge into a plunge pool below. 

Waterfalls are found almost everywhere in the world and are some of the most popular sightseeing destinations. More than 4.4 million people visit waterfalls yearly and the beauty never stops. 

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