The Victoria Falls are claimed to be many things – the largest , greatest, biggest waterfall in the world. In reality, you can find taller, wider and bigger waterfalls , but are they better? And how can we measure them? Here we have a completely unbiased look at waterfalls of the world and observe how they compare.
Depending on what you measure and classify a waterfall , different falls will come on top. There are numerous different lists of the world’s top waterfalls , based on varying classifications and measurements.
The easiest category to determine, the tallest waterfall in the world , is universally consented to be Angel Falls (or Kerepakupai Merú) in Venezuela, which drop an incredible 979 metres. Vic Falls , with its maximum drop of 105 metres , does not even make the very best 100. It is not even the tallest waterfall in Zimbabwe, that will be taken by Mutarazi Falls , which are 479m high.
In regards to the rest of the categories, two other waterfalls contend with the Victoria Falls for the entire title – Niagara Falls , in Canada, and Iguazu Falls kalev kosk Argentina. Whilst neither of these score highly on height (Niagara deepest drop is only 51 m, Iguazu’s 82 m), all three compete for the entire title of the largest waterfall in the world.
With an overall total width of 1,708 metres , Vic Falls tend to be claimed whilst the widest waterfall in the World. The Iguazu Falls claims a larger total width of 2,682m. Niagara , with an overall total width of 1,204 m, are out from the running here.
However these total widths do not represent just one or unbroken line of water. Iguazu is separated into hundreds of separate, smaller, cascades, of different levels and heights. Even the Victoria Falls is divided, by two islands (Cataract Island and Livingstone Island) towards its western end, although it still regarded just one, continuous, fall-line. As a result of the technicality the Victoria Falls tend to be claimed whilst the largest continuous curtain of falling water.
The ultimate, and most difficult, category for measuring the world’s waterfalls is by volume of flow , here measured in cubic metres per second (cms). The Victoria Falls have a typical volume of 1,088 cms , and are beaten both by Niagara (2,407 cms) and Iguazu (1,746 cms).
However, the Victoria Falls and Zambezi River fluctuate with a massive seasonal variation of flow , and an annual average flow figure hides these variations. At its highest point, in March/April, it is estimated a monthly average of 3,000 to 6,000 cms of water flow over these Falls , and its highest recorded flow was over 12,000 cms. Iguazu holds an identical record, although lower standard annual range, whilst Niagara has a highest flow of only 6,800 cms.
What stands apart, compared with the major waterfalls of the world , is that the Victoria Falls are unique. No other Falls of such size are very perfectly formed, with an almost constant vertical drop of 100m over an almost straight fall-line of 1,700 metres in width.
All categories considered, the entire title of biggest, greatest or largest waterfall in the world is highly debatable. For people, Niagara is a comfortable third, Iguazu second and Victoria Falls a straightforward first.