Waterfalls make for very scenic tourist attractions, but there are a few that really stand out from the crowd. While not always the largest, tallest or even natural, these falls have something about them that boggles the mind.
1. Weird Underwater Waterfall In Mauritius
The ocean around Mauritius is home to a spectacular underwater waterfall, or at least the optical illusion of one. Sand and silk sink into a deep coastal shelf to create this impressive illusion.
2. Upside Down Waterfall
Seemingly defying the laws of gravity, upside down waterfalls do not flow in the direction that you would expect. It is actually a natural phenomenon caused by strong winds propelling the water upward. This upside down waterfall is in Iceland, but this also commonly occurs in places such as Hawaii, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
3. Glowing Horsetail Fall
Around a specific time each year, the Horsetail Fall in Yosemite draws scores of onlookers that come to witness this spectacular appearance. Due to the position of the setting sun, the waterfall is illuminated in such a way that it takes on a glowing orange and red color. Weather conditions must be perfect for this so-called “firefall” to occur, but if it does, it is a breathtaking experience.
4. Sticky Waterfalls In Thailand
Water flowing down rocks usually have slick and slippery surfaces, but the Bua Tong Waterfalls in Thailand defy this convention. Instead, these falls are “sticky” thanks to the bulbous limestone underneath. Unlike most waterfalls, there are no slime or algae on the rocks either. In fact, the limestone provides so much traction that it is actually possible to walk up these falls.
5. Toilet Bowl Waterfall
Nature offers some very weird waterfalls, but few can come close to this man-made piece of public art in China. The “waterfall” took 2 months to install and consists of toilets, urinals and sinks, all covering a 100 meter long wall. The toilets and urinals are all connected to a tap, which means they can actually flush. The five meter high installation is occasionally flooded to delight spectators with a cascading waterfall.
6. McWay Beach Waterfall
What makes McWay Falls so spectacular, is the fact that it drops right onto the beach. During high tide, the fall flows into the ocean. The secluded beach, which was created by landslides, is virtually untouched because it is very hard to access. The waterfall flows year-round and can be viewed from a certain vantage point on a trail above.
7. Hraunfossar Lava Waterfall
The spectacular Hraunfossar Waterfall in Iceland actually consists of a series of waterfalls caused by water streaming out of a lava field 900 meters away. Although the name translates as “Lava Falls” the water is actually a bright turquoise color and gently cascades down from the moss-covered volcanic rock.
8. Iceland Fog Waterfall
This fog waterfall in Iceland is pretty spectacular, but unfortunately not something you can go view at any time. A hiker was fortunate enough to capture images of this natural phenomena where cold fog came into contact with warmer air causing it to cascade down to sea level. The fog not only looked like an enormous waterfall, but thanks to the roar of the wind sounded like one too.
9. Ice Cave Waterfall
With locations that change every year, Iceland’s ice caves often feature amazing waterfalls. The light reflecting off the ice in the caves contributes to the magical, otherworldly look of these natural wonders.
10. Blood Falls Antarctica
The Blood Falls in Antarctica appear to be quite a gruesome sight, but thankfully this is not real blood gushing out of the ice. Although scientists initially thought that the bright red color may be caused by algae, this is not the case. It is actually salt water that contains so much iron-oxide that it has a red, rusty color.
11. Frozen Waterfall
Frozen waterfalls, a natural phenomenon caused by extreme winter temperatures, make for spectacular photographs. Some of these frozen falls, like this one in Wildcat Canyon Illinois, are also popular among thrill seekers, eager to put their ice climbing skills to the test by scaling the fall.
12. Mushroom Shaped Bigar Waterfall Romania
The unique shape and green moss cover of the Bigar Waterfall in Romania make it look like a large mushroom. The way in which the water spreads across the rock before falling down further enhances its unique appearance.
13. Iguazu Falls
When the late Eleanor Roosevelt saw the Iguaza Falls for the first time she is said to have uttered “Poor Niagara.” It is easy to see why she was so astounded though. Spanning a 2.7 kilometer area, it is wider than both Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls.
14. Angel Falls Venezuala
Angel Falls has the distinction of being the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall and despite being located in an isolated jungle draws numerous tourists to Venezuela each year. It is 15 times the height of the Niagara Falls and named for the American aviator Jimmy Angel. Angel flew over the falls in 1933 while on a search for a valuable ore bed.
15. Baatara Gorge Waterfall Lebanon
Plunging past three natural stone bridge formations the Baatara Gorge Waterfall looks like something created for a fantasy movie set. This stunning sight is visible only during March and April every year and is caused by melting snows. As the image below shows, the waterfall is just as spectacular when viewed from a different angle.
16. Hukou Waterfall China
The Hukou Waterfall is not only the second largest of its kind in China, but also bears a distinctive yellow color which, makes it unique. The Yellow river naturally contains a lot of loose soil, which is carried downstream and causes the muddy yellow color. The waterfall was aptly named “Hukou” or “flask mouth” because it resembles water pouring out of a pot.
17. Petrified Waterfalls of Hierve el Agua
Hierve el Aqua, which means “the water that boils” got its name from the bubbling natural mineral springs in the area. From a distance. the waterfall appears frozen in place as it cascades down the mountain, but closer inspection reveals that it is actually mineral deposits. The mineral-rich water flowing over the edge of the cliff slowly formed a buildup over many years in the same way stalactites are formed.
18. Swarovski Crystal World Face Waterfall
One of the most impressive views in the Austrian state of Tyrol is a giant head with a waterfall pouring from its mouth. Named, “The Giant,” it is actually the imposing entrance to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds museum that was built in honor of the Swarovski crystal company. The interior chambers of the museum feature all kinds of wonders, but it is the giant with its waterfall mouth that makes the most striking impression.
19. Underground waterfall Ruby Falls Tennessee
Unlike some cave waterfalls where water pours in through sinkholes or other openings, the Ruby Falls are entirely underground. The waterfall, named after the wife of its discoverer, is located inside a limestone cave that is more than 1120 feet below the mountain’s surface.
20. Hanging Glacier Falls Ventisquero Colgante
The impressive looking Hanging Glacier Falls in Chile derive its name from a glacier perched on the brink of the cliff above it. It is relatively isolated, which is why it is not as well-known as some of the other falls, but offers a spectacular view. The waterfall flows throughout the year, but depending on the weather conditions and the position of the glacier, can change location or even produce additional falls.