30 Fun Facts About Angel Falls: the World’s Tallest Waterfall

Interesting facts about Angel Falls in Venezuela

In this article, let’s delve into the fascinating world of Angel Falls and uncover some surprising facts about this natural wonder.

Angel Falls is a waterfall in Venezuela, but this is not just your average waterfall. Easily one of the most impressive natural attractions on earth and the tallest waterfall in the world, Angel Falls draws in hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. 

Found in the lush forests of Venezuela, this waterfall is a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike. 

1. Angel Falls is the tallest uninterrupted waterfall in the world, surpassing other iconic waterfalls like Niagara Falls and Victoria Falls.

2. The waterfall plunges to the earth in Canaima National Park in southeastern Venezuela. The national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994 in recognition of its outstanding natural value. Besides Angel falls, the national park has several other waterfalls.

Looking down at a waterfall plunging off a cliff in Canaima National Park
Another waterfall in Canaima National Park

3. Angel Falls is named after James Angel, an American adventurer and aviator who crash-landed his plane nearby in 1937. Angel had already seen the falls in 1933, but it was his visit in 1937 that became iconic. He had to trek across difficult terrain for 11 days to survive.

4. Angel Falls also goes by the names Salto Ángel and Kerepakupai-merú. The latter indigenous name is derived from the Pemon native language means “falls from the deepest place”.

5. The area surrounding Angel Falls is home to the Pemon indigenous people. The Pemon indigenous people have lived in the region for centuries and they consider the waterfall to be sacred.

6. James Angel is officially credited for being the first person to find Angel Falls, despite the Pemon people living in the region for centuries. 

7. In 2009, Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez declared that Angel Falls should only be referred to as Kerepakupai Merú out of respect for the Pemon people.

Angel Falls viewed from a churning river
Viewed from the river

8. The most popular way to visit the falls is by plane. There is no road access and it can take up to two days to get there by foot. Other transportation options include helicopter and boat. 

9. Adventurers seeking a more challenging experience tend to reach Angel Falls via a guided tour. Guided tours to Angel Falls consist of tough hikes through dense rainforests and rivers. These visitors also have to camp in the wilderness.

10. The total height of Angel Falls is 979 meters (3,212 feet). That makes it just 31 meters (101 feet) taller than the second-tallest waterfall in the world – Tugela Falls in South Africa is 948 meters (3,110 feet) tall.

11. Despite being the tallest waterfall in the world, Angel Falls isn’t the widest. Angel Falls is only 150 meters (500 feet) wide at its base. That makes it almost 10 times narrower than the widest waterfall in the world. Khone Phapheng Falls in Laos is the widest waterfall in the world. It’s approximately 35,000 feet (10,700 meters) wide.

12. Angel Falls was formed more than 200 million years ago, during the time of the supercontinent. Approximately 70 million years ago, tectonic activity began to lift the area, which created the Guiana Shield. The uplift caused large layers of rock to fracture and form canyons. One of these canyons was Angel Falls. 

The rocky top of Angel Falls
The tepui, or tabletop at the top of the falls

13. Angel Falls consists of a series of cascades and drops, with the longest uninterrupted descent measuring about 807 meters (2,648 feet). 

14. Angel Falls has wide lagoons, and jacuzzi-like pools that make it possible for tourists to cool off. From these pools and lagoons, visitors can feel the refreshing misty spray of the waterfall on their faces.

15. The waterfall drops over the edge of the Auyán-tepui mountain and consists mostly of the main plunge. Angel Falls also features a rapids, a 400-meter (1,300-feet) sloped cascade, and a 30-meter (100-foot) high plunge downstream, which is found past the talus rapids.

16. The tepuis in the region are believed to be some of the oldest geological formations on Earth, dating back millions of years. If you’ve never heard of those, a tepui is a table-top mountain or mesa found.

17. The average flow of water that spills over the top of Angel Falls is just 3,750 gallons per second. That’s almost 100 times less than the 300,000 gallons of water that go over Victoria Falls every second. The water that feeds the waterfall comes from the Churun River. 

Looking up at Angel Falls, with jungle landscape on either side at the bottom
The jungle landscape around the falls

18. The landscape that surrounds Angel Falls is home to a unique and diverse ecosystem. The area features table mountains, savannahs, and tropical rainforests. 

19. The area surrounding Angel Falls is also rich with flora and fauna. Some of the flora and fauna species here include bromeliads, orchids, giant armadillos, capuchin monkeys, and jaguars. 

20. Angel Falls has a tropical climate and frequent rainstorms. The driest time of year is from December to April and the average temperature ranges from 18.2°C (64.76°F) at night to 25.6°C (78.08°F) during the day.

21. During the dry season, the waterfall’s water volume decreases. In some cases, it may even transform into a mere trickle. Angel Fall’s peak water flow is between May and November.

22. Not many people realize it, but Angel Falls is in the Amazon Rainforest. This is one of the main reasons why Angel Falls is so remote. The Amazon Rainforest that surrounds the falls consists of a deep jungle and winding rivers.

Angel Falls viewed from the lower waterfall at the bottom
Relatively lower volume in the dry season

23. Despite its remote location, Angel Falls has become a popular tourist destination, attracting adventure-seekers and nature enthusiasts from around the world. Visitors can take guided tours, enjoy scenic flights, and even embark on multi-day treks to experience the falls up close.

24. Every year, it’s estimated that approximately one million people visit Angel Falls. To put that into perspective, more than 20 million people visit Niagara Falls every year.

25. Due to its impressive height, Angel Falls has attracted daredevils and extreme sports enthusiasts from all over the world. In 1990, Jean-Marc Boivin became the first man to BASE jump off the highest point of the falls.

26. Just a day after becoming the first man to jump off the highest point of Angel Falls, Jean-Marc Boivin died while trying to repeat his initial jump. He succumbed to his injuries after hitting a tree.

View of Angel Falls from afar, with birds flying in the sky
Birds flying around the falls

27. The Tepui region, where Angel Falls is located, inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel “The Lost World,” which features a hidden prehistoric plateau.

28. Despite using Angel Falls as the inspiration for his novel, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never visited Angel Falls. However, he did learn about it when he attended a lecture by British botanist Sir Everard im Thurn.

29. Angel Falls has served as a backdrop for several movies. Notable features include the Disney movie Up (2009) as Paradise Falls, Point Break (2015), and What Dreams May Become (1998).

30. Angel Falls has also been a popular filming location for various nature-based television shows and documentaries over the years. The falls have been featured in popular documentaries like the BBC’s Planet Earth, National Geographic, and Angel Falls.

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