By Isabelle Khoo
In the heart of Venezuela’s Canaima National Park on Mount Auyantepui lays Angel Falls – the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall.
The Height: Water plunges more than 2,600 feet over the edge of an approximately 3,200-foot mountain. (For perspective, that’s 19 times the height of Canada’s Niagara Falls.) Due to its enormity, by the time water reaches the ground, it’s transformed into tiny particles, which appear as fog.
The History: In 1937, Angel Falls was officially discovered by mistake by American aviator Jimmie Angel. While on a flight in search for gold, he came across the Auyantepui. Since his fuel was running low and weather conditions became hazardous, Angel was forced to make an impromptu landing on the tepui, damaging the plane. Luckily Angel and his companions, his wife and two others, were not hurt. Angel and his team then took an 11-day trek to find their way back to civilization. On the way, they were stunned and captivated by the mile-high falls they discovered and its mysterious surroundings. Angel Falls was then appropriately named in honour of Angel’s exploration.
The Draw: Since those early days, Angel Falls has captured the imaginations of the masses and today attracts millions of travellers each year. But despite this, only small groups of visitors actually make it close enough to see and hear the roar of the falls. Its remote location surrounded by dense forests help maintain its exoticness and mysterious “lost world.”
The Nature: Being the highest and most isolated waterfall in the world, its flora and fauna has learned to adapt to its unique environment. Carnivorous sundews and march pitchers are just some of the distinct plant life that can be found here. The mountain’s small caves and canyons were carved by rainfall, and erosion has even transformed some rocks into peculiar formations.
Nonetheless, Angel Falls remains a mystic place that can make even the most seasoned traveller feel like a 19th century explorer discovering a lost world. Without a doubt, Angel Falls will continue to captivate our imaginations.