Nature never ceases to amaze us with its perfection and virtuosity, with which it creates masterpieces of incredible beauty. Waterfalls are one of these beautiful creations.
Many tourists and photographers strive for these places, get a charge of admiration, and be convinced of the greatness and beautiful world around us.
You can endlessly look at these waterfalls; the splashes sparkle in the sun, the roar of the mesmerizing stream, the fantastic landscapes around never cease to delight.
Sometimes, waterfalls become the most significant attraction of a region or country; tens of thousands of tourists visit them.
With an honorable mention to Undercave waterfall of Bali, we have listed such top 10 unique waterfalls in the world that can help you plan your future travels.
Table of Contents
1. Horsetail Waterfall, USA
Horsetail waterfall is located in Yosemite National Park in California, USA. The fall of water occurs on the eastern side of Mount El Capitan.
This waterfall was discovered in 1833 by Joseph Reddeford Walker. Its height is 650 meters.
A feature of the Horsetail is a rare natural phenomenon that can be observed for only some days at the end of February.
At that time, the setting sun seems to most brilliantly ignite the cascading water above the Horsetail Falls.
The waterfall turns fiery orange and creates the complete illusion that hot metal or volcanic lava streams are pouring from above.
This spectacular but too short event is called Firefall after people imitate nature with pyrotechnics thrown over a rock. The practice stopped in 1968.
The fantastic waterfall resembles the ponytail that gave its name and drops some 40 meters into a crystal-clear lake. It has become a favorite among travelers.
Although there are many climbers here in the summer months, it is harsh, naked, and majestic in the winter.
2. Fog Waterfall, Iceland
Water is characterized by three states: liquid, solid and gaseous. In the case of this waterfall, we are faced with the gaseous state of aggregation of water.
Waterfalls from the rock, no matter what state it remains. Due to its appearance, the fog is descending from a cliff – hence the name of the Fog Waterfall.
This waterfall does not appear all the time; several conditions must accompany this – firstly, the direction of the wind, and secondly, a specific air temperature.
The anomaly, the researchers believe, was caused by temperature inversion – an increase in air temperature with altitude.
Thanks to the wind, this waterfall makes a noise like an ordinary waterfall in a liquid state of water.
It was filmed on camera in 2015 by Kjartan Gunnsteinsson. In the video, the fog cascades from the Djupadal cliff and softly spreads at the bottom of the Bradford.
3. Horizontal Flow Waterfalls, Western Australia
Horizontal Falls are two natural phenomena found in Talbot Bay, Kimberley County, in Western Australia. The geological features of the region have created this incredible natural effect.
Polton Creek, two elongated freshwater bodies of water, separate the small McLarty ridges from Talbot Bay. And in these mountain ranges, there are two gorges.
The northern gorge is located directly on the border with the sea bay and has a width of about 20 meters.
Second, the South Gorge connects the Polton Creek reservoirs themselves. It is no more than 10 meters wide. The gorges are located at a distance of about 300 meters from each other.
The effect of horizontal waterfalls appears during the ebb and flow. When seawater arrives or recedes, it simply does not have time to pass through the narrow passages.
Water accumulates in front of the gorges faster than flowing through them. It creates a difference in water levels in the bay and Polton Creek and creates the effect of a waterfall.
Usually, the height difference is about 5 meters, but sometimes it can be up to 10 meters. Naturally, at high tide, water rushes from the bay in a mighty stream and back at low tide.
However, unlike classical waterfalls, this natural phenomenon runs horizontally, creating the illusion that water spreads over the bay’s surface.
Horizontal waterfalls are characterized by repeated changes in the direction of water movement during the day.
That is, within one day, you can see how the water flows in noisy streams into the bay and back. The change of direction occurs approximately every 6.5 hours.
4. Bigar Waterfall, Romania
Bigar is a waterfall in the Izvorul Bigar nature reserve in the Bozovic commune in southwestern Romania.
While not impressive for its size or stormy streams, it is distinguished from others by its distinctive shape, reminiscent of a mushroom cap or princess dress.
This feature, combined with the many streams of water flowing down the moss-covered cliff, and the fact that the waterfall is located precisely on the 45th parallel, being halfway between the equator and the North Pole, make Bigar one of the unique waterfalls in the world.
Its waters flow down to a rock of limestone tuff wholly covered with moss and fall from an eight-meter height into the Minis River.
The Izvorul Bigar nature reserve, which houses the Bigar waterfall, was founded in 1982 and is a protected area.
The reserve consists of a hilly area dotted with springs, caves, gorges, calcareous ravines, and valleys and meadows.
The fauna includes Carpathian bears, lynxes, wolves, foxes, and various bird and fish species.
5. Cameron Falls, Canada
Cameron Falls is located in Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. You can see an infrequent phenomenon here in June – the waterfall’s waters turn pink.
Cameron Falls is near Ruby Ridge, home to red rocks with oxidized iron called clayey siltstones.
It is also called argillite, which, after a torrential downpour, gives off the red color which usually reaches the bed of Cameron Creek, thus coloring the waterfall into bubble gum pinkish color.
Very few lucky people have had the opportunity to witness this show live and direct, for the rare occasions in the year that all elements are given to make it happen. But when they do occur, it seems to be a magical event.
There is no warranty that you will witness a pink waterfall when you walk through Cameron Falls, but you will probably want to go in May or June after heavy rains to give yourself the best chance.
6. Blood Falls, Antarctica
Blood Falls is a red stream flowing from the Taylor Glacier in the Dry Valleys in East Antarctica.
A unique natural phenomenon was discovered in 1911 by Australian geologist Griffith Taylor. Initially, researchers assumed that algae gave this color to the water.
It later turns out that the blood-red color results from a complex chemical reaction over 1.5 million years when water passed through an endless network of cracks and passages in the glacier’s thickness.
Scientists often refer to this waterfall as a liquid time capsule. After being in a glacier without sunlight or high-pressure oxygen, saltwater turns blood red in contact with open air.
Iron is directly responsible for the color of the water, the concentration of which in the water is relatively high.
Initially, scientists believed that the Antarctic glacier was homogeneous from the top to the very base.
Another attractive property of the Blood Falls is its salinity, which exceeds that in the ocean by four times. It keeps the water from freezing even at -10 ° C, but at lower temperatures, frost still prevails.
In addition, this reservoir contains microbes that live in a high-pressure environment, feeding on water sulfates metabolizing its sulfates and iron ions.
These discoveries made Blood Falls a popular destination for astrobiological research.
7. Mauritius Underwater Waterfall
In the Indian Ocean, you can observe an unusual natural anomaly – the illusion of an underwater waterfall.
The Underwater Waterfall is situated off the Le Morne Brabant peninsula coast in the southwest of Mauritius.
The Le Morne Brabant peninsula has the shape of a hammer; in the center of the peninsula is the highest point of the entire western coast – Mount Morne Braban, 556 meters high.
Le Morne Brabant is considered one of the most beautiful places in Mauritius. Since 2008, the peninsula has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
According to geological studies, the illusion of an underwater waterfall in Mauritius arises from solid underwater currents.
These solid underwater currents, which constantly erode the sand, contributed to forming a high plateau that appeared in the ocean.
The age of the ocean floor around the island of Mauritius is several million years; however, the ocean floor here rose not so long ago.
The relief of the seabed, formed by coral reefs, sand, and silt, moves under the influence of powerful underwater currents and creates a similar optical illusion in the form of an underwater waterfall.
In addition, the crystal clear water within the coral reef further enhances this unique illusion. At the sight of this phenomenon, it seems that the jets of water go into the very bottom of the Indian Ocean.
But the depth of the island’s coastal waters varies from 10 to 100 meters; there are no significant differences in depths observed here.
The simplest way to get to the underwater waterfall of Mauritius is by helicopter sightseeing tours. Air Mauritius organizes these helicopter tours in Mauritius.
8. Pamukkale Waterfall, Turkey
Nature created the thermal springs of Pamukkale; it is an incredible place that attracts millions of people every year. It is located in the town of Denizli (Turkey).
The name is translated from Turkish as a cotton castle. Indeed, when you look at the Pamukkale from far away or in the photo, it appears that you perceive in front of you a large fortress built from many fluffy cotton bolls.
The local waters have a very high salt content, and over the millennia of the existence of the springs, a cascade of snow-white formations has formed, most of all resembling a frozen waterfall.
The activity of the salt springs continues to this day. So the final appearance of the landmark has not been formed at all.
Since 1988, it has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The fact alone provides evidence of its importance, and the attraction itself has been known to people for a long time.
Even in ancient times, local pools were considered medicinal, making it possible to call Pamukkale almost the first health resort in Turkey and world history.
At least seventeen significant geothermal sources operate on the complex’s territory. The water temperature is different, ranging from 30 to 100°C.
Hot springs are recommended to treat nervous disorders, rheumatism, eye and skin conditions, nervous and physical exhaustion, and digestive disorders.
This place is also called Cleopatra’s pool– according to legend, it was here that the Egyptian queen drew her beauty and youth.
Even though Pamukkale is a year-round resort, it is best to visit it in October, November, April, and May.
It is scorching here in the summer season, particularly in July and August. In winter, it is cold (no more than + 12°C).
It is worth considering that you have to walk barefoot on travertines, and in the heat and cold, it is pretty uncomfortable.
9. Devil’s Kettle waterfall, USA
There is a very mysterious waterfall in the USA. It is called the Devil’s Kettle waterfall.
The height of the natural miracle is 327 meters, and it is located in the State Natural Park named after Judge Clarence Magney in the state of Minnesota.
The Brule River flows into Lake Superior from the northwest. The Brule River, which rushes off the cliff and whose water feeds the Devil’s Kettle, splits into two streams before falling.
One of them is the most mysterious. It lies 2.4 km from the coast of the lake. Thanks to a large rocky ledge that divided the river’s course in two.
The one on the east side is two-staged and 15 meters high. It is, in general, an ordinary waterfall.
But the second on the western side is only 3 meters high. It is the one that is called the Devil’s Kettle waterfall.
The fact is that the waterfall falls into the depression and disappears. The waterfall’s name is most likely associated with the effect of a teapot. The water is expected to fill some gigantic bottomless reservoir.
Researchers have dropped brightly colored dyes, ping-pong balls, GPS trackers, and other items into the depression for years. But none of this has been found. All objects disappeared into obscurity.
Experiments carried out in the fall of 2016 and February 2017 showed that disappearing water flows back into the Brule River below the falls.
At the suggestion of hydrologist Jeff Green, experts measured water flow in front of the falls and several hundred meters after it.
The readings practically coincided and amounted to approximately 3.5 cubic meters per second. Thus, it has been theoretically proven that water does not disappear anywhere.
Green suggested that they are destroyed by the high water pressure at the bottom of the waterfall regarding the disappearing objects.
But how then to explain that none of the smallest fragments of the same GPS device was found? The specialist does not know himself yet. But as they say, time will tell.
10. Ruby Underground Waterfall, USA
A fantastic natural landmark can be seen in the US state of Tennessee near Chattanooga. Here, in the bowels of Mount Lookout, there is an underground waterfall Ruby Falls.
It is located 341 meters underground, the waterfall is 44 meters high, and it is the highest and deepest waterfall in the United States.
The Lookout Mount itself and its caves have been known for a long time. Here at different times, the camp of the Indians and the refuge of criminals were located. But the waterfall has not yet caught the eye of either one or the other.
There were virtually no natural passages in the cave where the waterfall was located. The caves of Mount Lookout were closed in 1905 due to railway tunnel construction.
But a confident Leo Lambert (a local explorer), who naturally knew about the cave of Mount Lookout, decided to make the underground beauty public.
With a group of like-minded, enthusiastic people, he began to lay another entrance to the cave. And then a new cave was discovered. Having gone deeper, people found a fabulous waterfall.
Pathfinders hastened to report this discovery to the whole world. But first, Leo took a few people with him to the cave and his wife Ruby to boot. He named the waterfall after her.
Presumably, the age of the underground waterfall is about 30 million years. Over the years, fueled by springs and rainwater, the stream washed out a large mine in the limestone rock.
The waterfall rushed down, where the water collects into the pool, from where it flows to the Tennessee River in small underground rivers.
There are many exciting cave formations inside Lookout Mountain. However, the tourist route discovered here by Lambert in the first half of the 20th century did not become popular and was soon closed.
Despite this, Technicians installed lighting in the cave in 1935 with the Ruby Falls waterfall. This cave in Lookout Mountain became one of the first in the world to be supplied with electricity.
Later, so that visitors could quickly descend to a depth of 341 meters, special elevators were installed here.
The water speed in Ruby Falls is 1200 liters per minute. Interestingly, throughout the year, the temperature in the cave is around 10 degrees.
Now the underground waterfall Ruby Falls in Lookout Mountain is one of the most popular attractions in Tennessee. Its visit is included in all popular tourist routes around the state.
Many tourists love to travel for the opportunity to find unique natural attractions and see incredible beauties with their own eyes.
These waterfalls can be the idle destination for those seekers and adventurers because nothing beats the sensations that the noise of the seething water flows gives.
They fascinate and soothe, fill with energy, and amaze with their massiveness. These falls also share history and legends, so next time, while planning an adventure for yourself, do consider visiting one of these waterfalls.
(Last Updated on February 9, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)