We have already seen the tallest waterfalls from around the world, now it is time for the greatest, the fastest flowing waterfalls to show their power. While you can’t always see their power it can at least be measured and here are the results of those measurements…
The Top 10 Fastest Flowing Waterfalls in the World
10 – Victoria Falls, Zambia – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 1,088
This waterfalls local name is “Mosi oa-Tunya” which translated means “the smoke that thunders” and boy does this waterfall thunder as it crashes down its 100m vertical chasm and into the river below.
9 – Iguazú Falls, Argentina – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 1,746
Called locally the “The Devil’s Throat” it is far from the tallest waterfall to exist, but it is one of the most impressive you can visit. Its low height doesn’t mean it doesn’t make a lot of noise, but it is said it can be heard from over 5 miles away.
8 – Niagara Falls, United States – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 2,407
This waterfall gets through 567,811 litres of river water every second and that speed also helps power one of the highest producing electric dams in the world.
7 – Urubupunga Falls, Brazil – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 2,750
This is not just one big waterfall but 270 separate falls that span 1.5 miles ( 2.4 km) of the river. Located between Brazil and Argentina it is the most visited tourist destination in both countries.
6 – Paulo Afonso Falls, Brazil – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 2,890
This once naturally flowing waterfall now has moments of low and high flows as the need and the decline of power needed from the large hydroelectric station that controls it.
5 – Grande Falls, Uruguay – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 4,500
What makes this waterfall flow so fast is the narrowing of rocky walls that constrict the river and make it flow at the exit of the narrowing and into the falls at incredible speeds.
4 – Celilo Falls (submerged), United States – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 5,415
While this is not a waterfall that is a visual treat, you can still hear the furious flow of the water from several miles away. It was once even more majestic, but hydro dams have changed it for the worse.
3 – Khone Phapheng Falls, Laos – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 11,610
While the tallest part of the falls is less than 100ft its one of the highest volume of waterfalls in the world and is pretty much impossible to navigate. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying and indeed dying.
2 – Guaíra Falls (submerged), Paraguay – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 13,300
This fall is supposedly named for a Guaraní Indian chief and its name in Portuguese refers to the number 7 but in fact, there are no less than 18 falls in this small location which has led geologists to presume the flow was once a lot stronger.
1 – Boyoma Falls, Democratic Republic of the Congo – Mean annual flow rate (m³/s): 17,000
The “falls” extend for 60 miles (100 km) along the river connecting river ports at Kisangani and Ubundu. It is said that on a good day you can hear this falls thunderous sound from almost 100 miles away! Now that is one loud splash.