Made by Planet Earth: The Iguazu Falls
The falls of Iguazù are located in Argentina and are one of our many natural wonders. Many people travel to see them when they travel to Argentina or Brazil. And they are truly breath taking to behold. Located on the border between these two countries, it is very easy to move from one side to the other during the excursion.
The name "Iguazú" is derived from two words that either originate in the Guarani or Tupi language. Translated to "water big" it is made up of "y" [ɨ], meaning "water", and "ûasú "[waˈsu], which means big "big".
The first European to record the falls was Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca a Spanish Conquistador exploring the region in 1541.
The Iguazù falls are formed by two hundred and seventy-five distinct waterfalls spread over 1.7 miles of river. The river pours its waters from a height of 269 feet in a series of cataracts and waterfalls, the star waterfall, being 269 feet high, 350 feet wide in the shape of a horseshoe is 1.7 miles long.
The Portuguese and Spaniards call this fall the "Devil's Gorge". The amount of water carried by the river combined with the height of the falls produces a breathtaking effect of large clouds of mist rising over 300 feet in height soaking the islets and the surrounding forest. In addition to the exceptional spectacle they offer, the Iguazù Falls play a fundamental role in the local ecosystem. Iguazù recorded the second highest annual flow of all falls. Its record is 250,000 cu ft/s, but its average flow is more modest: 62,010 cu ft/s.
Large amounts of water vapor create a very humid microclimate that promotes lush subtropical vegetation and wildlife proliferation. Due to the rare biodiversity that thrives around it, Iguazù National Park has been a protected area since the 20th century and was incorporated into the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. However, tourism continues to thrive and thousands of visitors walk the trails and trails to admire the spectacular views offered when the falls are at their highest flow.
In mythology the falls were created by a deity who planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí. She fled with her mortal lover Tarobá in a canoe to escape the betrothal. In his rage, the deity sliced the river in two creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.