Iguaçu Falls in Iguaçu National Park is one of the most beautiful spectacles of nature on Earth.
By: Supplied by Embratur (Brazilian Agency for International Tourism Promotion)
1. An official wonder of nature
The votes are in – the Iguaçu Falls, having already been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, won its place among the great natural wonders of the world, following a worldwide poll in 2011, which took into account more than 500 million votes.
2. The number of waterfalls varies during the year
Spread-eagled along the Argentine-Brazil border, Iguaçu normally boasts around 275 separate falls, however, this number can vary between 150 and 300 depending on the season and water levels.
3. Its original name is Big Water
Iguaçu Falls translates from the native Guarani for “big water” – not surprising given the awesome sight, as tonnes of water flows over cliffs and mist rises into the jungle.
4. Taller than Niagara and wider than Victoria Falls
The falls are taller than Niagara Falls (and four times as wide), which led Eleanor Roosevelt to exclaim on her first sight: “Poor Niagara!”
5. Legend has it the falls were formed by an enraged god
Local legends say that a god planned to marry a beautiful woman named Naipí, but she loved another, a mortal named Tarobá. The lovers fled together by canoe, but they couldn’t paddle fast enough. The god, enraged and heartbroken, sliced the river creating the waterfalls and condemning the lovers to an eternal fall.
6. You can find marsupials there
In the forest of the Iguaçu National Park, you can find the opossum, the only marsupial to be found outside of Australia.
7. The flow of water going over the falls can increase by 7.5 times during the rainy season During the rainy season between November and March, there is a surge in the waterfalls’ water volume, increasing from an average flow of 60 000 cubic feet per second to a phenomenal 450 000 cubic feet per second (that’s roughly 3.4 million gallons every second).
8. You can be almost completely surrounded by waterfalls
Due to its horseshoe shape, you can stand at a single point along one of the viewing platforms and be surrounded by an astonishing 260 degrees of waterfalls.
9. The falls are movie stars
The falls have been featured in various Hollywood blockbusters from The Mission and Miami Vice to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and most recently, Black Panther.
10. The Devil’s Throat has more than 14 drops
The most impressive of all the falls is a U-shaped cliff nicknamed Garganta del Diablo (the Devil’s Throat), which has 14 falls plunging more than 260 feet (80 metres). Around half of the water flow from the Iguaçu River spills into the Devil’s Throat.