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Angel Falls

 

 

 

Angel Falls
Angel Falls-the highest in the world, water free-falls
Bolivar State, Venezuela
 
Earth's Natural Wonders in South America
 
Alternative name: Salto Angel
Height of Angel Falls: 3,212 feet (979 m)
Rainfall collected in ravines: 300 inches (762 cm)
Angel Falls-the highest in the world, water free-falls[1]

Angel Falls, Bolivar State, Venezuela
Angel Falls, Venezuela

Angel Falls (indigenous name: Parakupa-vena or Kerepakupai merú which means the fall from the highest point, in Pemon language; Spanish: Salto Del Ángel) is the world's highest waterfall, with a height of 979m (3,212ft) and a clear drop of 807m (2,647ft). It is located in the Canaima National Park (Spanish: Parque Nacional Canaima) , in the Gran Sabana region of Bolivar State, Venezuela.

The height of the falls is so great that before getting anywhere near the ground, the water is atomized by the strong winds and turned into mist. The mist can be felt a mile away. The base of the falls feeds into the Kerep River (alternatively known as the Rio Gauya) which flows into the Churun River, a tributary of the Carrao River.

Angel Falls, Venezuela [2]
 
 

In the indigenous Pemon language Angel Falls is called Kerepakupai merú meaning "waterfall of the deepest place". The falls are sometimes referred to as Churun-meru, an error, since that name corresponds to another waterfall in the Canaima National Park. Churun in the Pemon language means "thunder".

The fictional "Paradise Falls" in the 2009 Pixar film "Up" was inspired by Angel Falls. The production staff toured this area of Venezuela prior to the making of the film.[3]

 

Exploration
Sir Walter Raleigh described what was possibly a tepuy (table top mountain), and he is sometimes said to have discovered Angel Falls, but these claims are considered "far-fetched". They were spotted in 1912 by the Venezuelan explorer Ernesto Sanchez La Cruz, but he did not publicize his discovery. They were not known to the outside world until American aviator Jimmie Angel flew over them on 16 November 1933 on a flight while he was searching for a valuable ore bed.

Returning on October 9 1937, Angel tried to land his Flamingo monoplane "El Rio Caroni" atop Auyan-tepui, but the plane was damaged when the wheels sunk into the marshy ground, and he and his three companions, including his wife Marie, were forced to descend the tepui on foot. It took them 11 days to make their way back to civilization, but news of their adventure spread, and the waterfall was named "Angel Falls" in his honor.


Angel's planeAngel's plane remained on top of the tepuy for 33 years before being lifted out by helicopter. It was restored at the Aviation Museum in Maracay and now sits outdoors on the front of the airport at Ciudad Bolívar.

The first recorded person to reach the river that feeds the falls was Latvian explorer Aleksandrs Laime, also known as Alejandro Laime to the native Pemon tribe. He made the ascent of Auyan-tepui in 1955. He also reached Angel's plane on the same trip, 18 years after the crash landing. He gave the river feeding the falls the name Gauja after a river in Latvia, but the Pemon-given name of the river, Kerep, is still widely used.

Laime also was the first to clear a trail that leads from the Churun river to the base of the falls. On the way, there is a viewpoint commonly used to capture the falls in photographs. It is named "Mirador Laime" ("Laime's Viewpoint" in Spanish) in his honor. This trail is used now mostly for tourists, to lead them from the Isla Raton camp to the small clearing.

The official height of the falls was determined by a National Geographic Society survey carried out by American journalist Ruth Robertson in 1949.

Tourism
Angel Falls is one of Venezuela's top tourist attractions, but even today a trip to the falls is not a simple affair. The falls are located in an isolated jungle region of Venezuela, and a flight from Caracas or Ciudad Bolívar is required to reach Canaima camp, the starting point for river trips to the base of the falls.

It is also possible to purchase a package that includes an aerial flyby of the falls. The falls cannot be seen on cloudy days, and there is no guarantee visitors will see them.

River trips generally take place from June to December, when the rivers are deep enough for the wooden curiaras used by the Pemon Indian guides. During the dry season (December to March) there is less water than is seen in some photos, but it is also more likely that the top will not be clouded. [3]

Flora and fauna
.Angel Falls is situated in the Gran Sabana region of Venezuela. The periphery of this area is filled with grasslands, whereas deeper into the Gran Sabana one finds dense jungle. This part of the world is remarkable for its numerous tepuis, flat-topped mountains with vertical walls. Angel Falls is located on the side of an extremely large and high tepui known as Auyan Tepui.

Tourists sometimes refer to the stretch of the Churún River where the falls are located as the Auyan Tepui River, but the river that culminates in the drop is the Kerepakupai-merú. In the indigenous Pemón language Kerepakupai-merú means "waterfall of the deepest place."

There is an incredible variety of tropical wildlife in the area, including monkeys, poison arrow frogs, and hundreds of species of orchids. Aside from the monkeys, mammals in the area are generally difficult to spot but include giant anteaters, armadillos, porcupines, three-toed sloths, otters, jaguars, pumas, tapirs, and capybaras.


Geology
One of the several impressive tepuis, or table-top mountains, in Canaima National Park.Lying within the Canaima National Park, Angel Falls is part of the plateau that underlies the lands located in Venezuela to the south of the Orinoco River. The plateau's age is estimated at two billion years. Important geological transformations can be seen at the park, from its beginnings in the Precambrian period dating back to the time of the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea.

This continent began to separate due to the formation of a fracture in the planet's crust resulting in the formation of the Atlantic Ocean, and the creation of different portions of lands called shields. The geographic region in Venezuela, known as the Guyanese Shield, existed from the start as a great plain at an elevation roughly as high as today's visible tepuis, about 6500 to 9800 feet. After the formation of the great plain, during a long period of time—approximately 400 to 200 million years ago—a series of climate-related phenomena caused important changes in the geography of the Guyanese Shield.

The transformation of the landscape was due to drastic variations of arid climate to humid and vice versa; of strong, constant and lingering precipitations; droughts, freezing, discharges with high and low temperatures; storms, hurricanes, and the tectonic movements of the earth. The erosion was caused by atmospheric agents removing the material deposited in the great plain during millions of years. In places where the rock was less resistant, the erosion was greater resulting in this great transformation, the Tepuis, and the fantastic scenery at the Falls.[4]

 

 

The Tallest Waterfall On Earth.
It's called: Angel Falls. almost a 1000 meters high

 

xbughi
July 09, 2007

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References
 
1. Flickr-Angel Falls- -Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 6/27/2009
2. Flickr-Angel Falls- -Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 6/27/2009
3. Wikipedia-Angel Falls -retrieved 6/27/2009-Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
4. Angel Falls. (2008, April 2). New World Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:49, June 27, 2009 from http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Angel_Falls?oldid=677915
 Wikipedia  text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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