the falls descends from the rim of a tepuy, or table-top mountain (similar to, but higher than, the north american mesa). tepuys are found only in south america's remote guiana highlands. angel falls did not become known to the outside world until 76 years ago today, when aviator jimmy angel flew over them on 16 november 1933. returning in 1937, angel and three companions (including his wife marie), tried to land on the tepuy near the head of the falls, but their plane's landing gear was damaged and became mired in marshy ground. the party had to descend the tepuy on foot, taking eleven days to reach civilization. the waterfalls, previously known as kerepakupai maru in the native pemon language, was renamed angel falls ((salto angel in spanish) in jimmy angel's honor. it is located within canaima national park, a UNESCO world heritage site.
16 November 2009
plunging 2647 feet from top to bottom, venezuela's angel falls is the world's tallest waterfall. as wikipedia explains, 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, which can be felt a mile away. (click on image to enlarge)