10 facts you didn’t know about the Iguazu Falls
The Iguazu Falls are one of the world’s most famous waterfalls. A trip to South America is definitely never complete without a day trip to witness them in real life.
Whenever you visit one of the world’s natural wonders, it’s always good to arm yourself with some background knowledge. You’re probably already aware with some key facts anyway, but are you familiar with the following 10 pieces of information about the Iguazu Falls?
1. It has a larger average annual flow than any other waterfall
You probably already knew that the Iguazu Falls is the world’s largest waterfall system. So it’s probably no surprise that it boasts the largest annual water flow of any other waterfall. In the rainy season from November to March, it can reach a whopping 450,000 cubic feet per second.
2. It name means Big Water
Guarani is a native South American language that is still spoken by some indigenous tribes – with Iguazu roughly translating to Big Water.
3. Legend has it a scorned lover created the waterfall
Apparently Mboi, a deity in the form of a serpent, was to marry a beautiful young woman called Naipi. Then she fell in love with a young warrior, Tarobá. When the young woman and her lover tried to escape in a canoe, she split the river in a fit of rage (with his serpent tail) and they fell to their death.
4. But others believe it was a volcanic eruption
Which is probably more likely, but we’ll leave you to decide.
5. It was discovered by Spaniards
Specifically it was the Spanish Conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, who was the first European to stumble upon the falls. One of the falls on the Argentine side is even named after him.
6. Birds even live inside the falls
You’ll spot some birds plunging into the falls. Don’t be alarmed. The birds you see are Great Dusky Swifts and they nest on the rocks behind the walls.
7. Indiana Jones even stopped by
The Iguazu Falls were used as a backdrop in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. They also featured in Moonraker (1979), The Mission (1986), Mr. Magoo (1997) and Miami Vice (2006).
8. The surrounding rainforest boasts a whopping 2,000 species of plants
It is also home to the opossum, the only marsupial that is found outside Australia.
9. It is UNESCO World Heritage Site
And they were also made a New 7 Wonders of Nature on November 11, 2011.
10. There are three ways to view the falls
You can walk along the viewing platforms, take a boat on the lower stream or jump on a helicopter ride. All are equally beautiful and provide a different view of this beautiful piece of nature.
Edited by Morag@BarrheadTravel