What do you know about waterfalls?

The Grand Waterfall
Photo: Starre Vartan

There's something dynamic yet relaxing about waterfalls. They are visceral reminders of nature's power, and also places for dreaming, wading and meditation. Like types of snow, ice or clouds, their  formations and unique properties have their own language. 

Question 1 of 12

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A ribbon waterfall
Photo: Starre Vartan
A waterfall with a height significantly larger than its width goes by what name?

Those long, tall waterfalls that are so common in tropical regions are classified as ribbon waterfalls. 

Question 2 of 12

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The Song Khon Waterfall in Thailand
Photo: Martin Puchel/Wikimedia Commons
The Song Khon Waterfall in Loei Province, Thailand, is an example of what type of waterfall?

A cascade waterfall is one that travels over a series of rock ledges. They are most common on short, shallow ledges like this one. 

Question 3 of 12

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Niagara Falls
Photo: Ujjwal Kumar/Wikimedia Commons
Niagara Falls contains three different waterfalls. What type is the largest falls, pictured here?

Horseshoe falls are large and small waterfalls that are shaped like a U, with the middle pointed upstream. 

Question 4 of 12

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A waterfall in Yosemite National Park
Photo: Daniel Mayer/Wikimedia Commons
Many of the large waterfalls in Yosemite were formed by, and flow from, what kind of unique valley (pictured here)?

A hanging valley forms when a stream created by flowing water from beneath a glacier joins a deeper main valley. That results in a steep drop from the first river to the second.

Question 5 of 12

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Semervirens Falls in California
Photo: Gnissah/Wikimedia Commons
What is the deep, waterfall-eroded hole beneath a falls called?

Depending on the underlying bedrock and the force of the waterfall, a plunge pool (also sometimes called a punchbowl) may form beneath a falls. Sempervirens Falls in California (shown here) is a good example.

Question 6 of 12

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McWay Falls
Photo: King of Hearts/Wikimedia Commons
What's the name for the type of waterfall that empties directly into the ocean?

McWay Falls (shown here) in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in California, is a classic example of a tide fall. 

Question 7 of 12

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Angel Falls
Photo: Poco a Poco/Wikimedia Commons
Angel Falls is Earth's tallest waterfall at 3,312 feet. In which country is it located?

Angel Falls is in Venezuela, where the local Pemon (indigenous people's) name for it is Kerepakupai Vena, meaning "waterfall of the deepest place." 

Question 8 of 12

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The Huanggoshu Waterfall
Photo: Chenyun/Wikimedia Commons
What is a waterfall that descends from a wide river?

The Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou Province in China (shown here) is a perfect example of a block-type falls. 

Question 9 of 12

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Swiss waterfall
Photo: Jaapkievit/Wikimedia Commons
These falls in Switzerland were the site of the final fight between fictional detective Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor Moriarty.

Holmes and Moriarty face off at Reichenbach Falls in "The Final Problem."

Question 10 of 12

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Ventas, the widest waterfall in Europe
Photo: Philaweb/Wikimedia Commons
Where is Europe's widest waterfall located?

Latvia is home to the Ventas waterfall, which is about 815 feet wide and only about 6-7 feet tall. 

Question 11 of 12

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A waterfall in the United States
Photo: Starre Vartan
Which U.S. state has the most waterfalls?

Oregon is home to more than 200 waterfalls, the most in the United States. On a 9-mile hike in Silver Falls State Park near Salem, Oregon, you can see 10 different falls. Michigan and North Carolina have the next highest number of falls. 

Question 12 of 12

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Thalaiyar Falls in India
Photo: Barbaragailblock/Wikimedia Commons
What do you call a waterfall in which the water maintains at least some contact with the rock beneath it?

Horsetail falls are a common type of waterfall. Thalaiyar Falls (pictured) is located in the Palani Hills of Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu State in South India. India is home to an impressive number of waterfalls.

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