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Watch a Drone Take You Over the Edge of the World’s Highest Waterfall

Why do we have the urge to jump?

by Sarah Emerson
Apr 29 2016, 12:00pm

Image: YouTube/Screenshot

You know that feeling you get when you stand at the edge of a precipice? It's the urge to jump, and to let yourself go, even when you know the fall would mean certain death.

Well, that's the feeling you'll get when you watching this breathtaking drone footage of the world's highest, uninterrupted waterfall.

Venezuela's Angel Falls (or "El Salto Angel") cascades down the side of the Auyantepui mountain from a height of 3,211 feet. That's 19 times the height of Niagara Falls. Coming in second place for the world's tallest waterfall is South Africa's Tugela Falls, not too far behind at 3,110 feet.

Noooooooo. Image: YouTube/Screenshot

Angel Falls, while known for centuries by local Indians, was stumbled upon by American pilot James Crawford Angel in 1937 while in search of the fabled "Lost City of Gold."

The indigenous Pemon called the natural wonder Kerepakupai Vená, meaning "waterfall of the deepest place." Hugo Chávez once sought to change the waterfall's name back to its original pronoun, saying: "This is indigenous property, ours, aborigine."

Angel Falls is situated in the Guayana highlands, which is a region in Venezuela known for its tepuis, or flat-topped mountains (if you're reminded of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle's The Lost World, it's because these very mountains were his inspiration for the novel).

Its surrounding geography is called the Gran Sabana, and got its name for its savanna-like qualities and vast expanses of grassland. However, the area also features a lush Amazonian jungle that hosts brilliant wildlife such as poison-dart frogs, giant anteaters, three-toed sloths, jaguars, and capybaras.


The plateau on which Angel Falls rests is two-billion-years-old, and features geological strata dating from the Precambrian period, all the way back to the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea.

Venezuela, which just hit the nadir of its current economic crisis, has made it relatively easy to visit Angel Falls, in attempts to stoke its tourism industry. Tourists can hike, climb, fly, swim, and boat around the UNESCO World Heritage site, however, you probably won't be able to go into the waterfall itself.

But if you're like me, and are bound to your computer, this pretty jaw-dropping video will have to do.