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Kerepakupai Merú (Angel Falls) | by Ian Lambert
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Kerepakupai Merú (Angel Falls)

A view from a 12 seater plane of the stunning 979m (3,212 ft) drop of the Angel Falls in Venezuela.

 

Angel Falls (indigenous name: Kerepakupai merú) is the world's highest free-falling waterfall at 979 m (3,212 ft), with a clear drop of 807 m (2,468 ft). It is located in the Canaima National Park, 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 buffeted by the strong winds and turned into mist.

 

The base of the falls feeds into the Kerep river (alternately known as the Rio Gauya) which flows into the Churun River, a tributary of the Carrao River. In the indigenous Pemon language Angel Falls is called Kerepakupai merú meaning "waterfall of the deepest place".

 

The falls were sighted 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 the American aviator James "Jimmie" Angel flew over them on 16 November 1933 on a flight while he was searching for a valuable ore bed.

 

Returning on 9 October 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 honour.

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Taken on June 8, 2008