Milford Sound’s Flying Waterfalls

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Milford Sound in the south west of New Zealand's South Island, is a fjord and the country’s most well known scenic attractions. Carved by glaciers during the ice ages, the fjord runs for 15-19 kilometers with width up to 3 kilometers and flanked by steep cliffs rising vertically from the water’s edge on either sides. Some of these cliffs reach up to 1,500 meters high.

Milford Sound is one of the wettest place in the world. It rains 182 days a year, on average, and during these days the clouds rain down 268 inches of water. On particularly rainy days, as much as 10 inch of rain can fall within 24 hours. Milford Sound looks the most magnificent when it’s raining. Like the “wall of tears” in Hawaii, the rainfall creates dozens of temporary waterfalls that cascade down the cliff faces, some reaching a thousand meters in length. Most of the smaller waterfalls, however, never reach ground.


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Milford Sound is located in the latitudes characterized by a nearly constant, strong westerly wind. The wind here runs undisturbed for thousands of kilometers until it is suddenly met by the enormous wall of the Southern Alps. Trapped in the narrow "gate" of Milford Sound, the strong winds rushes up the fjord until it reach the walls of the cliff, where it is driven up against the falling drops of the waterfall.

Caught by the strong gale, the white streams of waterfalls get blown away sideways along the surface of the cliff where it’s gently deposited. Countless tourists from the cruise ships admire this unforgettable sight.

While Milford Sound is not the only place in the world to offer such sight, but there is no other place where this phenomenon is seen on such a scale and so often.


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via Wondermodo

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