Horizontal Falls – Australia - Atlas Obscura

Horizontal Falls

This pair of Australian "waterfalls" appear to be falling straight across the land. 


In what may be a unique phenomenon across the globe, Australia’s Horizontal Falls look like they are falling in a straight, flat line, but these lovely falls are simply a natural trick of the eye.  

Nicknamed the “Horries,” the twin waterfalls known as the Horizontal Falls in Talbot Bay Western Australia certainly look like they are living up to their name. However, the strange flows are actually just tidal waters that rush through a pair of gaps in two stony gorges. As the waters rush through the gaps they look like weirdly flat waterfalls even though they are very much not on a slant. The water level rises with the tides and the excess water is shoved out through the small gap until it returns to normal. As the tides swell in and out the direction of the flow changes, pushing water either into or out of the gorges.

While the gorges are fed by seawater, the landward gorge is also supplied by freshwater from a creek. The gaps in the rock are wide enough to allow the passage of boats, and can make for a stunning water adventure in the shadow of the high gorge cliffs. If you the taking to the water isn’t your thing, the most stunning view of the falls is from the air. You just have to find someone to fly you over them.

Actual horizontal waterfalls may only exist on some alien world where gravity moves sideways, but here in our very own outback, we’ve got a couple of pretty good facsimiles.

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