The breathtaking waters that cascade off of steep cliffs may be self-made productions.
It was long thought that waterfalls needed an outside force to form — such as an earthquake, landslide or changes in sea level — that molds the rocky edges the water tumbles over.
But a new study suggests that a waterfall can form without any external influence.
A river's own chaotic nature can mold the bedrock beneath it and spontaneously create a waterfall, researchers reported yesterday (March 13) in the journal Nature.
To demonstrate this, the group of researchers first created a model of a river in a lab.
[Gallery: Most Famous Waterfalls in the US]