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]

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