The Baatara waterfall. Lebanon
This fantastic creation of nature is called The Baatara gorge sinkhole or Balaa gorge waterfall which is located on the Mountain Trail, in the Tannourine, Lebanon. Its age is 160 million years; however it was discovered in 1952 by the French speleologist Henri Coiffait. Its water falls from a height of 255 meters and gets into a huge limestone cave of the Jurassic period that is known as Three Bridge Chasm. This name is explained by the fact that this is a three-tiered waterfall – the flow of water passes through three natural bridges, which hang one over the other.
To find out where the water goes away eventually, in the 80-th years, scientists have colored the water and discovered that it comes out near the village of Mgharet al-Ghaouaghir. During the melting of snows, the water cascades down, and the waterfall gains its full force.
The Baatara gorge sinkhole was skillfully hiding all these years. The covert cave is situated behind the picturesque meadow, so you can hardly see it, even if you go straight on towards the waterfall. The first bridge of the cave was formed due to erosion. Then, for a long time it was also subjected to the erosion, which combined with collapses created middle and lower bridges. Winter also brings its own changes. Melting ice causes cracks of surfaces of the cave, which lead to the crack formation. Therefore, the gorge is still being formed.
The Baatara waterfall is one of the most remarkable geological formations on the planet. It was assumed that this place would be equipped with safety devices and ropes or other similar devices to serve for the athletes. However, this idea was safely rejected by the authorities, in order not to violate the incomparable beauty of this attraction. This natural landmark is open and accessible to the public. Here you will see a signpost that informs and warns visitors not to approach the slippery edge of a precipice. In addition, because of the danger of collapse, it is forbidden to overload the middle bridge.