African History 1: The Smoke that Thunders
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Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world. But the real question here is: if Victoria Falls and no one is around to hear it, did she really even make a sound?
|World History||African History|
So it’s no big surprise that when the most famous African explorer, Dr. David Livingstone,
gave Victoria Falls its name… [Dr Livingstone by Victoria Falls]
He didn’t mention that the natives already had one for it: Mosi-oa-Tunya
or "The Smoke that Thunders.”
Sorry, Dr. L, the natives obviously have one up on you when it comes to naming things.
"The Smoke that Thunders" is a spot-on description of the world's longest curtain of falling [Dr Livingstone using a measuring tape]
Eat your heart out, Niagara!
The gorge that causes the falls was formed by the Zambezi River on the border of Zimbabwe
Talk about a bunch of “Z” hogs. [Man dressed in black clothing with a cape]
The falls are so gigantic that they create their own unique ecosystem… [Animals surrounding the Falls]
…and four endangered bird species call them home sweet home.
Today, the falls are thought of as a Natural Wonder of the World and have been designated
a UNESCO World Heritage site. [Victoria Falls stamped with UNESCO stamp]
Not too shabby.
One of Africa’s most visited sites, the falls are also a must-visit destination for
thrill-seekers, who like to bungee jump from the bridge.
Even Livingstone wasn’t that brave. [Man falling from Victoria Falls]
And this was a guy who didn’t stop exploring Africa, even after a lion mangled his arm.
Actually that’s…probably more impressive than bungee jumping. [Lion eating Dr Livingstone's arm]
Okay, so maybe we were being too hard on Livingstone.
After all, he was one of the first Europeans to expose the horrible toll that slavery had
taken on Africa.
And even though he took it upon himself to name falls that already had a perfectly good [Livingstone declaring his love for Victoria Falls]
name, his narrative describing them is still pretty awe-inspiring.
When he describes the scene as "gazed upon by angels in their flight," we can’t help
but get the goose-pimply feeling of someone seeing an African marvel for the first time. [Dr Livingstone looking at the Victoria Falls and angel appears]
So remember…next time you’re on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia, don’t forget to
ask directions to “The Smoke that Thunders.”
And if you’re asking a non-African, make sure they don’t think you’re asking them [Livingstone stood in a kitchen and microwave explodes]
to show you what happens when you put a fork in the microwave…