Top 10 Facts about the Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls has been known as the honeymooners capital because of its romantic grandiosity since the late 1880s.
These falls were formed by a glacier activity more than 10,000 years ago. The splendid waterfalls attract more than 12 million tourists annually. The breathtaking views and the sheer grandeur of the falls is irresistible.
There are a dozen activities to do by the falls that tourists can enjoy such as winery visits, water park outings and boat tours around the waterfall.
The Niagara Falls lies on the border of New York and the Canadian province of Ontario.
Here are the top 10 facts about Niagara Falls.
1. There have been five tightrope walks over Niagara Falls
This may not be on your checklist especially if you are afraid of heights but someone walked across the Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
The first time this happened was in 1859 by Charles Blondin. He was in pink tights and the rope was barely an inch thick.
He did not do it once or twice, but several more times, on one occasion he crossed the waterfall while blindfolded.
The most recent tightrope wall was by Nik Wallenda in 2012. He did his walk with a live audience while many others followed the live broadcast on TV.
2. It is the oldest state park in America
The Niagara Falls state park was founded in 1885 and is celebrated in history in the United States after it was constituted at the Niagara Reservation in New York.
The park receives more than 8 million visitors each year. The Falls’ natural beauty is conserved by the Niagara Falls Association that was founded in 1883.
This association acquired private land around the area to keep the natural environment intact.
3. Niagara Falls provides drinking water for America
It is estimated that a fifth of fresh drinking water in the United States flows through Niagara Falls.
The surrounding Great Lakes at the Niagara Falls provide 84% of North America’s surface freshwater.
It supplies about 21 percent of the world’s surface freshwater.
Drinking water straightaway from Niagara Falls is not recommended because the water has not been treated and purified for drinking.
4. The first daredevil to survive a trip down the falls was a woman
In 1901, 63-year-old Annie Edson Taylor who was a teacher became the first person to take a fall down the gushing waters of Niagara Falls.
She improvised a barrel made of iron and oak and padded it with a mattress; she survived the fall.
It is however against the law to attempt such dangerous acts and anyone caught is fine $10,000.
Other than the hefty fine, the people caught are asked to pay for the cost of the rescue.
Annie Edson Taylor was buried at Oakwood Cemetery in Niagara Falls in an area called Stunters Rest, along with other Niagara Falls daredevils.
5. Niagara Falls provides hydropower to both the US and Canada
The U.S and Canada use the energy from the Niagara Falls to generate hydroelectric power since the mid-nineteenth century. The hydroelectric plant was first built in 188.1
The power generation facilities at the Niagara River supplies more than a quarter of all the power in New York State and Ontario in Canada.
During summer the hydroelectric power stations use less water so that tourists at the waterfalls get to see Niagara Falls in its full glory.
6. The flow of water at the falls is reduced at night
An international treaty was signed by the two countries that border the Niagara Falls.
The treaty stated that the flow of water over Niagara Falls is to be reduced during the night to let more of the water flow into intakes used for power generation.
This plan guarantees that the water Falls’ natural beauty stays unswayed during prime viewing hours.
7. Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls
Niagara Falls is not one giant waterfall but a collection of three waterfalls.
The three waterfalls across the American and Canadian border are the American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and the Canadian Falls also called Horseshoe Falls.
Niagara River gets its water from the four Great Lakes before draining its water into Lake Ontario.
The falls go by the same name on both sides of the border; Niagara Falls, Ontario, and on the other is Niagara Falls, N.Y.
8. It is honeymooners favorite destination
Niagara Falls has been named as the most preferred destination for couples on honeymoon.
This destination has been visited by many couples for more than 200 years.
Scientists say that the rushing water of the Falls creates the largest source of Negative Ions in the world that makes one feel happy and content.
A medical doctor quoted in his published book that Niagara Falls is the most astonishing negation generator in the world. That the creation of the negative ions that results in a sense of well-being could be the reason behind the falls being loved by honeymooners.
9. Erosion of the Falls could lead to its disappearance
The constant flow of water down Niagara Falls has resulted in the erosion of the rocks that hold it.
The current erosion rate is just about 1 foot per year and it could potentially be reduced to 1 foot per decade due to water flow control and diversion for hydropower generation.
Scientists believe that the falls will be fully eroded in the next 10,000 to 50,000 years.
Niagara Falls is currently 11 kilometers from where it was first formed centuries ago.
10. Fish at the Niagara Falls survive the fall
It is estimated that at least 90 percent of fish that swim down Niagara Falls survive. The fish in Niagara Falls have evolved to resist the strong pressure from the falls. The white foam from the falls protects the fish as they fall and flow with the waters.
The foam is packed with oxygen and nutrients that help fish flourish. People watching the waterfall by the cave of the winds have witnessed someone got hit by a fish on its way down.
Niagara Falls State Park lies on more than 400 acres, filled with different landscapes and wildlife like wintering gull and waterfowl species.