I visited Niagara Falls twice and during those visits I learned quite a few interesting facts (thanks to my uncle and cousin) about Niagara falls that I didn˙t know before. As one of top tourist attractions in North America, there are some unusual fact and interesting stories about Niagara. Did you know that Niagara Falls stopped once and that they are moving all the time? Below you can find some of the most interesting and unusual fact about Niagara Falls.
Two countries, three falls
Niagara Falls is actually a name of three falls, and not just one. The most famous one, Canadian Horseshoe Fall, we all know from photos and movies and so on, is of course the most beautiful one and usually pictured with the Maid of mist, tourist boat also known as the oldest American tourist attraction, operating since 1846. The second fall is called American Fall and it is, of course, on the American side. Just beside the American one, there is also one small fall, called Bridal Veil Falls. The river is called Niagara.
Different place of birth
The Niagara falls weren’t there since forever. Long time ago, the falls were located more down the stream of the Niagara and the erosion pulled them back to the place where we can admire them today. Approximately 12 thousand years ago they were located 11 kilometers away. And they are still moving, approximately 8 to 10 centimeters backwards every ten years. It is estimated that Niagara falls will be gone in 50 thousand years!
Out of 18 people who ride over the Niagara falls on purpose, 13 lucky bastards survived. The first person who survived the experiment was 63 years old teacher Annie Taylor in 1901. She ride over the falls in oak barrel, and she survived the fall without any bigger injuries. Barrel was coated with pillows. The domestic cat passed the similar test just two days before. Any such activities are forbidden nowadays and you will be fined with 10 000 american dollars, if you try something stupid.
Let me imperss you in pink thights!
Besides people who had a desire to ride the Niagara falls in a barrel, there were also people who tried to walk across it using a tightrope. In 1859 Charles Blondin crossed Niagara in pink tights. Activity was quite popular in the 19th century but it was has been forbidden since 1896. But after 116 years in 2012 Nik Wallenda walked across Niagara. Niagara is not attracted only by adrenaline junkies but unfortunately by people with suicidal tendencies as well. Approximately 20 to 25 people commit suicide every year. Since 1850 around 5000 bodies were found in waters of Niagara falls. 90 percent fishes swimming trough Niagara falls survive the fall..
Take me to the moon, honey!
Niagara falls became well known as honeymoon destination nearly 200 years ago and it still is a popular destination for the newlyweds. Actually, one od of the first newlyweds to choose Niagara falls as honeymoon destination was Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother Jerome and his American wife Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte.
When the water stopped
It is hard to imagine what would stop 3,160 tons of water, that flows over the falls every second. Well, the days between 29. and 31. March in 1848 are known as the days when Niagara stopped – on both big falls. A massive ice rock blocked Niagara river in the upper stream. American falls froze many times in the history since the stream is much weaker. People were allowed to walk over frozen falls until 1912.
C´mon baby, light my bulb!
Approximately 20 percents of world’s fresh water flows over Niagara falls. Imagine this power! And this is the place were electrification of the world, as we know it today, started. Nicola Tesla and George Westinghous built first major hydro-electric power plant in 1895. The statue of Nicola Tesla, made by a croatian sculptor Fran Kršinić, stands on the island between Horshoe falls and Bridal Veil Falls, called Goat island..
Did I miss some interesting facts about Niagara Falls? Id there anything else you woudl like to know about Niagara Falls? Tell me about it in the comments below.