Home DestinationsAmerica Absorbing facts you might not know about Niagara Falls

Absorbing facts you might not know about Niagara Falls

by Victoria

Niagara Falls is a beautiful natural border between the two countries of America and Canada. In the autumn (August – November), the most beautiful season, the white waterfall is adorned with trees that are gradually changing from lush green to light yellow, apricot yellow, lemon yellow, canary and then bright red, crimson, burgundy. The scenery on the two sides of the waterfall is like a beautiful natural picture with countless gorgeous colors. As one of the world-famous and iconic places in both the US and Canada, the Niagara Falls still have a lot of mysteries. 

Niagara includes 3 separate waterfalls

Stretching across the US and Canadian borders, Niagara Falls include Horseshoe Falls (or Canada Falls), American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. All three waterfalls originate from the Niagara River, a vast 58 km long river from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. In it, Horseshoe is the widest and highest waterfall of the three falls, over 670 m in width, the water flows from a height of 57 m. The second waterfall is more than 286 meters wide and 27 meters high. And Bridal Veil is as high as the US waterfall, but only over 13 meters wide.

Niagara is America’s largest waterfall, not the world’s largest one

About 3,160 tons of water flow through Niagara per second (660 tons over the US Falls and Bridal Veil, 2,500 tons at Horseshoe). Niagara Falls is the greatest waterfall in North America in both width and volume. But in the world there are nearly 500 other waterfalls that are taller, wider, and greater, such as the 140-meter-high Ribbon Waterfall in Yosemite, California.

All huge lakes in the US are poured into Niagara

Three of the great lakes (Superior, Huron and Michigan) all pour into Lake Erie, then into the Niagara River. The Niagara River flows into Lake Ontario, then flows down to form the majestic Niagara Falls.

Niagara is quite young

The thawing period created lakes larger than 12,000 years ago, forming the Niagara River and many other factors that ultimately created the Niagara Falls now. The melting ice poured into the Niagara River, cut across the terrain and gouged out into the falls. When compared to other natural wonders, Niagara Falls is still in its infancy.

The first person who wrote about Niagara was the priest of Europe

In 1604, Samuel de Champlain first mentioned a waterfall in the area, but the account is not very accurate. Because of the inconsistency in his story, most historians believe he was passing on what he had heard from the locals he met. The first document was by Father Louis Hennepin, who caught the Niagara Falls on an expedition in 1678. Father then returned to France and published his book “A New Discovery” which recorded the overwhelming impression that the waterfall majesty was left in him. The name Niagara is probably derived from “Onguiaahra” in Iroquois (indigenous people) meaning “strait”.

Niagara viewed from above

Niagara Reserve is the oldest park in the United States

In 1885, New York Governor David B. Hill signed a law to establish the Niagara Reserve – the first state park in New York and in the United States.

Architects help protect the natural beauty of Niagara

Frederick Law Olmsted, creator and designer of Central Park in New York City is enamored of the beauty of Niagara Falls. He prepared a report and a petition signed by many prominent cultural and political figures, urging the state of New York to buy private land around the falls to preserve the natural beauty of the area. . Frederick also co-founded the Niagara Falls Association in 1883 and after receiving the approval of the Niagara Reserve, he became the reserve’s landscape architect with his partner, Calvert Vaux.

Niagara Falls produces a lot of electricity

The first hydroelectric station was built on the Niagara River in 1881 and by 1896 the plant could transmit electricity 42 km to Buffalo. This is one of the most important events in the history of alternating current. In 1961, after Congress passed the Niagara Redevelopment Act, the New York state government opened the Niagara Power Plant. Today, the plant generates 2.4 million kilowatts of electricity, making it the fourth largest hydroelectric plant in the United States.

Niagara has been attracting tourists for a century

The Erie Canal was completed in 1825, making it much easier to access the falls, and by the end of the 19th century the area was called the “Honeymoon Capital of the World”. Today, more than 12 million people visit the falls and its surrounding areas every summer. Popular excursions include a Maid of the Mist boat tour, which takes guests into the watershed of Horseshoe Falls and a 53-meter trek down the edge of Bridal Veil Falls.

A Niagara Falls viewing spot is crowded with tourists

The first person to jump down from the Niagara Falls was a 63-year-old widow

During the past time, about 15 reckless people have tried to conquer the height of the falls by jumping down, even using homemade barrels. But the first person to do this was a 63-year-old widow named Annie Edson Taylor. Due to poverty, Taylor visited the falls in 1901, then tried to become famous and rich by passing Horseshoe Falls in a barrel designed by herself. Horseshoe Falls is a smart choice. Although the US waterfall is lower, but much more dangerous, because the waterfall is filled with giant rocks.

On October 24, 1901, around 4:00 p.m., the barrel was placed on the Niagara River. 20 minutes later, Taylor and the barrel made a trip across the falls. Although he survived a fall from a waterfall, Taylor advised everyone to “Don’t try.” And she never achieved her goal, she died penniless in 1921.

Hollywood’s “muse”

In 1953, Marilyn Monroe starred in the Niagara film alongside Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters and Max Showalter. Monroe and Cotten play as a couple on their honeymoon at a waterfall, but eventually become murderers. The waterfall is also the setting for the opening of the 1980 blockbuster Superman II.

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