The history of Niagara Falls dates back to the Ice Age (12,300 years ago) when streams of melting ice drained into a river known today as the Niagara River. Aside from the breathtaking beauty of Niagara Falls, there is still a lot you may not know about. Here are 15 fun facts about Niagara Falls that will surprise you.
1. The Niagara Falls are three waterfalls originating in the Niagara River and overlapping the international borders of Ontario, Canada and New York, the U.S.A.
2. The word Niagara is derived from the Iroquois Indian word “Onguiaahra” meaning “The Strait” or a water channel connecting two seas or lakes.
3. You can always see a rainbow from noon until sunset if you’re on the Canadian side of the Falls. It’s said to be a spectacular view.
4. The first person to ever travel over the Falls was a 63-year old schoolteacher who wanted to become rich and famous. Although she survived the plunge, she asked people not to try it because it was too dangerous. Sadly, she never became rich, but at least she became famous!
5. It is illegal, if not insane, to descend the Falls. A number of daredevils have tried it, some survived but the rest were either injured or killed. For future reference, in case you make it and have survived, you’ll be fined $10,000.
6. Tightrope walking was first attempted in 1859. In 2012, however, Nik Wallenda became the first to ever successfully make it over and walk directly over the Falls on a tightrope.
7. If most people can’t survive traveling down the Falls, 90% of the fish do anyway. The foam caused by the water flow acts as a cushion for the fish traveling down. Plus, those who managed to survive the journey were hit by fish on their way down the Falls (not a very pleasant experience).
8. 28 million liters of water travel down Niagara Falls per second. Can you imagine the incredible sound of the falls amplified by echoes of the surrounding rocks?!
9. Niagara Falls are corroding. In other words, in 50,000 years they will be gone. Thankfully, there is much time for you to see it!
10. Around 30 million people visit Niagara Falls every year making it an iconic tourist attraction. Every night, the Falls are illuminated with intense spotlights in a rainbow of colors.
11. Niagara Falls isn’t just about the waterfalls. Goat Island is a very popular tourist spot there in addition to Cave of the Winds, the Three Sister Islands and a Nikola Tesla Statue!
12. The Niagara Power Plant generates 2.4 million kilowatts of power. With such capacity, it has become the largest producer of electricity in New York and the fourth largest in the States.
13. Despite its popularity, Niagara Falls is not the highest waterfall in the world. Its width and volume make it the world’s fastest waterfall, yet there are nearly 500 waterfalls that are higher than Niagara Falls.
14. A number of movies were shot in Niagara Falls among which is ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End’. Footage of the ship going over the waterfall was shot to portray the ‘World’s End’ in the movie.
15. In June 1953, Marilyn Monroe visited Niagara Falls to shoot the movie ‘Niagara’. Thanks to Ms. Monroe and her movie, the Falls were put on the map!
Now that you’ve known 15 fun facts about Niagara Falls? Do you ever wonder what it’s like up close?
Feeling a bit adventurous, click here.