Niagara Falls is overflowing with nature’s beauty, and of course, history because it is more than 12,000 years old and one of the oldest landmarks in Canada.
It is renowned as the ‘Honeymoon Capital of the World’ since the late 1880s due to its romantic flamboyance and sheer magnificent views, making people cite it as the ‘Eight Wonder of the World’. Drawing crowds of 30 million visitors per year, the place has no shortage of activities to do for people of all ages, including the elderly and children- from winery visits to water park outings, and to boat tours around the falls.
Whether you’re out to brush up on your facts for that next TV quiz show or, simply seeking to learn more about the region and its fun, interesting facts, read on to find them out.
1) Approximately 3160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls per second. That is, about 600 tons flow over American and Bridal Veil Falls, and 2500 tons over the Horseshoe Falls (Canadian Falls).
2) Niagara Falls consists of a group of 3 waterfalls, starting from the largest to smallest- Horseshoe Falls (also known as Canadian Falls), American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls.
3) Niagara Falls’ previous erosion rate was 3000 feet per year, now reduced to 1000 feet per year because of its water being diverted for use by people, thereby reducing its force. Plans are to reduce the erosion rate at 1000 feet per 10 years.
4) The water falling over the Falls are at 25%- 50% capacity at any given time.
5) The first person to ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive to tell the story was a 63 year old school teacher, Annie Edson Taylor. She was later buried after her death in Oakwood Cemetery at Niagara Falls, in an area known as Stunters Rest, along with other daredevils of Niagara Falls. Only a dozen or so people survived the plunge later, many others lost their lives in such acts of daredevilry. Now, stunting at the fall is illegal and involves heavy fines and jail time.
6) Cave of the Winds, that is located in Niagara Falls State Park, is torn down and rebuilt every year.
7) Niagara Falls does not freeze over in the winter, despite popular beliefs. However, the only incident of the water slowing down to a mere trickle happened for a few hours on March 29, 1848 due to ice jam upstream blocking off the water flow. People even walked on the water bed to pick up artifacts hidden beneath the water.
8) The Niagara River is actually not a river, but a strait flowing between 2 lakes.
9) All rivers in North America flow north to south. The strait flows from south to north.
10) The word ‘Niagara” is thought to be derived from ‘Onguiaahra‘, an Iroquoian word that means ‘a thundering noise’.
11) 90% of the fish going over the fall survive, likely because of the white foam and air at the base of the fall that act like a cushion.
12) Tourists who were on the tour of the Cave of Winds reported being hit by fish that are falling from the Niagara Falls’, thus making it an unforgettable experience in their lifetime.
13) The gushing water of the fall creates the largest source negative ions in the world. These negative ions make the visitors feel happy and content. The Falls are an amazing negation generator and that in turn, creates a sense of well being among people, as stated by medical doctor Red Soykaa in his book, The Ion Effect.
14) Visitors were allowed to walk out on the ice bridge that forms in winter and view the falls from below. Around 20,000 people watched or tobogganed on the ice. This caused a business boom with shanties selling pictures, liquors and other mementos. However, on February 4, 1912 the ice bridge broke, causing three tourists to lose their lives.