What is Niagara falls?
Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara George. The word “Niagara” is derived from the Iroquois Indian word “Onguiaahra” meaning “the strait”
Niagara Falls were formed when glaciers receded at the end of the last ice age, and water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment route to the Atlantic Ocean. While not exceptionally high, the Niagara Falls are very wide. More than six million cubic feet (168,000 m3) of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow,and almost four million cubic feet (110,000 m3) on average.
The Niagara Falls are renowned both for their beauty and as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Managing the balance between recreational, commercial, and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century.
Facts about Niagara Falls:
- The first person to go over the Falls in a barrel and survive was a 63 year old female schoolteacher.
- High wire tightrope acts used to be performed across the river. Most notably was “Blondin” who once actually carried his manager across on his back, stopping midway to rest !
- The Falls make a tremendous sound as the water goes over and lands at the bottom.
- Twenty percent of the worlds freshwater lies in the Great Lakes, and most flows over Niagara Falls.
- Before the invention of film, tourists would sketch pictures of the Falls.
- The flow was also halted over both falls on March 30th 1848 due to an ice jam in the upper river.
- The movies Niagara and Superman were filmed in part at the Falls.
- In the past ten years, two daredevils lost their lives trying to conquer Niagara.
- In the evenings, intense spotlights bathe the falls with different shades of color