We all know that Niagara Falls is captivating to look at, but how much do you actually know about the Falls? There is so much intriguing history behind the Falls that I feel I should share with you some interesting facts about Niagara Falls that I have come to learn and discover.
Fact #1: The Niagara Falls is moving!
Scientists have discovered that the Niagara Falls have moved back 7 miles in the past 12,500 years. The reason behind this is because over 70 gallons of water have eroded the rock which have determined the waterfalls position. This averages to approximately 4 feet per year!
Fact #2: The Horseshoe Falls has frozen over once, but the American Falls have frozen over 6 times.
The American Falls are susceptible to freezing because it’s only a small amount of water compared to the Horseshoe Falls that flows over the cusp. Known to us today, the American Falls have frozen over 6 times…but it could be more if we delve further back into history. The Winter flow is reduced to 8,000 cubic feet of water per second, compared to 681,750 per second over the Horseshoe Falls! The lack of water just barely covers the rock face of the Falls and during the harshest of Winters, ice dams build up along Goat Island drastically reducing the flow to the northern channel that produces the water over the American Falls. Occasionally this freezes all remaining water and as a result, the water quickly freezes over. From March 29-31 of 1848 it was historically known as the “Days Niagara Falls Went Dry”. This was due to an ice jam in the upper river for several hours. The flow was stopped enough that those people that I consider “crazy” actually walked out onto the Falls to discover artifacts. To each their own!
Fact #3: Numerous barrel attempts succeeded, but someone actually attempted to go over Niagara Falls in a Jet Ski…and failed.
Perhaps inspired by James Bond, 39 year old Californian Robert Overacker decided to ride over Niagara Falls in a Jet Ski on October 1, 1995. The plan was to abandon the craft just before it went over the Falls and descend into the pool of water below by a rocket-propelled parachute on his back. This did not happen. The parachute flew right off his back and hit the water before he did. His body was recovered shortly after.
Fact #4: Scientists believe that the Niagara Falls will be gone in 50,000 years.
Here is some Niagara Falls fun facts…the clock is ticking. Due to the current rate of erosion, this is the estimate before they disappear into a fast running river and a series of rapids that comes directly from Lake Erie. Your best bet? Take advantage of the many attractions available and take as many pictures as you can before it’s too late! The Niagara Skywheel is the newest, most remarkable fun thing to do in Niagara Falls. It is a giant, fully enclosed, 175 foot Ferris wheel that provides you with a spectacular birds eye view of the Falls and surrounding area. It is open day and evening, 7 days a week, including all Holidays! I highly recommend riding this massive structure for the most incredible photo opportunities, fun for the whole family and it’s inexpensive price.