Grand Canyon Facts For Kids
Welcome to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the amazing Grand Canyon. It is a marvel of nature as it came about by being carved out of the copper colored Colorado River.
Isn’t that just mind-blowing? Read on and find out all there is to know with these cool Grand Canyon facts. This is one place you need to visit, if you haven’t already.
Some Grand Canyon history
- Apparently there is very strong proof that the Colorado River started at the west end of the Canyon about 5 million years ago! Whoa. No one can actually agree what it looked like millions of years ago, before the river made its way twisting and turning to make this incredible sight.
- It is a massive canyon of red rock.
- There are lots of arguments about whether the river carved out the canyon all at once, or whether there was a gorge just waiting for that flow of river to come? Clever scientists did a study not very long ago, and what they found is quite wow! They found some rocks at the western end that had eroded and were then on the surface about 70 million years ago!
- The rock at the bottom of the canyon is a type of metamorphic rock, which is about 2 billion years old. But over 230 million years ago they just stopped gathering together. This is even older than dinosaurs. No way!
- Do you think they’ve ever found any dinosaur bones here? Well they haven’t even though it’s so old. They did however find an 11,000 year old sloth!
- A man by the name of John Wesley Powell decided to get on his wooden boat and travel the Colorado River. Wow, he was brave. He was the first one to call it the Grand Canyon, so that’s where its name comes from.
- This is something quite unbelievable. In the 1950s planes were allowed to fly over the Grand Canyon, and plenty pilots did this to give their passengers an almighty view. On 30 June, 1956 two passenger planes crashed into each other and unfortunately everyone was killed. Because of this the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was formed as we know it today.
Interesting facts about the Grand Canyon
- There’s no doubt about it that the Grand Canyon is awesome, but amazingly it is not the longest or the deepest gorge. Wow! It’s about 1 mile (1.6km) deep but goes between 2,400 feet (731m) deep and 7,800 feet (2,377m) deep in different places. The canyon has a winding path of 277 miles (446km).
- So which is the longest and deepest canyon in the world? Well in 1994, the Guinness Book of World Records proudly crowned the Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in the Himalayas as the world’s longest and deepest canyon. It is 17,700 feet (5,382m) deep and 408 miles (496.3km) long. Strange, but true.
- What about the world’s widest canyon? Well this prize goes to Australia. The Capertree Valley is wider than the Grand Canyon by a whopping 30km.
- There are rattlesnakes found here, but there is one that likes to fit in with its surroundings. Can you take a guess what color it is? Red? No. It’s actually pink and it fits in with the rocks. Guess he must be difficult to see.
- The ancient Pueblo Indians first moved into the Grand Canyon over 3,000 years ago and used the caves for shelter. They cut out rooms for the rocks and stored their food there.
- The weather here can certainly play tricks on you. In the summer it’s seriously hot at 100⁰F (38⁰C) or more and in winter it can be 0⁰F (-18⁰C). Wow, you certainly would need to be prepared.
So for those of you who thought this was the deepest and longest gorge, now you know that it’s not. It’s also got a super cool history to it!
Words you need to know
Gorge – a narrow valley between hills and mountains.
Eroded – where something wears away over time.
Metamorphic rock – these rocks come about from extreme heat and pressure.
Federal Aviation Administration – they make sure that all the planes follow the rules of flying in the sky.