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Interesting Facts About Niagara Falls For Kids

There are many waterfalls worldwide, but Niagara Falls are one of the most famous. Located on the border of the United States and Canada, it has been a tourist attraction for over 200 years and is a major source of hydropower. 

Also Read: Electricity Facts for Kids

Niagara Fall is a fascinating destination for all age groups. Niagara Falls is your place if you love exploring nature and the environment. If you have a thrill for adventure and fun, there are thrilling activities such as tightrope walking and barrel crossings to quench your thirst for adventure. 

Some interesting facts about Niagara Falls

Some interesting facts about Niagara Falls

The natural beauty of Niagara Falls is protected by the Niagara Falls Association, which was founded in 1883 and acquired private land in the area to maintain its natural environment. The Niagara Falls state park, founded in 1885, gets more than 8 million visitors yearly. Here are some interesting facts that everyone should know about the majestic Niagara Falls: 

The second largest waterfall in the world is Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls is given the title of the second largest waterfall after Victoria Falls in Southern Africa. Niagara is derived from “Onguiaahra,” which means “a thundering noise.” Niagara Falls formed over 12000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age. They were created due to melting glaciers, and the rushing water carved out a river in their descent, crossing a cliff. The water began to flow back into the river, and the path left is now known as the Niagara Gorge. 

Also Read: Waterfall Facts

Three waterfalls combine to form Niagara Falls.

Niagara is made up of Horseshoe, American, and Bridal veil falls:

  • Horseshoe Falls, which is 167 feet high and stretches around 2700 feet across at its crest.
  • American Falls drop between 90 and 120 feet and span about 940 feet at their crest.
  • Bridal veil Falls also has a drop of 90 to 120 feet but is only 45 feet wide. The average width of the entire waterfall is 3,950 feet.

Lake Erie will dry due to soil erosion.

When Niagara Falls were formed, they were about 7 miles downstream from their current location. Even today, erosion drives the waterfall upstream at a rate of about one foot per year. Some experts predict the river will drain Lake Erie within 50,000 years, eroding through an escarpment and soft shale.

Niagara Falls does not belong to anyone

Horseshoe Falls
Horseshoe Falls

Niagara Falls does not belong to any country, even though it’s between the United States and Canada. Although, there are boundaries that appear on the map of North America. The border is divided into three waterfalls between America and Canada. Horseshoe Falls are on the Canadian side, and American and Bridal Falls are on the American side.

Niagara Falls quenches the thirst of the Americans

Niagara Falls quenches the thirst of the Americans

Almost one-fifth of US drinking water flows through Niagara Falls. The surrounding Great Lakes contain 84% of the fresh surface waters of North America and supply about 21% of the world’s fresh surface waters. However, avoid drinking water directly from Niagara Falls as it can have parasites and bacteria.

Fishes in Niagara Falls love to fall from the top of the waterfall.

Niagara Falls has fish that do fall into the waterfall. About 90% survive due to the foam formed, which acts as a cushion. Their bodies are also shaped and built to survive steep descents.

Niagara Falls can stop flowing for the time being

Niagara Falls can stop flowing for the time being

There was a time when the water in Niagara stopped running. But these were the only times recorded in the whole history. In 1848, Niagara had stopped due to an ice jam that had restricted water flow. It took almost 30-40 hours. In 1969, the water from the American Falls was reduced by the US Army Corps engineers to see if they could remove the rock formations in the area. In the end, they decided to let it happen naturally.

Waterfalls can stop flowing, but they will never get frozen in low temperatures

Waterfalls can stop flowing, but they will never get frozen in low temperatures

Horseshoe Falls once stopped flowing due to a blockage of ice but never actually froze due to the amount of water it contained. On the other hand, American Falls have less water and tend to freeze at very low temperatures. Especially during harsh winters, ice can build up and create a blockage that reduces water flow. Any shallow part of the water usually remains frozen.

In 1820, humans traveled across Niagara Falls.

The first human-powered ferry was launched in 1820 to carry passengers across the Niagara Gorge. The Niagara Falls Museum opened in 1827, and the Maid of the Mist opened in 1846, carrying passengers, cows, and cargo by ferry across the gorge.

There is a private boat tour to Niagara Falls

private boat tour to Niagara Falls

Maid of the Mist is a private boat tour to Niagara Falls. It was launched in May 1846 as a cross-border ferry between the United States and Canada. The boat was powered by steam from the boiler, carrying 100 passengers, and became a tourist attraction in 1848. 

Several boats sailed the Niagara Falls sightseeing route. The third and fourth boats, Maid of the Mist I and Maid of the Mist II, were in full operation for 45 years until a fire destroyed them in April 1955. They were temporarily accompanied by a 40-foot yacht named “Little Maid.” 

Maid of the Mist

In July 1955, a new 66 feet long Maid of the Mist was launched, followed by another boat in June 1956. Technically it was the 5th and 6th boats, respectively, but the boats retained the name of their predecessor. Little Maid continued to serve tourists till 1956.

First suspension bridge in 1848

Niagara Falls suspension bridge

The first suspension bridge was opened in 1848, and the extension of the railroad brought steam engines to the waterfall in 1854, and in 1855 the suspension bridge opened, allowing trains to cross the gorge. A canal was built in 1861, diverting water from the river to the power plant, and in 1887 the first electric tram went into service.

The authorities can control Niagara Falls.

You can control the water flow of Niagara Falls. From April to October, during the tourist season, water flow is maintained at 100,000 cubic feet per second by both New York Power Authority and Ontario Hydro. At night, the water flow drops to just 50,000 cubic feet per second.

Oldest American flies high at the Old Fort in Niagara

One of the oldest surviving American flags is on permanent display at the Old Fort in Niagara.

Water from four massive lakes supplies Niagara Falls

Four of the five Great Lakes flow into the Niagara River – Superior, Michigan, Huron, and Erie before flowing into Lake Ontario. These Great Lakes account for almost one-fifth of the world’s freshwater supply.

Also Read: Lake Facts

Thrilling and heroic stunts 

Charles Blondin
Charles Blondin was the first to walk across the gorge on a tightrope in 1859

Dozens of people have tried to make history by crossing the waterfalls in some unconventional manner. Some have even succeeded in their efforts, and here is a mention of a few brave adventurers: 

  • William Forsyth performed the first known stunt in 1827. It involved decorating a boat as a pirate ship and putting several animals on board.
  • The first person to jump off the waterfall was Sam Patch, also known as the Yankee Leaper, who descended 85 feet down Horseshoe Falls in 1829. He survived the following week’s dive from a height of 135 feet.
  • Charles Blondin was the first to walk across the gorge on a tightrope in 1859. Maria Spelterini, an Italian tightrope walker, was the first and still the only woman to walk across the gorge on a tightrope in 1876.
  • In 1901, Annie Edson Taylor was the first person ever to go over the waterfalls in a barrel.

Conclusion

For the last 200 years, Niagara Falls has been the world’s favorite destination to visit during holidays. Niagara Falls holds the beauty that everyone from different corners of the world wants to visit the mesmerizing waterfall once in their life. 
With so many interesting facts about Niagara Falls, it’s time to enjoy the beautiful scenery. If you wish to know more about the second largest waterfall, visit our website.