Bet You Didn’t Know These Things About Niagara Falls
Okay, sure. We've all seen Niagara Falls a few dozen times and probably read a lot of facts about the falls, but most of us probably don't really KNOW that much about Niagara Falls -- other than a woman went over them in a barrel, a man tightrope walked over them and Superman and The Office filmed parts of the series there.
- Niagara Falls consists of THREE waterfalls that straddle the Canada-U.S. border , and together they form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge.
- The Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls are located on the American side. Luna Island separates Birdal Veil Falls from the others.
Okay, so we still might not have told you anything you don't know if you have lived here all your life.
- The international boundary line was originally drawn through Horseshoe Falls in 1819, but the boundary has since been in dispute because of natural erosion and construction.
So what makes Niagara Falls so unique? Well for starters:
- The combined falls form the highest flow rate of ANY waterfall in the world.
- Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by vertical height and also by flow rate.
- More than six million cubic feet of water falls over the crest line every minute in high flow.
Where did the name come from?
- Some say "Niagara" is derived from the name given to a branch of the locally residing native Neutral Confederacy in the late 17th century, who are described as being called the "Niagagarega" people
- According to George R. Stewart, the name comes from an Iroquois town called "Ongniaahra", meaning "point of land cut in two".
- Henry Schoolcraft reported the name is Mohawk, meaning the neck, referring to the neck of land, between lakes Erie and Ontario.
- The first steel archway bridge near the falls was completed in 1897. Today the bridge is known as the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge.
- The Rainbow Bridge was completed in 1941.
In 1969, a team from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the American Falls to clear rock from the base. They cleaned up the rock and repaired some faults to prevent erosion.
The Horseshoe Falls northeastern end was in the U.S. in the 20th century. The water moved around Terrapin Rocks, but in 1955 the area between the rocks and Goat Island was filled in and that created Terrapin Point. After the U.S. Army filled in even more of the land and built diversion damn the Horseshoe Falls had been shortened by 400 feet! So is Horseshoe Falls solely in Canada now or 'mostly' in Canada? Well that's a debate of which we are not taking part.
The movie Niagara, starring Marilyn Monroe and Joseph Cotten, Woody Woodpecker, Superman II, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End feature the Falls.