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Since its formation
more than 12,000 years ago, Niagara Falls USA has been a destination for world explorers, honeymooners and daredevils alike.
Today, visitors flock to the region to be awe-inspired by the beauty and power
of Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls has an extensive history dating back
hundreds of years.
The Falls were likely first discovered by local Native Americans; however, the
first European to document Niagara Falls was French explorer, Father Louis
Hennepin in December 1678 and the Niagara USA region soon became a French
stronghold, as they built
forts at the mouth of the Niagara River, which is now modern day Old
Niagara Falls was the
birthplace of commercial hydro-electric power. In Niagara Falls, Nikola Tesla developed the alternating
current system, which allowed for the transmission of power generated along the
Niagara River to homes and businesses. In 1895, one of the world's first
commercial hydropower plants was constructed.
There are many fun facts about Niagara Falls, that make
seeing Niagara Falls a more enriching experience. To learn more, read on:
About the Great Lakes
MORE FUN FACTS ABOUT NIAGARA FALLS:
- Niagara Falls is comprised of three waterfalls: American Falls,
Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls, also known as the Canadian Falls.
- Niagara Falls' vertical height is over 176 feet in some
American and Bridal Veil Falls were turned off in 1969 by the U.S. Army
Corps. of Engineers to study the effects of erosion. The falls will be turned
off again soon so the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic
Preservation can rebuild two, 115-year-old bridges.
- Niagara Falls' current erosion rate is approximately 1 foot per
year and could possibly be reduced to 1 foot per 10 years due to flow control
and diversion for hydro-power generation.
- The water that flows over
Niagara Falls is at 25-50% capacity at any given time.
- The first person to go over
the Niagara Falls in a barrel was 63-year-old school teacher Annie Edson
- The Cave of the Winds
attraction at Niagara Falls is torn down and re-built every year.
- Niagara Falls State Park is the
oldest State Park in the United States.
- The birth of Niagara Falls
can be traced back more than 12,000 years to the end of the last glacial
period. A great amount of water
was released from the melting ice, draining into what is now the Niagara River
and then plunging over the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, a cliff at what is
now Lewiston, New York. The force of this plunging water wore away at rock
layers creating the now Niagara Falls.
- Despite myths to the contrary, Niagara
Falls does not freeze in the winter. However, the flow of water was reduced to
a mere trickle for a few hours on March 29, 1848 because of an ice jam upstream
in the Niagara River. Learn more about the
Frozen Falls here.
- During periods of peak flow
in the summer and fall, more than 700,000 gallons of water per second pour over
- Four of the five Great
Lakes drain into the Niagara River, (Superior, Michigan, Huron and Erie) before
emptying into Lake Ontario. These five Great Lakes make up almost one-fifth of
the world's fresh water supply.
- Niagara Falls is not the tallest waterfall in the world;
however, the beauty of the falls comes from the height and the incredible
volume of water running over the falls at a given time.
- Fish travel over Niagara Falls and most of them survive because
of their ability to flow with the water and fall into the pool at the base of
the Falls. Although they may be a bit shocked, fish can survive the Falls much
better than any human.
- At one time, P.T. Barnum wanted to turn Goat Island (inside
Niagara Falls State Park)
into a circus ground.
- Energy from the Niagara
River has been harnessed for hydro-electric power generation as far back as the
- Power generation facilities
along the Niagara River supply more than one-quarter of all power used in New
York State and Ontario.
- 50 to 75 percent of the
water flowing along the Niagara River is diverted from going over the Falls to
hydroelectric power generating stations.
- One of the oldest surviving
United States flags is permanently displayed at Old Fort Niagara. It was
captured by the British during the War of 1812.
- The Niagara Arts and
Cultural Center (NACC) features a world-class collection of contemporary art and
"Freedom Crossing: The Underground Railroad in Greater Niagara"
- The historic village of Lewiston was the site of the first
battle of the War of 1812 and the last stop for slaves escaping to freedom on
the Underground Railroad.
- The original Flight of Five locks that were built in 1840 still
exist along the Erie Canal in Lockport.
- Niagara Falls USA are visited by over eight million people every
- Surrounded by water,
Niagara Falls USA is a fishing mecca that offers exciting opportunities in and
on Lake Ontario, the Niagara River and the Erie Canal.