Niagara Falls, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, is renowned not just for its magnificent waterfalls, but also for the plethora of fascinating creatures that inhabit the surrounding waters, including various species of fish. Remarkably, these aquatic beings often find themselves getting swept over the edge, cascading down with the raging waters into the swirling mist below. Yet, you may be surprised to learn that most fish actually survive this perilous journey.
Studies have shown that up to 90% of fish that plummet over Niagara Falls manage to survive the tumble. While it might sound incredible, there are some key factors that contribute to their survival rate. Fish are designed to navigate rough waters, and their lightweight, flexible bodies help absorb the shock as they go over the falls. The aerated water at the bottom of the falls also acts as a cushion, reducing the impact.
While the waterfall presents a formidable obstacle, the intense current that carries the fish over the edge actually works in their favor. The fish are essentially swept or dragged along by the sheer force of the water which can give the appearance they are flying (albeit most of the time in the falling water).
In fact, a lot of fish aren't particularly fazed by the ordeal. There's an abundance of food in the river above and below the falls, and it's thought that many fish go over the edge while pursuing prey. On their part, local authorities and researchers work continuously to ensure the ecosystem maintains its balance while the human footfall increases year by year.
In summary, despite the frightening prospects of going over a massive waterfall, many of Niagara's finned residents make the plunge and live to swim another day. And this astounding fact makes a visit to the Falls not just a feast for the eyes, but also a wonder of natural science.