Niagara Falls remains one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, with millions visiting every year to see its immense power and beauty. This impressive landmark is steeped in history and possesses fascinating quirks that continue to intrigue its visitors. Here are some of the top rare and fascinating facts about Niagara Falls:
1. Not a Single Entity: Niagara Falls isn't a single waterfall but rather three. The American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are located in the U.S, while the larger Horseshoe Falls lies in both Canada and the United States. Collectively they form Niagara Falls and have the highest flow rate of any waterfall on earth.
2. Legendary Status: The Niagara Falls has been a sought-after spectacle for more than 12,000 years. It's considered one of the world's oldest tourist attractions and attracts over 20 million tourists every year.
3. Goldfish Galore: Amazingly, numerous goldfish end up living in the Niagara River due to pet owners flushing them down toilets or drains. During periods of low water levels, hundreds of these fish can be seen in the waters.
4. The Source: The water that cascades down Niagara Falls is from four of the five Great Lakes (Erie, Huron, Michigan, and Superior). After it falls, it flows into the fifth Great Lake, Ontario.
5. Nighttime Spectacle: At night, the falls are illuminated in a rainbow of colors, thanks to a nightly light show. This has been a tradition since 1925 and makes the falls a round-the-clock tourist attraction.
6. Role in Hollywood: Niagara Falls has been featured in numerous films. Most famously, Marilyn Monroe's Niagara in 1953.
7. Hydroelectric Power: Besides being a stunning sight, Niagara Falls plays a vital role in providing electricity. The force of the water falling is used to generate hydroelectric power for areas in both U.S. and Canada.
8. Daring Feats: Niagara Falls has been a location for many daring feats and stunts. Annie Edson Taylor, a 63-year-old schoolteacher, became the first person to go over the falls in a barrel in 1901.
9. Volume of Water: Approximately 3,160 tons of water flows over Niagara Falls every second. This accounts for more than 75,000 gallons of water per second over the American and Bridal Veil Falls and more than 675,000 gallons per second over the Horseshoe Falls.
10. Winter Phenomenon: While it's a myth that the Niagara Falls freeze over in winter, the subzero temperatures do create an amazing sight as it forms a large ice bridge at the base of the falls.