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Niagara Falls New York

Niagara Falls: Twenty Trivia Facts For You
   by Keith Valentine

You've probably heard of Niagara Falls but how much do you really know about it? You will learn about twenty trivia facts about the Falls. You will discover the answers to these questions and more - How tall is it? How deep is it? How high is it? What does it comprise of? Who owns it? How much does it erode? How much water flows over it? Where is it? What's gone over it? Here are some interesting facts about Niagara Falls, mostly taken from Metromap Publication's Street Map Guide to the Regional Municipality of Niagara:

  1. The Falls at Niagara cannot claim to be the highest or the widest in the world, or even to have the greatest flow of water. The Iguazu Falls on the Paraguay-Brazil-Argentina borders surpass Niagara Falls on all three counts. But Niagara's are the world's most popular.
  2. From the water level to the crest, the American Falls are 182 feet high, the Horseshoe 176 feet high.
  3. Ten percent of the water flows over the American and Luna Falls, 90% over the Horseshoe Falls.
  4. There are actually three Falls: American (Rainbow), Luna (Bridal Veil) and Horseshoe.
  5. The U.S. owns all, or part, of all three, while most of the Horseshoe Falls belong to Canada. Niagara Falls is located 23 miles northwest of Buffalo, New York and 79 miles southeast of Toronto, Ontario.
  6. Today 50% of the Niagara River never makes it to the Falls: it is diverted for power. This percentage increases to 75% at night and in the winter months.
  7. The Falls have eroded an average of 3.78 feet/year since 1842. Since the beginning there has always been a large spread of water on the approach to the Falls.
  8. The Niagara River is not a river it is a strait.
  9. One and a half million gallons of water flow through the Niagara River every second, or one cubic mile every week.
  10. The Falls have taken 12,000 years to erode the seven miles from Queenston Heights, where they began, to their present position. But the Falls separated around Goat Island only 600 years ago.
  11. The Niagara River drains 255,000 square miles of mid-continental North America.
  12. With power requirements and anti-erosion measures, erosion has been reduced to less than one foot a year.
  13. The whirlpool is 126 feet deep at the water level. The water spins around in a counterclockwise direction.
  14. The water depth of the lower rapids is 45 - 60 feet, with currents of up to 30 m.p.h.
  15. The drop from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario is 330 feet depending on seasonal water levels.
  16. Seven people have gone of the Horseshoe Falls in a barrel. Four lived, three died.
  17. Only two living things have been seen to go over the Falls safely without special protection - a dog over the American Falls in the 1800's and a boy over the Horseshoe Falls in 1960.
  18. Five large boats and innumerable small ones have gone over the Falls, many with people in them.
  19. A free swimmer has never conquered the lower rapids.
  20. Before his death in 1942, the famous Red Hill saved 28 people from death over the Falls and salvaged 149 bodies of those that didn't make it. He accumulated more lifesaving medals than anyone else in the world.

  21. As you can see, many facts have been compiled about Niagara Falls over the years but at least you probably now know considerably more than you did before about this amazing spectacle. You can either tell others that are planning to visit the Falls what you have learned, or you can plan to see it yourself now that you are an expert on the subject!

About the Author

Keith Valentine began his solo excursions at fourteen throughout the south of England, though at a younger age he participated in a guided youth hostelling tour in Wales. He has toured extensively in Europe and North America. Now 52, he travels throughout Ontario with his partner. For more interesting travel stories and tips, please visit: