All that majesty, power and water didn't stop Oscar Wilde from quipping about Niagara Falls being the second disappointment in the married life of many American brides who spend their honeymoon there. Test your knowledge of the famous natural site.
How many waterfalls is Niagara Falls made up of?
Niagara Falls isn't just one waterfall — it's three. The largest of the three waterfalls is Horseshoe Falls. Ninety percent of the water that goes over the falls, goes over Horseshoe Falls. Bridal Veil Falls is the smallest of the three, created by a natural separation in the American Falls.
Niagara Falls is shared by the U.S. (Niagara Falls, New York) and Canada (Niagara Falls, Ontario). Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side, and American Falls is in, yup, America. Bridal Veil Falls is also on the American side of the border.
How far does the brink of the falls move every year?
1 foot (30 centimeters)
Through the work of erosion, slides, rockfalls and the natural wear on the rocks under the surface of the Niagara River, the brink of Niagara Falls is worn back about 1 foot per year. Before the 1950s, the brink of the falls moved as much as 3 feet every year.
The first documented account of Niagara Falls from an eyewitness happened in 1683. French priest Father Louis Hennepin was impressed and overwhelmed during a 1678 expedition. Samuel de Champlain and Rene Brehan de Galinee both wrote about Niagara Falls (in 1604 and 1669, respectively) before Hennepin. However, neither of them actually saw the falls, and they relied upon information from local tribes.
Who was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel?
Annie Edson Taylor
In 1901, Annie Edson Taylor, a 63-year-old teacher, became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Bobby Leach was the second. And although Jean Lussier, a native of Quebec, did it before him in a rubber ball, Karel Soucek was the first Canadian to barrel over the falls.
No, but not for Mother Nature's lack of trying. During long periods of frigid weather in 2015, the falls appeared frozen in place, but water continued to flow under that ice. Even back in 1848 when ice jams were a threat, the falls continued to flow.
What's the best angle to enter the water if you fall?
The United States Search and Rescue Task Force recommends you enter the water feet first. Tighten your muscles as you fall, and wrap your arms around your head and nose for protection. Before hitting the water, close your eyes and mouth. And don't forget to swim downstream if you're lucky enough to surface.