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Friday, 16 September 2016

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Horseshoe Falls that straddle the international border between Canada and the United States between the province of Ontario and the state of New York.

Niagara Falls, from the American Side by  Frederic Edwin Church

In October 1829, Sam Patch, who called himself "the Yankee Leapster", jumped from a high tower into the gorge below the falls and survived; this began a long tradition of daredevils trying to go over the falls.

On June 30, 1859 French acrobat Charles Blondin successfully crossed Niagara Gorge on a tightrope, 160 ft (49 m) above the water, near the location of the current Rainbow Bridge.

Blondin repeated the feat a number of times thereafter, always with different theatrical variations: blindfolded, in a sack, trundling a wheelbarrow, on stilts, sitting down midway while he cooked and ate an omelette and standing on a chair with only one chair leg on the rope.

On three occasions Blondin carried his manager, Harry Colcord, on his back across the Falls, the final time he was watched by the Prince of Wales.

Blondin carrying his manager, Harry Colcord, on a tightrope

Maria Spelterini became the first woman to cross Niagara Falls by tightrope on July 19, 1876. She : crossed it blindfolded - three days later she walked across manacled.

Annie Edson Taylor, a former teacher from New York, was the first person to survive going over the 167ft drop at Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. She went over the edge of the over the Canadian Horseshoe Falls for a stunt on October 24, 1901, her 63rd birthday.

Annie Taylor posing next to her barrel

The second man to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel, Bobby Leach, survived the fall but later died as a result of slipping on a piece of orange peel.

On March 22, 1903, the U.S. side of Niagara Falls ran dry. This was due to an ice jam from the mainland to Goat Island, which diverted the water from the American channel. People were able to walk over the river bed above Green Island and between the mainland and Goat Island.

The winter of 1932 was so cold in America that Niagara Falls froze solid.

American daredevil Nik Wallenda became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a high wire on June 15, 2012. He completed the crossing at 10:41 p.m. EDT, 25 minutes after he started. In the 1800s, a few tightrope walkers had crossed over the Niagara Gorge down river, but none had ever crossed directly over the Falls. Wallendra carried his passport on the trip and was required to present it to Canadian border guards waiting for him upon his arrival on the Canadian side of the falls.

750,000 gallons of water flow over Niagara Falls every second.

The Niagara Falls could fill 4,000 bathtubs every second.

 Over the last 10,000 years Niagara Falls has moved seven miles upstream.

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