Niagara Falls Was Drained in 1969, Revealing Unsettling Discoveries
The year was 1969 and over the course of several months, a team of innovative engineers completed, what seemed at the time, a Herculean task. For the first time in 12,000 years, the water that rushes over the majestic Niagara Falls was reduced to what looked like just a trickle.
One of Planet Earth’s most beloved and awe-inspiring attractions was silenced for the first time in human memory. What ended up being revealed was a dark secret.
Three Separate Waterfalls
People mistakenly believe that Niagara Falls is just one big waterfall. That’s not the case. Niagara Falls actually consists of three waterfalls, two on the American side and one on the Canadian side.
Canada’s Horseshoe Falls is the biggest falls and it spans the U.S. and Canadian border. The American Bridal Veil Falls are the smallest falls of the three. However, this story revolves around the American Falls on the American side. The American Falls is the one that they drained in the late 60s, all due to concerns about the instability on the falls.
Scientists and Geologists Were Concerned About Rockslides
The rock pile is called a talus and it’s at the base of American Falls. Concerns began to mount that more rockslides could completely erode the waterfalls. To study the falls’ geological composition and forestall or postpone their ultimate potential destruction, drastic measures had to be taken.
The huge rock pile at the bottom of American Falls is what the falls are known for, and it’s these rocks that prompted scientists to shut off the water to the majestic American Falls. Essentially, it all had to do with the rocks that pile up there.
A Herculean Task
A joint commission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Canadian officials made the decision to dewater Niagara Falls for five months to give scientists and engineers time to figure out what was going on and take whatever action was needed.
Such a feat had never been attempted before, and it’s really remarkable that they were able to pull it off. Plus, it’s good that they did because something horrifying and sinister was hiding underneath all of that water.
A Story That Is 18,000 Years Old
The wonderful and incredible story of Niagara Falls started more than 18,000 years ago. Advancing ice sheets apparently carved out huge swathes into the landscape that would eventually become what we now know as North America.
When all of that ice finally melted, a cascade of water was sent flowing into the river below, which is now known as the Niagara River. In doing so, the water eroded cliffs and created a gorgeous natural wonder that has inspired awe in people for centuries.
Samuel de Champlain Hears Rumors, a Priest Confirms They're True
It was at the early dawn of the 17th century that a French explorer named Samuel de Champlain first heard rumors of a huge waterfall in the area. However, Niagara Falls was first officially recorded in 1678 by Europeans when a priest named Father Louis Hennepin first saw the majestic Niagara Falls.
The area was known as New France at that time. Five years later, the priest published “A New Discovery,” and described what he saw that day. Imagine what he must have felt to stumble upon such a thing.
Why Did They Call it Niagara Falls?
Experts believe that Niagara Falls are named after a word from the Iroquois Indian language, “Onguiaahra.” This word means “the strait,” and most people believe this is where the name comes from.
Once people in the West were aware of Niagara Falls, visitors began to flock to see this large natural wonder. Just imagine how amazing it would be to visit the falls now based on the photos and videos we see of it. Well, back then, their imaginations could not have prepared them for what they were about to see.
The Early Days as a Tourist Destination
When the railroad expanded in the 1800s, more and more people began to visit Niagara Falls as a tourist destination. Before long, people who lived in the area saw business opportunities here. A wide variety of different amenities were developed to cater to all of these visitors.
Niagara Falls is a popular and romantic destination for honeymooners or people taking anniversary trips. People travel from all over the world to see the falls, and the business world responds accordingly. But it wasn’t just hotel owners who saw an opportunity.
The Power of the Water
By the end of the 1800s, industrialists realized that there was incredible value in the water that tumbles over the falls every minute of every day. These industrialists could harness the force of nature to power their mills and factories.
It was 1895 when the first hydroelectric generation station opened in the area. It was the first major facility of this type that the world had ever seen. The station was incredibly innovative, but it could only actually carry electricity about 300 feet.
Nikola Tesla Saves the Day (Again)
The famous inventor Nikola Tesla was involved in a lot of great things that he didn’t get credit for at the time. Many people don’t realize that he actually consulted with engineers on the electrical issues at Niagara Falls. Tesla’s alternating current induction motor made history, and his experiments at Niagara were historic, too.
With Tesla’s help in 1896, power could be diverted more than 20 miles away, to nearby Buffalo, New York. That’s much better than the original 300 feet, isn’t it? The best part is that, more than 100 years later, the falls still generate hydroelectricity, producing up to 2.4 million kilowatts of power.
Niagara Falls as a Tourist Destination
Divided between the United States and Canada, the two countries host about 30 million tourists annually. When the falls are flowing at their peak, visitors can see water tumbling down at the rate of about six million cubic feet every minute.
However, if you visit at night, you will see much less water falling down the falls. This is because a treaty signed in 1950 allows companies that are local to divert more of the water’s flow into power plants during times when the amazing view will be minimally affected.
Does Niagara Falls Ever Freeze?
In the record-breaking freeze of 2019, Niagara Falls froze because of the unusually cold temperatures. However, in reality, the falls only froze in certain places. Some water was still able to make it over the cataract’s edge.
Still greater quantities of water turned into vapor clouds before it reached the bottom of the basin. This has happened a few times in the last several years, but even still, experts on the falls say that the water flow never comes to a complete stop. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the flow of water was completely halted.
Was Niagara Falls Losing Its Charm?
In 1965, residents of Niagara Falls, New York began to be worried that the falls were losing their charm. It was because of the growing talus deposit, which as we have already mentioned, is the rocks that accumulates at the bottom of the waterfall.
The talus seemed to be preventing water from dropping down in a sheer drop, and some people feared that this was making the American Falls less beautiful. The people who lived near Horseshoe Falls did not have this same concern.
A Newspaper Article Addressing the Concerns Sparked a Movement
An article that appeared on the cover of the Niagara Falls Gazette on January 31, 1965, addressed these concerns. A journalist named Cliff Spieler argued that because of persistent erosion, the American Falls may eventually be eradicated completely. Was he wrong or right?
Whether he was right or wrong, Spieler’s article created a movement, and before long, a campaign to save American Falls had begun. Not long after that, government officials began to feel the pressure to come up with a viable solution to save American Falls.
The International Joint Commission Gets Involved
Hoping to come to a resolution, Canadian and American authorities consulted with the International Joint Commission (IJC), which oversees regulations as they pertain to waters that are shared between the two countries. The experts got busy trying to find a solution.
Meanwhile, another operation was temporarily launched that would help to eliminate any loose masses of stones that could come from the water above the falls. What they had to do was find a way to deflect the water flow over American Falls. It was no easy task, as you can imagine.
A Plan is Put Into Action
On November 13, 1966, an ingenious plan was put firmly into action. The International Water Control Dam upriver was pushed into massive overdrive. The dam’s gates were wrenched wide open, allowing the current in. Meanwhile, the hydro-generating stations were upped at the same time until they were at complete capacity.
Because of these two things happening, the water flowing over American Falls was reduced from 60,000 gallons every second to only 15,000 gallons every second. The river receded, and this allowed workers to wade out and start to clear away some of the debris.
A Closer Look
This allowed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials to get a closer look at the exposed riverbed. The USACE team was eager to come up with a long-term plan for protecting American Falls and they took a lot of aerial photos of the scene below.
However, after only six hours, the temporary diversions were closed, allowing the river’s flow to return to normal. Nevertheless, this short exercise helped to lay the groundwork for a bigger operation that would take place a bit later.
Seeds of a Bigger Solution Begin to Form
Two years after diverting the water temporarily, the IJC started the American Falls International Board. Before long, the board knew that they needed to come up with an even more ambitious approach to save American Falls. They knew that to solve the big problem of erosion, they would have to find a way to completely de-water the falls.
The task fell to a group of USACE engineers who could handle the job. While the 1966 exercise did reduce the volume of water that flows through American Falls to 25%, it wasn’t enough.
The Cofferdam Is Born
Because the earlier exercise was only able to reduce the water flow over American Falls to 25%, something more drastic was needed to find a permanent solution. Consequently, officials and engineers drew up plans for a cofferdam, which is a temporary structure.
Cofferdams are typically constructed inside a body of water when a specific section needs to be dried out. For the Niagara Falls project, it would be somewhat different. The cofferdam would have to be a 600-foot barrier that stretched across the current.
The Albert Elia Construction Company Lends a Hand
The USACE awarded a half-million-dollar contract to a company called Albert Elia Construction Company to handle the cofferdam. That’s about $4 million if you handed out such a contract in today’s money. However, the company didn’t just have to dry out Niagara Falls, as it turns out.
The Albert Elia Construction Company also had to scour the riverbed once they got it dried. The company’s employees were told to remove any loose boulders that were on the falls’ surface. They also had to come up with a sprinkler system for delivering moisture to the rocks.
A Dangerous Situation
The workers for the company started on June 9, 1969. However, they quickly found themselves in a somewhat precarious situation. One concern was that if someone fell in the water, there would be nothing to keep them from plunging over the enormous edge of American Falls.
Because of this, they decided they needed to install a lifeline that would connect the mainland and Goat Island. This would be in the middle of the river. They thus installed this lifeline as a safety measure.
A Lifeline Is Installed Between the Mainland and Goat Island
The idea behind the lifeline between the mainland and Goat Island was more of a precaution of just in case someone fell into the water. If that were to happen, they would have something to grab before they were pushed over the edge of the falls.
Fortunately, no one had to use this lifeline. However, it was good that they had the foresight to put it into place because accidents like this can easily happen. With everything set up and in place, it took about three days for the dam to start to take shape and look more like a damn.
The De-watering of Niagara Falls
To get started, it took three days and more than 1,200 trucks to make it all happen. Collectively, the trucks dumped almost 28,000 tons of fill rocks and earth into one of the cofferdams that were upstream of Niagara Falls.
Doing this allowed the engineers to divert the flow of the Niagara River completely away from the smaller American Falls and direct the water towards the huge Horseshoe Falls. Can you just imagine how much water was pouring through Horseshoe Falls? It must have been an amazing sight to see.
The Cofferdam's Final Breach is Plugged
It was June 12, 1969, that workers plugged up the cofferdam’s final breach. The dam stretched all the way from Goat Island to the mainland and successfully accomplished what was previously seen as an impossible task. The ingenuity of engineering was able to silence one of the biggest waterfalls in the world.
For the first time in over 12,000 years, American Falls went dry. Some local folks feared that tourism would be affected, but in the long run, it was the smart thing to do.
The Investigation Began
For the first time in thousands of years, the mighty Niagara Falls was dry, and the engineers could begin their investigation. The researchers planted instruments in several locations so that they could monitor rock movements.
Also, steel cables and bolts were installed that would help stabilize the rocks that were around Bridal Veil Falls and Luna Island. Meanwhile, the engineers drilled holes for drainage that would serve to relieve the hydrostatic pressure that was present at several different points. But what would they do with the accumulated talus (rocks) at the base of the falls?
Was Tourism Affected by the Event?
While many locals feared that the local economy would be affected because the falls were running dry, still others believed that many people would come to see what was beneath the water. Did this event attract crowds? Yes, it did.
However, there was a decline in visitors. Those who made it there to see what was happening saw something amazing. The Niagara Falls running dry is less than a once-in-a-lifetime event, and many people wanted to see it. Furthermore, people were able to find some unique souvenirs.
Tourists Flocked to Watch the Event
As you can imagine, an event of this size drew a huge crowd. For one thing, there were thousands of coins at the bottom of the falls. Presumably, people threw coins into this gigantic body of water over the years to make wishes.
It’s hard to calculate just how much money it was, but the visitors scampered over the rocks onto the dry ground to scoop them up. Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most popular natural attractions, and to be there to witness history must have been very special.
What Did They Expect to Find?
Curious tourists began to arrive the day after the falls were successfully turned off. Reports say that some brave people took tentative steps onto the riverbed, and some still braver approached the edge of the waterfall. Imagine being able to walk where so few people have ever walked. Most people were just happy to see the amazing cofferdam.
No one knew for sure what the scientists would find at the bottom of Niagara Falls, and as you would expect, there were some dark secrets revealed. Would they find corpses and other macabre findings?
How Many Dead Bodies?
Of course, the one thing that everyone assumed would be found at the base of the falls was dead bodies. In fact, you would assume that there would be countless people found dead underneath the water. As it turns out, they found the remains of two people, one man, and one woman.
Visitors watched as they saw two sets of remains being removed from the riverbed. Two people somehow met their fate and their demise somewhere in these powerful waters. What happened? Will we ever know?
The Tragic Story Behind One of the Bodies
The man’s body that was found in the riverbed had not been in there for long. The reason we know this is that the man was seen jumping into the channel above American Falls the day before the waters dried up.
People report seeing him and assuming that he was involved in the operation, oddly enough. However, when the man, who was wearing green pants and a green shirt, jumped into the current, people watching knew that something was terribly wrong. Sure enough, he was found the next day.
The Unidentified Woman
The day after the falls dried up, police officers started scanning the riverbed to search for human remains. They found the man from the day before, but his name was not recorded. However, they also found something else, and it is very troubling.
When they were scouring the dry riverbed, the officers found the remains of a young woman. She was wearing a red-and-white striped piece of clothing, and her body was badly decomposed. Who was this woman, and how did she end up in the riverbed? Was she the victim of foul play?
The Heartbreaking Reality of the Woman's Body
Authorities wanted to get to the bottom of the woman’s identity, so they removed her remains and performed an autopsy. However, her identity has never been recorded, if they even discovered who she was. Perhaps new innovations in DNA technology will someday give this woman back her identity.
There is one heartbreaking fact about this case. The woman was wearing a wedding band. On the inside of her wedding ring, the inscription said this: “Forget me not.” How tragic that it seems that she was indeed forgotten.
How Many People Die Every Year at Niagara Falls?
Many people were surprised that the authorities didn’t find more corpses on the riverbed. After all, people die at Niagara Falls every year, approximately 40 per year, according to experts. So why didn’t the operation reveal even more bodies lurking under the water?
Most of the people who tumble over the falls every year are found because they are people who committed suicide or fell into the falls accidentally. In either case, people knew that they were in the water, and efforts were made to retrieve their remains.
Daredevils Who Attempt to Survive the Plunge
Since 1829, several daredevils have tried to survive the terrifying plunge over the fall, but only a few have actually succeeded in their attempt. The first person (and the most famous) was Annie Edson Taylor, a schoolteacher who was 63 years old. In 1901, Taylor plunged over the falls in a huge wooden barrel.
When she emerged from the water unscathed, she supposedly said that no one should ever try to do that again. Clearly, she was terrified, but she survived. Since then, many more have followed her stunt.
More Than 5,000 People Lost to Niagara Falls
According to Wikipedia, more than 5,000 people have gone over the falls since 500 A.D. Many of these were intentional and were either suicide attempts or stunts. However, some people went over Niagara Falls accidentally, usually by being careless or risky.
In the 120 years since Annie Edson Taylor first went over Niagara Falls, thousands of people have either intentionally or accidentally been swept over Niagara Falls, but reportedly, just 16 people have survived. The only people who survived were those who went over Horseshoe Falls on Canada’s side.
Karel Soucek Survives a Trip Over the Falls
Karel Soucek was a Canadian stuntman who survived his own trip over the falls in a barrel in 1984. After his plunge, Soucek had just minor injuries on his face that his wristwatch caused when it impacted with the water.
Soucek descended at the speed of about 75 miles per hour and it took officials 45 minutes to recover his barrel. He was fined $500 because he performed the stunt with no license. However, when he tried to recreate his stunt at the Houston Astrodome a year later, he died.
He Wanted the Cameras to See His Face
Another stuntman tried to tackle the cascades in 1990. His name was Jesse Sharp, and he was an American man. However, he was in a whitewater canoe, and he was never seen again. He had a dinner reservation in Lewiston, about four miles away. He never showed up.
Sadly, Sharp refused to wear a life jacket because he feared he would get trapped underneath the falls. Also, he wouldn’t wear a helmet because he wanted the cameras to be able to recognize his face. His kayak was found, but they never recovered his body.
The Last Person to Survive Going Over the Falls
The last reported person to survive going over the falls is an unnamed man. At 4:00 a.m. on July 8, 2019, police officers responded to reports of someone in crisis on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. When the officers arrived, the man climbed the protective retaining wall and jumped into the river.
When the officers searched the lower basin of the Niagara River, the man was located sitting calmly at the water’s edge on some rocks. We have never learned his name.
Why It Became Illegal to Perform Stunts at Niagara Falls
Every person who has survived going over Niagara Falls has gone over Horseshoe Falls. No one has ever survived going over American Falls. After one daredevil died in 1951, it became illegal to stunt at Niagara Falls. Doing so can lead to fines as high as $25,000 U.S. dollars.
Between 1850 and 2011, about 5,000 bodies have been found at the foot of Niagara Falls. About 20-30 people die every year going over the falls with most incidents occurring at Horseshoe Falls.
A Grim Reminder of the Power of Niagara Falls
Seeing two bodies pulled out of the riverbed was a grim reminder of the power of the falls. However, the authorities simply took the bodies away as they were discovered. Then, they started the work of getting rid of the loose rocks that were on the waterfall’s face.
To get the rocks, the workmen were encased in cages that had been attached to cranes. These cranes were dangled over the falls’ lip. Meanwhile, the sprinkler system was installed to keep the shale layer moist. The rock had started to dry out and this was part of what was making it more prone to erosion.
Drilling into the Riverbed
Workers began to drill into the riverbed at the top of the powerful American Falls. When the team reached the 180-foot point, the workers started to set up tests that would measure the absorbency levels that could be expected from the rocks.
In other places, surveyors got to work seizing the chance to chart the contours along the falls’ surface. Geological surveys continued to take place at the falls, and a walkway was constructed that would allow visitors to safely travel along the riverbed.
The Walkway Opens
They hoped that opening the new walkway would attract tourists when it opened on August 1, 1969, and it did to an extent, but it still wasn’t enough to get people coming as much as they were before. The fact is, people go to Niagara Falls to see the water.
It is the power and majesty of the waterfall that people want to see. Finally, researchers started studying the talus deposit at the foot of the falls on August 19.
A Clean-Up Operation
When the workers started on the deposit of talus, they hoped that they could do a good clean-up operation. However, it quickly became apparent that it wouldn’t be as easy as they had hoped. Specifically, the engineers studying the falls decided that the talus played a huge role in supporting the cliff’s face.
When they were faced with all of the challenges of removing the talus, they had to come up with an alternative plan: constructing a dam that could be permanent.
The Alternative Plan
The engineers knew that they needed a permanent dam that would boost water levels in the basin, thereby submerging the rocks that were concerning everyone. However, creating a dam wasn’t a permanent solution because it risked weakening American Falls.
Because of this, the authorities finally decided that they would just leave the talus alone. However, none of this was a waste of time because the engineers used the unusual situation to get some important conservation work done on the cliff face.
Working on Niagara Falls
While they had the American Falls dry, the engineers put the time to good use. In total, they ended up spending about six months working with bolts, anchors, and cables that all helped to stabilize the beautiful American Falls.
Elsewhere in the falls, the engineers installed sensors that were designed to send an alert to the authorities in the event of an imminent landslide. What the engineers and workers did during those six months had a profound impact on conserving American Falls so that many future generations could enjoy the beauty of the waterfall.
The Work was Completed in 1969
Finally, in November 1969, the work on American Falls was completed. The engineers used dynamite to destroy the cofferdam and the falls were returned to their former majestic glory. However, the IJC knew that it had taken significant steps toward protecting the beautiful natural wonder instead of making it something that was artificial.
Interestingly, 1969 Niagara Falls was quite different from the falls that were discovered by European explorers a few centuries earlier. Unfortunately, the enterprising humans and their businesses took a toll on the falls, as is often the case when people find ways to exploit the natural environment.
The True Price of Industry
Because so many businesses depended on the power of the falls, it took a toll on the beauty of the place. However, they simply relocated further downstream. By the beginning of the 1900s, much of the water from the falls was being redirected to power several businesses, and this convinced some people that the cascades’ natural beauty was diminishing.
This started a debate about how to best balance the conservation of the natural wonder with the needs of businesses. The industrialists insisted that their businesses were helping to conserve the falls.
A Debate Ensues
The business owners felt that they were helping to conserve Niagara Falls by limiting how much water was pouring over the falls’ lip every day. They believed that the decreased water flow was helping to prevent the erosion of the cascades.
Finally, the U.S. and Canada came to an agreement. Both countries wanted the continuance of industrial activity, but they didn’t want to affect the mighty flow of the falls. How could they meet everyone’s needs without creating an impact on the falls that was noticeable?
Identifying Peak Times and Adjusting Accordingly
The innovative solution that they came up with was to divert about 75% of the water from Niagara Falls in the winter and in the evenings. Niagara Falls has fewer visitors in the evenings and in the cold winter, so this made sense.
Also, the experts engineered an artificially altered lip on Horseshoe Falls to create the illusion of more powerfully flowing water. It is these diversions that are still in existence today, and Niagara Falls remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world.
The Falls' First Tightrope Walker
Although stunts have been made illegal at Niagara Falls, a tightrope walker named Nikolas Wallenda got permission from both Canada and the U.S. to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope on June 15, 2012.
It took Wallenda two years to get approval, and he was required to wear a safety harness, the first time in his life to ever do so. During his tightrope walk, Wallenda had to carry his passport, because he needed it to enter Canada on the Canadian side of the Falls.
The First Witnesses
Although it’s one of the world’s most beloved natural wonders, it’s impossible to know how long human beings have been aware of the falls. There aren’t any written records of people seeing the falls, but undoubtedly, indigenous people first marveled at the wonder of their beauty.
An eerie story surfaced from 1848 and what happened caused the nearby population of the time to freak out. The day it happened was March 30, 1848, and villagers nearby experienced something they never dreamed they would see.
The First Time the Falls Ran Dry
On that fateful day in 1848, the falls were dry for between 30 and 40 hours. By then, Niagara Falls was already a huge tourist attraction, so much so that villages had sprung up to accommodate people who traveled to witness the falls.
In fact, people had already begun to use the water to power their mills and factory machinery. It was an American farmer named Jed Porter who first noticed something was wrong. He was out for a stroll and he experienced a strange sound.
The Sound of Silence
Porter noticed something he had never heard before: the sound of silence. He could no longer hear the water running. When he went to the edge of the river, he was astonished to see that there was hardly any water running.
When dawn came, everyone in the village awoke to silence, and at first, they didn’t know what was going on. Factories and mills had to shut down because the water wasn’t running. But that’s not all. It was an ecological disaster, too.
An Ecological Disaster
It didn’t just affect the humans who were inconvenienced. The riverbed was completely exposed, and fish died. Turtles also floundered around, not knowing what to do. Some brave and foolish people even walked on the river bottom to pick up exposed tomahawks, bayonets, and guns that revealed themselves.
They had to be wondering if it was some sort of divine retribution or the end of the world. People flocked to the churches to pray about what was going on, and for the falls to begin to flow again.
Not the End of the World
As it turns out, the falls didn’t stop because of divine retribution. However, people had no way of knowing that. Eventually, word arrived from Buffalo that the dry riverbed and bare falls were caused by huge chunks of ice that blocked Lake Erie’s outlet into the Niagara River head.
In other words, the ice created a sort of natural dam. Thousands of people came from all around to see the dry Niagara Falls. People on foot crossed the riverbed and one savvy entrepreneur put his time to good use.
Making the Most of a Strange Situation
One gentleman ran a sightseeing boat called Maid of the Mist, and he had a problem with dangerous rocks that he was always required to avoid. While the river was dry, he decided to get some safety work done.
The man sent some workers out to the riverbed to blast away the dangerous rocks with some strong explosives. He was definitely ahead of his time, and it would not be until many decades later that government officials decided to dry the falls once again. Maid of the Mist is still an operation today.
New York Is Turning the Falls Off Again
Sometime in the next few years, New York will be turning off American Falls again. This needs to happen so that engineers can get rid of the two bridges that are 115 years old. These bridges have exceeded their lifespan and have to be replaced.
The bridges were built to carry trolleys, cars, and pedestrians between Goat Island and Niagara Falls. This is one of the best viewing spots for both Horseshoe Falls and Niagara Falls. Since they were built between 1900 and 1901, they have deteriorated. Since 2005, only pedestrians have been allowed across.
Three Options for the Replacement of the Bridges
The state of New York is considering three options as permanent replacements: steel girder bridges that are more linear and simpler, arched designs made of precast concrete that will resemble the current bridges, and tired arch bridges that have vertical cables that support the surface from above.
Whatever solution, they will have to turn off the falls to get this job done. When they turn off the falls, it will take about five months for them to get the work done and it will cost about $27 million for the entire project.
What Will They Find When They De-Water Niagara Falls Again?
When they turned off Niagara Falls in 1969, they mostly found lots of coins and two dead bodies. But what would they find in the 21st century with a project like this? It would likely be a sort of time capsule of the last 60 years.
You could expect to find more corpses, of course, but also imagine cell phones, baby strollers, drones, cameras, and more. And hopefully, this time there will be more visitors to see this once-in-a-lifetime event. And of course, we will all be able to view the occurrence thanks to technology and the internet.
Niagara Falls May Disappear Someday
Unfortunately, scientists believe that Niagara Falls may someday disappear. Niagara Falls will probably disappear into Lake Erie when it happens. The estimate is based on the movement of Niagara Falls over the last 12,000 years. Over time, the falls erode because water wears the softer rock away at the cliff’s base.
However, that probably won’t happen for another 23,000 years or so, according to the official Niagara Falls Tourism website, so we’ve all got plenty of time to see this beautiful natural wonder in person before it goes away forever.