Falls in fall

Pic of the Week: 29 November 2014

The American Falls at Niagara in autumn

by Viktor Gmyria © 2014

The American Falls at Niagara in, er, autumn.

There are three waterfalls at Niagara. The Canadian Falls (also known as the Horseshoe Falls) are the biggest, and are mostly on the Canadian side of the international border. Exactly where the international border is, is a matter of dispute because of erosion and construction in the area. The other two falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, are both on the US side of the border. (The small rocky bit at the right of the photo is Luna Island, which separates the American and Bridal Veil Falls.)

As well as being a renowned romantic tourist spot, the Falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world and are an important source of hydro-electric power. They’ve also been the scene for various endeavours—famous funambulist Charles Blondin crossed the Falls several times on his tightrope, including three occasions where he carried his manager on his back! Sadly, it was the scene of famous swimmer Captain Matthew Webb’s death just eight years after he successfully swam the English Channel: he drowned while trying to swim the rapids below the Falls.

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