"All trembling, I reached the Falls of Niagara, and oh, what a scene! My blood shudders still, although I am not a coward, at the grandeur of the Creator's power; and I gazed motionless on this new display of the irresistible force of one of His elements." (John James Audubon)
"It's Niagara Falls. It's one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world. Who wouldn't want to walk across it?" (Nik Wallenda)
North America is full of natural wonders, but few inspire as much awe as Niagara Falls, the continent's most famous waterfalls. Comprised of three separate waterfalls (Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls), Niagara's falls can boast the fastest flow rate in the world, dropping six million cubic feet of water every minute from as high as 185 feet. Situated on the border between the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls is not just a prime tourist spot but a source of hydroelectric power that attracted scientists like Nikola Tesla who hoped to harness the waterfalls' energy. In fact Niagara Falls is so powerful that it is eroding the ground under it, to the extent that it will cease to exist in about 50,000 years. The falls are a byproduct of glaciers receding about 10,000 years ago, and they have been amazing people for as long as the area has been inhabited.
It's widely believed Niagara is a word derived from the Mohawk tribe, but the most famous people now associated with the waterfalls are those who have dared to ride down the falls one way or another. The falls have seen both amateurs and professional stuntmen ride over it in barrels, some successfully and others fatally, and a local museum has even preserved some of the barrels used in the attempts.