Niagara Falls is considered to be one of the most picturesque places in the world. It’s also technically speaking, tree waterfalls close to each other: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls. But let’s go with Niagara falls for now. Either way, this natural wonder is around 50,000 years old, and as you may imagine, a lot of people drowned in its rushing waters. For apparent reasons, it’s almost impossible to tell just how many people had fallen or were thrown into the stream over those thousands of years. But with modern technology, even something as absurd as stopping the river is not that big of a problem.
Due to erosion, all three falls were gradually receding, and the whole river bed would eventually crack, possibly destroying this beauty. And so, in 1969, the waters of Niagara Falls were reduced to a small trickle for a few months in an attempt to fix the problem and just clean the bottom a little. For example, the American Falls had a huge pile of stones that accumulated over the years at its foot.
Over the course of 3 days in June 1969, more than 1,200 trucks dumped about 30,000 tons of rocks upstream, creating a 180-meter dam to divert the Niagara River from American Falls and into the Horseshoe Falls. Then the US Army Engineers began conducting their research and found some cool and disturbing stuff.
Only two bodies were found at the foot of the falls, which is surprising given a large number of accidents and suicides recorded over the past few hundred years. One of the bodies looked very recent, while the other one had been down there for weeks. After the engineers started working, the area around the waterfall got swarmed by thousands of tourists who jumped over the fences to check out the drained ledge of the waterfall and collect some old coins thrown into the water decades ago.
Special steel bolts and cables were installed in several locations to control and stabilize the rock movement around Luna Island and Bridal Veil Falls. As for the pile of rocks at the base of the waterfall, the commission decided to leave it alone even though the engineers advised to remove it. In November 1969, the temporary dam was removed, and the waters of the Niagara River flooded the bed once again.
Since then, the waterfall has not been touched, but the danger of it being destroyed still lingers. According to the calculations, every year, the waterfall moves upstream by forty inches. The waterfall has existed for about 50,000 years, and during this time, it moved upstream by 7 miles, that is, almost 10 km, and in 20,000 years, the edge will come close to Lake Erie before disappearing entirely. But the drainage operation may soon be repeated since it will be necessary to replace two old bridges located above the waterfall.