The How Going Over Niagara Falls works.

HOW GOING OVER
NIAGARA FALLS WORKS

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How does going over Niagara Falls work?



To some, going over Niagara Falls in a barrel or any other device sounds like a nightmare. But to others, it’s their picture-perfect dream. Why would anyone want to take that life-threatening plummet down foot after foot of such dangerous waves? For the sheer sense of adventure and of course, the bragging rights that go along with making it out of such a trip safe and sound, or alive at all. In fact, officials at Niagara Falls say that approximately twenty bodies a year are pulled from the Falls. Sadly, these people were those that knew this would be their final resting place.

There have only been 16 people in total since 1901 that have decided to take the death-defying leap all for adventure and hope to come out on top, or at the bottom as the case may be. Of those 16 people, only 11 have survived. And of those 11 survivors, two people have actually gone over the Falls twice and survived both attempts! So, is a barrel really enough? Will some pieces of wood strapped together prove to be sufficient protection against the tumbling Falls? Were any other devices other than a barrel ever used? There are lots of questions that people have about going over the Niagara Falls. In fact, if you visit Niagara Falls, there are loads of merchants and retailers that have capitalized on this very idea. So, how does going over Niagara Falls actually work?

Before understanding how going over Niagara Falls works, you must first understand which Falls are being spoken of. Many people think that the great horseshoe-shaped waterfall that’s located in Niagara Falls, Canada is the only Niagara Falls. But in fact, there’s also a massive waterfall located on the American side. These are aptly named The Horseshoe Falls and the American Falls, respectively. There’s also a much lesser known waterfall in between the two that’s called the Bridal Veil Falls. The original waterfall was located in Lewiston, New York but due to erosion, which happens at a rate of 4 – 5 feet every year, is now split into these three separate waterfalls. The Horseshoe Falls are by far the biggest with ninety percent of all the water that comes to the three going over here. The Horseshoe Falls has a vertical drop of 170 feet. But that will just get to you to the water level. After that, it’s another 180 feet to the base of the falls. The American Falls has a vertical drop of approximately 180 feet. All of the water from each of these three waterfalls flows from the Niagara River, over the waterfall, and then into the Maid of the Mist pool, which lies just below each waterfall.

Of course, falling this height is more frightening than anyone could ever imagine. But the fall is not actually the most frightening, or the most dangerous, part of it. Anyone who takes that great plunge over the falls should be most worried about the landing. So what is it about that landing on the bottom of the Falls that makes it so dangerous? Well, it’s true that once you feel the thrill of being thrown through water and down the depth, you won’t be cradled by the soft waters that surround it. In fact, these waters are some of the most dangerous that the Falls has.

Going over the actual Falls is of course, dangerous in itself. During the 170-foot ride, the weight of the water creates such pressure and pushes a barrel or any other type of craft around so much that of course, the chances of it breaking during the actual fall are quite good. Even if the craft doesn’t bust apart during the fall, the person inside of it will absolutely be knocked around a good deal, which can lead to concussions, broken limbs, severe cuts, as well as many other types of injuries resulting just from being inside a barrel that’s getting knocked around at those speeds. There’s also always a danger that the craft could become trapped behind the actual waterfall. If this happens, the person may still be alive in the craft but for how long could be in question. Often, being trapped behind the waterfall means that no rescue is coming and even if rescue teams are on the way, the chances that they’ll find the craft before the person inside dies from lack of oxygen is very slim. The biggest dangerous of course, are the rocks at the bottom of the falls. There are many and if a barrel or other device should fall upon these rocks, it will most surely split apart. It’s because of the rocks throughout the Falls that every person who’s decided to attempt it has chosen the much less rockier Horseshoe Falls. Even if the person can survive being bumped around on the rocks, there is no chance that they will survive the very fast current that will most likely sweep them away. These things may sound like certain death but we know for a fact that there are quite a few survivors of the daredevils that have gone over the Falls. So, how did these people survive?

There are as many theories as to why certain people survive the leap over the Falls as there are theories as to why anyone would want to try it at all. One theory is that there are components throughout the Falls known as “water cones.” These water cones build up when there is a massive amount of pressure and they actually cushion this fall, according to the theory. Another theory is that people who choose to body board down the Falls are far more luckier than those who choose to simply plunge through the water. This is attributed to the fact that the body actually rides along with the water and moves in a slope-like motion to the bottom, rather than simply falling a great distance and hitting the water at full force. Still other theories suggest that starting the fall somewhere close to the shore will better the chances of success of coming out alive. But of course none of these theories should be taken as guaranteeing success if you’re considering going over the Falls.

Even though going over Niagara Falls doesn’t mean that it’s certain death, officials in the area discourage the practice because the chance of success is so small. But, they discourage it so much that in fact, there’s quite a hefty fine for attempting to go over the Falls. The fine is $10,000 and the official charge is made for stunting without a license. But if you’re thinking of going over and want to apply for a license, you might want to consider that no one has ever been granted one.


Niagara Falls

Going Over Niagara Falls.

 How Going Over Niagara Falls works.