niagra falls not frozen

Niagara Falls Not Frozen, But Icy Pictures Make Us Believers

Frozen Niagara Falls pictures are creating a buzz today, with photos of the icy falls circulating on Twitter and Facebook. The pictures are stunning, but is the famous tourist attraction really iced over today or is this yet another Internet hoax?

Located on the international border between Canada and the United States, Niagara Falls Tourism states that millions of people travel to witness this great wonder of the world every year. While the photos that are being shared on social media are amazing, Niagara Falls Live states that the “water never stops flowing” and the falls haven’t frozen over since 1848.

“The flow of water was stopped completely over both falls on March 29th 1848 due to an ice jam in the upper river for several hours. This is the only known time to have occurred. The Falls did not actually freeze over, but the flow was stopped to the point where people actually walked out and recovered artifacts from the riverbed.”

So, where did these amazing frozen falls photos come from? The beautiful Niagra Falls are free-flowing today, as evidenced by the live webcam, so the origin of the pictures may raise some eyebrows. Time reports that the falls are “partially frozen” after a week of sub-zero temperatures, but they are “hardly frozen solid.”

“Though the falls were hardly frozen solid—water continued to flow—layers of ice built up, giving the impression of a winter wonderland amid its icy mist and surrounding snow.”

Some of the photos could be iced-up thanks to Photoshop, or are simply pictures of the ice bridge that has formed in the lower rapids due to extremely cold temperatures. One picture that is making the rounds was shared on Twitter over a year ago (below) and seems to capture the ice bridge explained in facts section on Niagara Falls Live.

“The tremendous volume of water never stops flowing, However, the falling water and mist create ice formations along the banks of the falls and river. This can result in mounds of ice as thick as fifty feet. If the winter is cold for long enough, the ice will completely stretch across the river and form what is known as the ice bridge. This ice bridge can extend for several miles down river until it reaches the area known as the lower rapids.”

The Niagra Falls Live Facebook page offers up images taken from tourists and screenshots from the live webcam and many show thick ice at the top of the falls, but the water is free flowing.

“The ice is roughly 90 feet thick… everyone is anxious for warmer weather in the Niagara region.”

It is evident from the live webcam that the falls themselves are still gushing, surrounded by ice and snow, so the authenticity of the frozen Niagara Falls photos may be debatable. There is one thing that is certain — the pictures are beautiful and may prompt you to book a trip to see them.

[Image: Niagara Falls Live Facebook]

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