Niagara Falls Picture: Photo Of Frozen Falls Is 'Optical Illusion'

Nathan Francis

Niagara Falls pictures have emerged showing a waterfall draped in a sheet of ice, giving the appearance that the entire falls has frozen over in a late-winter cold snap.

There is one problem though --- much like a similar "freeze" earlier this year, the pictures don't show the real story. While pictures have circulated on the internet and social media claiming that Niagara Falls has frozen over entirely, visitors to the falls have discovered that's not really the case.

"I did think they were going to be frozen, because I had heard they were frozen," photographer Linda Gellman said.

The confusion was cleared up by Buffalo news outlet WGRZ. A report explained that the frozen Niagara Falls were really an optical illusion, as pictures taken from the Canadian side of the falls make it appear that the entire waterfall is frozen even though it is not.

The same thing happened earlier this year. A picture supposedly showing the falls frozen over due to the Polar Vortex circulated on Twitter on Facebook, claiming to show the power of a cold snap that covered much of the nation.

While the photo itself wasn't fake, it was three years older than people were claiming. The shot was taken in the winter of 2011, when the face of Niagara Falls also froze over.

Niagara Falls actually was frozen over in January as the 2011 photo was going viral, and Reuters filed real pictures of what it looked like at the time.

People who live in the region aren't too surprised to see Niagara Falls frozen. The falls freeze at least partially every winter, though the flow of water always continued underneath the ice.

Anyone who wants to catch a glimpse of what Niagara Falls actually looks like can check out live video from the Hilton Fallsview Hotel.