A photo of a dry Niagara Falls has been shared on Twitter more than 750 times after it was published Monday (July 7).
The poster of the photo said it was from the year 1969 and showed a rare, completely bone dry Niagara Falls from what appeared to be an aerial view.
Niagara falls without water. 1969 pic.twitter.com/Fh0DZH9Bnm
— History Pics (@ThatsHistory) July 7, 2014
That was it. No background. No context to explain why the falls flowing from the American side were dry.
But a little digging on the Internet found a 2010 Daily Mail article in which the British tabloid explained not only the circumstances that caused the falls to run dry, but also speaks to the man who discovered the photos in his garage.
First, why was Niagara Falls dry? The Daily Mail reported that rock slides in the 1930s and 1950s had caused rocks to collect at the base of the falls and would eventually cause the falls to cease flowing if they were not removed.
“In June 1969, U.S. engineers diverted the flow of the Niagara River away from the American side of the falls for several months.
“Their plan was to remove the large amount of loose rock from the base of the waterfall, an idea which they eventually abandoned due to expense in November of that year.
“During the interim, they studied the riverbed and mechanically bolted and strengthened a number of faults to delay the gradual erosion of the American Falls.
“The team, made up of U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, blew up their temporary dam in November 1969 and six million cubic feet of water once again thundered over the falls’ sides every minute.”
Now for the background of the photos. The paper reports that the pictures were actually taken by Russ Glasson’s in-laws and sat in a box in his garage for some 40 years until he found them by mistake.
It’s a really simple story, but man is it interesting. To see the full collection of photos Glasson’s in-laws took, click on over to The Daily Mail and take a peak.
While the rare photos of Niagara Falls dry is fascinating, it is not the first time this year that photos of the falls seemingly without movement of water has taken place.
The Inquisitr reported in January on photos from 1911 that showed people walking not far from the edge of a frozen Niagara Falls.
[Photo via Flickr Creative Commons]