Say what? Niagara Falls might go dry in a few years!

What's next? Filling in the Grand Canyon???

Niagara Falls are one of the continent's most popular tourist attractions, and with good reason! Looking at the sheer size and force of the falls, it's hard to imagine what they would look like without water, but we soon might get a glimpse of what that might be like, because there are talks about the falls drying up in 2-3 years. But don't worry: it's not a symptom of some horrific global water crisis... they're going to dam up the water on purpose!

So what is so important that engineers will need to stop up this thunderous force of nature? Repairs on the bridges that take tourists to Goat Island, which researchers say are deteriorating quickly. The two stone bridges were originally built in 1901, and temporary bridges put in place in 2004 are unappealing to look at and block the view of the falls. Plus, they were never meant to be a permanent solution!

If officials move forward with the decision to dry up the falls and repair the bridges, visitors don't have to worry too much: they'll only be drying up the American side of Niagara, which accounts for only about 15% of the water that flows over the falls. Ontario's Horseshoe Falls accounts for well over half the water, and will remain flowing as per usual. 

This won't be the first time that the falls have run dry, either. In 1969, the water was stopped so that scientists could study the effects of erosion and the rock buildup at the base of the falls. Surprisingly, this didn't hurt tourism to Niagara at all... in fact, tons of people came specifically to see what Niagara looked like all dried up. The pictures definitely don't look like I imagined they would-- honestly, I feel like I'm looking at something I shouldn't, like the waterfall is naked, in a way...

Want to learn more about visiting Niagara Falls? We've got you covered!

These incredible photos capture Niagara Falls like you've never seen them before: frozen solid!

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A guide to visiting one of America's most popular tourist attractions: Niagara Falls


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Header via Buffalo News archives and Flickr/David McDermott H/T

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This was originally written for Roadtrippers, a great resource for anyone interested in travel.
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