Stopping Niagara Falls in 1969


The desire to change the course of history has always been a key motive of human civilization for many centuries. Throughout history, people have periodically tried to perform a feat that led to a direct collision with nature. Such events include the desire to conquer the skies by inventing airplanes, building megastructures such as the pyramids, or even stopping one of the world’s largest Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls

Entry related to location: USA

Niagara Falls consists of two parts — the Horseshoe and the American Falls. Due to rock failure between 1931 and 1954, the American Falls suffered erosion that could have led to its irreversible disappearance.

As a result of public protests and calls for American Falls to be saved, the US Army Corps of Engineers took on the enormous responsibility of dewatering the falls for repairs. To solve this historic problem, a special jumper was built, thanks to which it was possible to reduce the flow to the required state.

stop niagara

This colossal task was carried out by 1,264 trucks with 27,800 tons of sand and earth to fill the cofferdam. During the dehydration works, the corpse of a woman was discovered with a gold ring with the tragic inscription «Forget Me Not» on the inside.

You can also admire the grandeur of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world in a separate selection.

The Rochester shale began to crumble during the dewatering operation, causing serious concern for geologists. A decision was made on additional tests. To moisten the shale, pipes with a total length of three hundred meters and a diameter of about 15 centimeters were laid.


The purpose of such a grandiose project was to prevent further erosion and test the integrity of the American Falls. After conducting all the research and testing, the engineers estimated that the work would be completed by 1972. A series of tests was carried out with the chemical analysis of rocks, engineering-geological and other studies.


After more than five years of effort, the International Joint Commission concluded in 1975 that 385,000 tons of talus had accumulated at the base of the American Falls, halving its height, and erosion continued.

An important lesson for all mankind is that everything has a lifespan and nothing can escape death, including nature. Such a grandiose object as Niagara Falls is no exception. This change is inevitable, as is the mere existence of all things.


An important question arises: is something too big to fall, like the American Falls, or something too small to rise, like the rock that over the years has caused the waterfall to almost disappear. The dehydration of Niagara Falls in 1969 is a pathetic lesson in the strength of human effort compared to the might of nature.

niagara repair