May I introduce you something about Niagara Falls?
Niagara Falls has become a tired old tourist sight. But if you look it over in an airplane, it becomes something completely new. You realize that it is not tired; only our way of looking at it is tired.
Most visitors go as close to the falls as possible, and watch the waters thundering down. It is fascinating, in a stupefying way. You stand there, hypnotized by the sheer force, the untiring action that goes on and on. But afterward you have a feeling—“So what, really? The water comes to the cliff and, naturally, it falls down.”
But at altitude you see it all at once. You see Lake Ontario on one side and Lake Erie on the other, and linking them the 34-mile Niagara River. Then, coming down lower, you see the falls themselves, along a front almost a mile wide, plunges over a 182-foot cliff and flows off through a deep, narrow gorge. And right away, with a flash of understanding, you see the main fact about the Niagara Falls. The falls are moving; the seven-mile-long gorge is merely the track the falls have made as they move along. This instantly reverses all your ideas. On the ground it seemed that the water fell because there was this low place for it to fall into the gorge. Now you see it is the other way round. The falls are the cause, and the gorge is the result. Niagara Gorge looks like the track eaten into an apple by a worm.
Niagara differs from the waterfalls you find in mountains, where a thin stream of water comes down a mountainside, but they lack mass and cutting power. Niagara belongs to the heavyweights—where a whole solid river plunges bodily over a cliff.
The real sight from above is the gigantic movement of the falls themselves, digging the gorge. The falls are still moving today. However, our century has tamed it a bit. A lot of water that used to plunge down now goes through the electric power stations, both American and Canadian.
Above in the air, you will understand the real difference between the American and Canadian falls. The American Falls get only about 10% of the water, while the Canadian Falls get 90%. Because the volume of water is greater, the Canadian Falls are eroding far more rapidly. Unlike the mountains and canyons of the West, Niagara is a short-time glory that was here yesterday and will be gone tomorrow.