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One of the great natural wonders of the world, for hundreds of years Niagara Falls has attracted visitors from both sides of the border, and around the world. The falls were formed more than 12,000 years ago when the river now known as the Niagara River exposed a weak layer in the rock over which it flows. That point was at present-day Lewiston, New York. Over time, the water wore away more and more rock. First cataracts, then rapids, then as a mighty waterfall, it marched slowly backward munching rock along the way. These days, the waterfall does not move as quickly as it once did. Human intervention tries to minimize the damage done by natural forces, and because of hydroelectric projects, less water flows over the precipice. The casual visitor would never notice that, unless they visit at night when the flow is most dramatically reduced. Many of the casual visitors are on their honeymoons and wouldn't notice much. It is something of a tradition in the northeastern United States and Canada for newly married couples to visit the falls. According to legend, this was started in 1804 when Jerome Bonaparte, Napoleon's younger brother, honeymooned there with his American bride. There are three distinct falls in the Niagara Falls complex: The Canadian Falls (also known as Horseshoe falls), The American Falls, and The Bridal Veil Falls. The Canadian Falls are roughly crescent-shaped and are separated from the American Falls by Goat Island, New York. The American Falls are straight. The Americans and Canadians came to an agreement in 1950 on how to divide the water that comes down the river. Once that was hammered out, both sides built massive hydroelectric projects to take advantage of the water.
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