Facts About the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s greatest wonders. Many people have probably seen at least an image of it, but there are many facts about the Grand Canyon not many people know.
Situated in Arizona, the Grand Canyon is home to the Grand Canyon National Park. Before the United States was settled by the Europeans, the Pueblo people considered the Canyon a holy site, even making pilgrimages to it. It was “discovered” by Europeans in 1540.
The Grand Canyon is one of the United States’ most popular tourist attractions. It attracts over 5 million visitors each year, mostly Americans. In 1956, the Grand Canyon was also the site of the world’s worst commercial air crash to have ever occurred up to that point. On June 30, two commercial airliners collided above the canyon. The wreckage fell into the eastern part of the canyon and resulted in the deaths of everyone aboard – 128 passengers and crew. That accident led to laws about high-altitude flight ways and the control of airplanes by ground controllers.
The Grand Canyon is basically a chasm that’s 227 miles long and up to 18 miles wide between its furthest points. Depending on where you’re standing, its height differs. At the lowest point at Yavapai Point, it’s measured at 2,400 feet above sea level, and at the highest, below the North Rim, it’s measured at 5,400 feet above sea level.
One of the more interesting facts about the Grand Canyon is the actual time it took for the Grand Canyon to form. It was formed by the great Colorado River which flows into the canyon from the west. Over time, it slowly began eroding the mountains, carving deeper into the canyon. It’s estimated that it took the Colorado River about 3 to 6 million years to cut so deeply into the canyon. The river that flows through the canyon is about 300 feet wide and 100 feet deep, flowing at about 4 miles per hour.
Another thing few people realize about the Grand Canyon is that it’s home to many different species of animals. There are 25 different types of reptiles, 5 species of amphibians, 250 species of birds, and 70 species of mammals; many of them unique to the area.
The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most unique and imposing natural wonders. It’s little wonder why so many people visit the Grand Canyon National Park every year.