Artificial Nature

Read an article recently, where a particular para caught my attention, far more than the main theme of the essay. Its been extracted below:

In the ’50s, this [manufactured or real] was becoming a question for the Falls too. A 1950 treaty with Canada had been signed that allowed more water to be diverted into power plants than ever before. Anticipating the reduced water flow over the brink, Ontario Hydro and the Army Corps of Engineers had scheduled the Falls for a face-lift. In fact, a massive engineering project was in place to carve out the riverbed, reshape the banks, rebuild the viewing points, and artificially raise the water level—all in order to keep up the appearance of natural grandeur. Marilyn’s 116-foot walk strode right to the heart of an issue that was playing out at Niagara and on many fronts in American life.

The above got me thinking, how many of the natural wonders we see or wish to see are actually “face-lifted”? The blue mountain, The great ocean road, The grand canyons, Yellowstone, the various beaches of south-east asia these are just some of the natural areas we like to see, enjoy and fawn over. How many of these are actually the way nature made them?

And as the author points out, if I knew that these places were manufactured and knew how it looked like as nature intended, would I stop visiting them? Or would I disdain them?

One thing is for sure, my urge to visit Niagara Falls has gone down considerably. But maybe when I do visit it, even the artificial falls may be too awe-inspiring to care about real and artificialness.

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