The only reason to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel is if you’re a daredevil seeking to captivate a crowd with a death-defying feat, but apparently some people see it more as an exercise in practicality than a high-stakes stunt.
1. The man who did it in order to take a bath.
If you’re planning on going over the Falls, don’t be like 55-year-old Kevin O’Malley, who only saddled up in the barrel so that he could rinse his body off after going to the gym. Anyone whose sole purpose for going over Niagara Falls is personal hygiene is wasting the occasion—not to mention it just seems like a wildly inconvenient way to get clean.
2. The child who simply wanted to see the Falls.
Daniel Reis, age 9, went over Niagara Falls in a barrel just to—get this—see Niagara Falls. Newsflash, kid: You don’t need to go over in a barrel to see the views! In fact, you don’t actually see anything when you’re in the barrel except the barrel. If you want to see the Falls, there’s a whole tourist area off to the side specifically designated for looking at the Falls. Just go there next time. The whole risking-your-life-in-a-barrel thing is totally unnecessary.
3. The woman who needed to kill 30 minutes.
It’s definitely frustrating when you arrive at a doctor’s appointment early and have to kill a bunch of time, but there are definitely wiser ways to go about killing time than going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, which is precisely what 34-year-old Buffalo resident Nancy Yelena did a few years back to occupy herself while waiting for an OB/GYN appointment. It’d be one thing if she was actively looking to have an exhilarating, once-in-a-lifetime experience, but she was literally just trying to burn half an hour. Gotta think these things through, lady.
4. The 9/11 terrorist who got the plan wrong
Ever hear of an al-Qaeda leader by the name of Mustafa Al-Ghamdi? Probably not, and that’s because going over a waterfall in a barrel doesn’t quite pack the same punch as knocking down skyscrapers and changing America forever. Had Mustafa just stuck with the agreed-upon plan that fateful day and hijacked a plane as instructed, his name would be right up there with Osama bin Laden and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as one of history’s most notorious villains, but he instead opted to go rogue and send himself over Niagara Falls in a barrel, believing it would chill Americans to their core to see a terrorist making a spectacle at one of their most beloved landmarks. But ultimately, no one even noticed, and all that came of it was he got wet and a little concussed. Pretty weak.
5. The man who was looking for a way to dispose of a barrel.
When 62-year-old Gary Helman found himself with a barrel he no longer wanted, he decided to go over the Falls in it so he could leave it in the water after he was done. What the hell?! Don’t disrespect the sanctity of going over Niagara Falls in a barrel just to get rid of a barrel! If you no longer need a barrel, just put a sign on it that says “DO NOT WANT THIS” and leave it on the highway. Surely someone who wants to go over the Falls for the right reason will pick it up and actually use it for good. Gotta think these things through, pal.