Nik Wallenda is seen tightrope walking through the mist of Niagara Falls.

Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Walking on air

Aerialist Nik Wallenda balances on a 2-inch-wide tightrope suspended 1,800 feet across Niagara Falls on June 15. Wallenda became the first man in more than a century to make the treacherous crossing — all tightrope walking attempts across the falls were banned in 1890, and previous attempts were made further down the gorge over less treacherous waters. Wallenda wore a tethered harness because of the live television coverage, but his walk went off without a hitch, despite the potentional to fall 190 feet into the churning torrent below.

Wallenda, 33, is a seventh-generation member of the famed Flying Wallendas, who trace their roots to 18th-century Austria-Hungary when their ancestors traveled as a band of acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, animal trainers and trapeze artists.

Click here to see footage of Wallenda's feat.

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Catie Leary ( @catieleary ) writes about science, travel, animals and the arts.

Photo: Tightrope daredevil walks a thin line across Niagara Falls
Professional aerialist and daredevil Nik Wallenda becomes the first man in more than a century to make the treacherous tightrope crossing across Niagara Falls.