Written by Ankita Sharma.
Have you wondered which are the longest rivers in the world? Here we tell you all about them – including which is the world’s longest river, the deepest river in the world and also which one is the world’s greatest river in terms of water flow volume. These are only a few facts – we tell you a lot more interesting facts about rivers!
Here’s a look at the top ten longest rivers in the world…
We begin by looking at the longest river in the world – the Nile.
1. Nile River
The Nile is largely considered to be the world’s longest river.
Facts about the Nile River
The Nile River, often regarded as the longest river in the world, has been the lifeblood of ancient and modern Egyptian civilizations, supporting agriculture, transportation, and urban centers along its banks.
The Nile has two main tributaries: the White Nile and the Blue Nile, which meet near the capital of Sudan, Khartoum, and then flow through Egypt, eventually emptying into the Mediterranean Sea.
Fun Fact about the Nile: The Nile River is not only the longest river in the world, but also one of the few rivers in the world that flows from south to north!
2. Amazon River
Key Features of the Amazon river: The Amazon River is the world’s largest river and also the world’s second longest river.
Its basin spans over 7 million square kilometers (2.7 million square miles), making it the largest drainage basin in the world.
The river is home to the Amazon Rainforest, and contains 10% of the known species on Earth. It’s so vast that some parts of the river are over 24 kilometers (15 miles) wide during the wet season!
Fun Fact about the Amazon River: It is so powerful that its freshwater can be detected over 160 kilometers (100 miles) out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Also, there’s been a long-standing debate about where does the Amazon river start! For many centuries experts have debated over the source of the river and there are differences in opinion about Amazon river’s origin (the exact origin that is). Since the Amazon River is so complex, and remote explorers of the river have suggested many different sources.
Here’s what we know about the origin of the Amazon river
The Amazon River originates in the Andes Mountains in Peru and flows towards the east making its journey running through the countries of Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Brazil.
After this long journey, it finally empties itself into the vast Atlantic ocean. So, as you can see the Amazon river doesn’t just stay in one country but runs through a huge area of land spanning across many countries. So roughly it travels about 6,400 km!
You can know more interesting facts about the second longest river in the world.
3. Yangtze River
Length: Approximately 6,300 kilometers (3,917 miles)
Countries Flowing Through: China
Key Features: The Yangtze River is not only China’s longest but also Asia’s longest river. It is also the third longest river in the world. It’s known as Chang Jiang” in Chinese
The Yangtze River has eight main tributaries. These are:
Yalung, Min, Jialing, and Han rivers – on the left bank
Wu, Yuan, Xiang, and Gan rivers – on the right bank.
The main cities along the Yangtze River are: Chongqing, Yichang, Wuhan, Nanjing and Shanghai.
Fun Fact about the Yangtze River: It is the only known habitat of the critically endangered Chinese river dolphin, or Baiji, which is considered functionally extinct, with no confirmed sightings since 2002.
4. Mississippi-Missouri River System
Length: Approximately 6,275 kilometers (3,902 miles)
Countries Flowing Through: United States
Key Features: The Mississippi-Missouri River system is North America’s longest, and it flows through the heart of America. Its watershed spans 31 U.S. states, which is what makes it an important transportation route for commerce and agriculture.
The river has inspired many famous works of literature, including Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
Fun Fact about the Mississippi River: The Mississippi River played an important role in the early history of American steamboat transportation, leading to the development of paddlewheel steamboats.
5. Yenisey River
Key Features: The Yenisey River is the fifth-longest river system in the world. It is also the largest river to drain into the Arctic Ocean. The Yenisey River begins at a Russian city named Kyzyl. The river flows along the border between eastern and western Siberia and empties into the Kara Sea, a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean.
One of Yenisey ‘s main tributaries, the Angara River, flows out of Lake Baikal, which is the world’s deepest freshwater lake. This river system supports the unique ecosystems of Siberia.
Fun Fact about the Yenisey River: The Yenisei River basin is home to the Stolby Nature Sanctuary, a stunning collection of rock formations and pillars that attract rock climbers and nature enthusiasts from around the world.
6. Yellow River (Huang He)
Key Features: The Yellow River is the second-longest river in China (after the Yangtze River). It is the sixth-longest river in the world. Often called the “Mother River of China,” or the “the Cradle of the Chinese civilization”, the Yellow River is a major river in China.
The river has three main parts: the upper course, which is in the mountains, the middle course, which lies across a plateau, and then the lower course, which is across a low plain.
The Yellow River originates in the Bayan Har Mountains, in the eastern Plateau of Tibet and drains at the Bohai Sea.
Fun Fact about the Yellow River: It is named after the color of its sediment-laden water, which appears yellow due to the vast amounts of silt it carries.
7. Ob River
Key Features: The Ob River is the seventh longest river in the world. It flows through the western Siberian plains of Russia. It is also one of the world’s longest rivers within a single country.
The Ob River has a lot of economic importance in Russia as it serves as a significant transportation route in the summer months, reaching far and remote places in Siberia.
It starts in the Altai Mountains and passes through many Russian territories and drains in the Kara Sea of the Arctic Ocean via the Gulf of Ob. Its tributaries also drain neighbouring land areas – China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan.
Fun Fact about the Ob River: The Ob River basin is home to a significant portion of the world’s freshwater reserves, making it an important source of freshwater for the planet.
8. Paraná River
Key Features: The Paraná River is South America’s second-longest river
(the longest river is Amazon river) and is also the 8th longest river in the world .
It begins in the highlands of eastern-central Brazil and flows through the high plateaus of Paraguay and Argentina (it forms the border between these two countries). It joins with the Paraguay and Uruguay rivers, and eventually empties into the Atlantic Ocean.
Fun Fact about the Paraná River: The Paraná River is home to the massive Brazilian Guavina, a catfish species that can reach up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds) in weight.
9. Congo River
Key Features: The Congo River is one of the deepest rivers in the world, with some parts of the river having a depth of over 220 meters (720 feet). The Congo River originates in the highlands of Zambia and drains into the Atlantic Ocean. The Chambeshi River in Zambia is said to be the source of the Congo river.
The second longest river in Africa, the Congo river has the third largest drainage basin in the world – the first and second are the Amazon and Rio Plata basins.
The Congo Basin makes up one of the most important wilderness areas that is left on our planet – it is the world’s second-largest tropical forest.
There are said to be about 10, 000 species of tropical plants in the Congo Basin, apart from 400 species of mammals, over a 1,000 species of birds and also about 700 species of fish. is also home to endangered wildlife, which includes forest elephants, chimpanzees, bonobos, and mountain gorillas.
The Congo Basin is also important because it is a source of food, fresh water and shelter to more than 75 million people.
Fun Fact about the Congo River: The Congo River is the only major river to cross the equator twice during its course.
10. Amur River
Key Features: The Amur River is the tenth longest river in the world and forms part of the border between Russia and China. It is also the the longest undammed river in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Flowing through China, Mongolia and Russia the Amur River originates near the mountains of Burkan Khaldun in northeastern Mongolia.
The Amur River is an essential waterway for transportation.
Fun Fact about the Amur River: The Amur River basin is home to the critically endangered Amur leopard, one of the rarest big cats in the world.
Hope you enjoyed reading these facts about the top 10 longest rivers in the world. If you’ve read this well – you’ll know which is the longest river in the world, which is the deepest river in the world and also which is the largest river in the world. Share this with a friend!
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