Amazon River is considered as the world’s mightiest river. Want to know more amazing and interesting facts about Amazon River? Go ahead.

Facts About Amazon River

Amazon River, situated in South America, is the second longest river of the world, next only to River Nile. It has the largest water flow with an average discharge greater than all the next largest seven rivers combined. Its water accounts for about one-fifth of the total river flow of the world and it has the largest drainage basin. The Atlantic Ocean carries most of Amazon’s sediments out of the sea with its wave and tidal energy, hence, Amazon does not form a true delta. The mighty Amazon has its tributaries and it is characterized by an immense forest area which gets flooded every rainy season. Amazon River flows 4000 miles into the sea from the Andes and is the largest in terms of the size of watershed, volume of water discharged and number of tributaries. The immensely vast Amazon basin accounts to over two and a half million square miles which is more than any other rainforest. Scroll further to know more interesting facts about Amazon River.
Amazing And Interesting Facts About Amazon River
  • Amazon River is 6,437km long and 2.5-10km wide. It is the second largest river of the world after River Nile and is the largest, longest and widest river of South America, carrying more water than Mississippi, Nile and Yangtze rivers.
  • Amazon Rain Basin, located in South America, covers 7,000,000 km2 with a depth of 10m, which in some places extends up to 90m. It is also famous for being the largest tropical rainforest of the world.
  • Although it is believed that Vincente Pinzon, a Spanish explorer, was the first one to lay eyes on this mighty river in 1500, it is Francisco de Orellana, another Spaniard, who explored the sea in 1541-1542, who is credited with Amazon’s discovery. He found that he was sailing in fresh water when he was 200 miles out of the sea.
  • The name ‘Amazon River’ was given by Francisco de Orellana who led the first expedition to explore the river. On this expedition, Orellana was attacked by female fighters who were named ‘Amazons’, after the mighty female warriors of the Greek mythology. Hence, the name ‘Rio Amazonas’.
  • The Amazon River has a combination of saline and fresh water up to 100 miles offshore. This is because in an estimated time of one second, Amazon pours 620,000 cubic yards or 60 million gallons of water into the Atlantic Ocean. Hence, this water is mixed at a huge scale, thus diluting its salinity. The amount of water that flows through Amazon in a day is equal to water used by the New York City in 12 years.  
  • This river is recognized as one of the prominent river systems of the world as its water accounts to 1/5 of fresh water available on earth.
  • Solid particles present in this river contain extremely significant components of organic matter and pave way to support cultivation.
  • The fact that the river widens by 6 ft. every year is also an interesting aspect. The wave which adds on to the river comes from the ships and results in the breakdown of the banks.
  • Amazon River has a total length of 6400 kilometers (4000 miles) which flows through Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.
  • No bridges are built on this potent river as it flows only through the rainforests and does not encounter any roads or rails on its way.
  • In the mid-1800s, rubber was the important economic source of this basin. But, when in 1910, the plantations of Southeast Asia took up the same production, the economy collapsed all of a sudden.
  • Speed of the river is 2.5 kilometers per hour in dry seasons whereas, in the rainy season, it increases up to 5 kilometers per hour.
  • The river is home to 3000 species of fish that includes the ferocious, meat-eating piranha, a carnivore which attacks livestock in groups. Pirarucu is considered to be the largest fresh-water fish of South America and is also found in Amazon. Furthermore, animals like alligators, anacondas, sloths, monkeys, parrots, numerous species of insects can also be seen in the River. Also, this rainforest accounts for at least one-third of the bird’s species of the world. About 70% of the plants found here have anti-cancer properties.  
  • One may also find extreme creatures such as catfish, which grows up to 40 lbs in the U.S and 200 lbs in Brazil, and anaconda, one of the largest snakes in the world, in the enigmatic Amazon River.  
  • More than thousands of tributaries join Amazon River accounting for over 40% of South America’s land mass.
  • The Amazon rainforest is often referred to as the ‘Lungs of the Planet’, as they account for more than 20% of the total oxygen on earth.
  • Usually, the width of the Amazon River fluctuates from 1.6 to 10 km but during rainy season, it goes up to 48 km or even more.  

How to Cite

More from