10 Interesting Facts about Amazon River

These following facts about Amazon river should probably give you much information about this river. Amazon river in South America is the largest river by discharge of water in the world, averaging a discharge of about 209,000 cubic meters per second (7,381,000 cu ft/s), greater than the next seven largest independent rivers combined. The Amazon basin is the largest drainage basin in the world, about 7,050,000 square kilometres (2,720,000 sq mi), and accounts for approximately one-fifth of the world’s total river flow.

Facts about Amazon River 1: Drainage Area

The Amazon basin, the largest in the world, covers about 40% of South America, an area of approximately 7,050,000 square kilometres (2,720,000 sq mi). It drains from west to east, from Iquitos in Peru, across Brazil to the Atlantic. It gathers its waters from 5 degrees north latitude to 20 degrees south latitude. Its most remote sources are found on the inter-Andean plateau, just a short distance from the Pacific Ocean. The locals often refer to it as “El Jefe Negro”, referring to an ancient god of fertility.

Facts about Amazon River 2: Upstream

The Amazon river has a series of major river systems in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, some of which flow into the Marañón and Ucayali, others directly into the Amazon proper. Among others, these include the following rivers: Putumayo, Caquetá, Vaupés, Guainía, Morona, Pastaza, Nucuray, Urituyacu, Chambira, Tigre, Nanay, Napo, and Huallaga. The river systems and flood plains in Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, whose waters drain into the Solimões and its tributaries, are called the “Upper Amazon”.

Amazon River Origins

Amazon River Origins

Facts about Amazon River 3: Flooding

Not all of the Amazon’s tributaries flood at the same time of the year. Many branches begin flooding in November and may continue to rise until June. The rise of the Rio Negro starts in February or March and begins to recede in June. The Madeira River rises and falls two months earlier than most of the rest of the Amazon. Annual flooding is caused by tidal waves called “pororoca”. The waves occur in late winter at high tide, when the Atlantic Ocean overlaps into the river. The resulting waves can be up to 4 meters high and travel 13 kilometers inland.

Facts about Amazon River 4: Geography

At some points the river divides into anabranches, or multiple channels, often very long, with inland and lateral channels, all connected by a complicated system of natural canals, cutting the low, flat igapó lands, which are never more than 5 metres (16 ft) above low river, into many islands.

Amazon River Geography

Amazon River Geography

Facts about Amazon River 5: Downstream

The definition of where exactly the mouth of the Amazon is located, and how wide it is, is a matter of dispute, because of the area’s peculiar geography. The Pará and the Amazon are connected by a series of river channels called furos near the town of Breves; between them lies Marajó, the world’s largest combined river/sea island.If the Pará river and the Marajó island ocean frontage are included, the Amazon estuary is some 325 kilometres (202 mi) wide. If only the river’s main channel is considered, between the islands of Curuá (state of Amapá) and Jurupari (state of Pará), the width falls to about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi).

Facts about Amazon River 6: Animals Diversity

More than one-third of all known species in the world live in the Amazon rainforest, a giant tropical forest and river basin with an area that stretches more than 5,400,000 square kilometres (2,100,000 sq mi). It is the richest tropical forest in the world in terms of biodiversity. There are over 3,000 species of fish currently recognized in the Amazon basin, with more being discovered every year.In addition to the thousands of species of fish, the river supports crabs, algae, and turtles.

Fauna in Amazon River - Arapaima

Fauna in Amazon River – Arapaima

Facts about Amazon River 7: Geology

The Amazon once flowed west as part of a proto-Amazon-Congo river system, from the interior of present day Africa when the continents were joined as western Gondwana. Fifteen million years ago, the Andes were formed by the collision of the South American plate with the Nazca plate. The rise of the Andes and the linkage of the Brazilian and Guyana bedrock shields, blocked the river and caused the Amazon to become a vast inland sea. Gradually this inland sea became a massive swampy, freshwater lake and the marine inhabitants adapted to life in freshwater.

Facts about Amazon River 8: History

Gonzalo Pizarro set off in 1541 to explore east of Quito into the South American interior in search of El Dorado, the “city of gold” and La Canela, the “valley of cinnamon”.They stopped for a few weeks to build a boat just upriver from this confluence. They continued downriver through an uninhabited area, where they could not find food. ased on intelligence received from a captive native chief named Delicola, they expected to find food within a few days downriver by ascending another river to the north.The expedition reached the mouth of the Amazon on 24 August 1542, demonstrating the practical navigability of the Great River.

Amazon River Boundaries

Amazon River Boundaries

Facts about Amazon River 9: The Length

While debate as to whether the Amazon or the Nile is the world’s longest river has gone on for many years, the historic consensus of geographic authorities has been to regard the Amazon as the second longest river in the world, with the Nile being the longest. However, the Amazon has been measured by different geographers as being anywhere between 6,259 and 6,800 kilometres (3,889 and 4,225 mi) long. It is often said to be “at least” 6,400 kilometres (4,000 mi) long. The Nile is reported to be anywhere from 5,499 to 6,690 kilometres (3,417 to 4,157 mi). Often it is said to be “about” 6,650 kilometres (4,130 mi) long. There are many factors that can affect these measurements. The length of both the Amazon and the Nile remains open to interpretation and continued debate.

Facts about Amazon River 10: The Underground “River”

Scientists have discovered the longest underground “river” (actually a salt aquifer) in the world, in Brazil, running for a length of 6,000 kilometres (3,700 mi) at a depth of nearly 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). It flows from the Andean foothills to the Atlantic coast in a nearly west-to-east direction like the Amazon River. The discovery was made public in August 2011meeting of the Brazilian Geophysical Society in Rio de Janeiro. The “river” named Hamza. If the slowing down of certain seismic waves caused by the damp spot helped uncover the underground ocean, the unusual temperature variation with depth measured in 241 inactive oil wells helped locate the subterranean river.

Amazon River

Amazon River

Hope you would find those Amazon River facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.



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