Rivers are perhaps the closest most humans come to natural water bodies. Rivers meander through forests, towns and even cities, bringing in new life every day in an ever-flowing process. Humans have gone further to create artificial zoos, example the water bridge across River Elbe in Germany that is an impressive 34 meters wide.
Did you know, scientists have found evidence of an underground river beneath the Amazon that could be as long, if not longer than the Amazon, and multiple times wider? Most rivers do not escape human influence, example The Chicago River was re-engineered to flow in the opposite direction. The biggest rivers in the world are amazingly big cutting across multiple countries, and performing duties no other natural or man-made water body can perform. Here are the 10 biggest rivers in the world.
10. Amur River
The river is located near the eastern border of Russia and China. The Amur River is 2,824 kilometers long. Its main source is located in the Western Manchuria hills at an elevation of 994 feet. It has two major tributaries, that is; Shilka River and Eugene River. It flows eastwards and forms a magnificent watershed. It passes through desserts in Asian and finally drains into the Pacific Ocean through the Strait of Tartary. The river is mainly used for fishing and other transport activities. The Amur is mainly inhabited by the Kaluga species of fish. The river serves about 115 million people who are located in the far eastern side of Russia and the western side of China.
9. Congo River
It is located in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It stretches out to a length of 2,920 kilometers. It is the deepest river in the world with a depth of 220 meters and is the second largest in volume discharged. Its main source is in the highland of the East African Rift and forms the Congo basin which is the second largest river basin after the Amazon basin. The river is of huge economic importance. Due to its easy navigability ports have been set up such as the Mbandaka Port. The Congo is used to generate Hydro-Electric Power and it accounts for almost 13% of all HEP power produced in the world. It is also the major source of fish in the DRC.
8. Mississippi River
Mississippi river, the largest draining river known got its name from an Ojibwe word which meant the great river. The river flows entirely through the United States its main source being Lake Itasca. It spans a length of 3,734 kilometers. It bored up to 10 states in the United States as well as Mexico City. It is regarded as one of the most fertile rivers in the world as natives would also live there and does their farming. Its mouth is from the Gulf of Mexico in Pilottown. Since technological evolution river Mississippi has had its fair share of pollution mainly from agricultural substances.
7. Parana River
The 4,880-kilometer long river is located in south-central South America. It flows through three countries; Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Its main source is in Brazil where the Paranaiba and Rio Grande rivers meet. It drains its water in the Atlantic Ocean. The most magnificent feature on the Parana River is the Iguazu Falls which is known worldwide for its alluring scenery. The river was notorious for its disastrous floods but this was controlled by the construction of the Itaipu dam. The river is of great importance to the South American countries because of its vast economic potential. The Itaipu dam is the second biggest man made dam in the world and generates enough HEP for the three countries. It is also one of the major sources of fish in South America.
6. Ob River
The river is located in Russia and western Siberia. It is 5,463 kilometers long. Its main source is in the Altay Mountains. It forms south-west of the Altai Krai at the confluence of the Biya River and the Kutan River. It drains it water into the Arctic Ocean. Its estuary the Gulf of Ob is the longest in the world. The river is multi-purpose. It is used for fishing, irrigation and for producing HEP. It was mainly used for transport in the olden days but with the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway people preferred using the railway to the river.
5. Yellow River
It I located in Asia in the western part of China. It is the 2nd longest and biggest river in Asia. It spans to a length of over 5,463 kilometers. The Yellow River’s main water source is in the Bayer Har Mountains in western China. It flows through nine provinces and drains into the Bohai Sea. The Chinese believed that the Yellow River flowed from heaven. Its vast and rich basin is believed to be the birthplace of Chinese civilization. The river is mostly used for Hydro-Electric Power supply and also for aquaculture. In 2008 the river’s water was considered unsuitable for human use and irrigation due to pollution.
4. Yenisei River
It is located in ridge Dod-Taygasyn-Noor, Mongolia being the largest river flowing into the Arctic Ocean. It spans a length of up to 5,540 kilometers. The Yenisei River’s main source is the Mungaragiyn-Gol in Mongolia. Its maximum depth of the river is 24 meters whereas the average depth is 14 meters. The rivers main outflow is 32 meters. The river has four tributaries in Angara, Nizhnyaya Tunguska, and Tuba. It was first navigated in 2001 and it said to be polluted by contaminations caused by radioactive discharges from neighboring factories.
3. Yangtze River
Flowing straight from China is the world’s third biggest river. Sourcing from Geladaindong Peak the river spans a length of about 6,300 kilometers having a basin length of up to 1,808,500 km2. For a long time now the river has been used for its agricultural purposes such as irrigation and transportation. The Chinese believe that the river has endangered species such as the Chinese alligator alongside the finless porpoise. The river covers and drains a fifth of the land population in China and it has played a cultural and historical role among the Chinese. The river has a dam which is the largest hydro-electric power station in the world. The river in turn faces vast amounts of pollution such as industrial waste and siltation from the wet lands.
2. Nile River
The second longest river in the world spreading over 6,853 kilometers has its prime source from the White Nile as it flows through Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan. The river has two main tributaries the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The Nile River’s main source is at times considered to be Lake Victoria. The river is mainly considered as the Egyptians home of civilization before the river was discovered. The Nile River attracts many due to its fertile land that allows farming to take place. River Nile is the main source of water in Egypt and South Sudan.
1. Amazon River
While some 17 countries do not have rivers entirely, including Saudi Arabia, some rivers are crown jewels, literally. Initially before civilization brought about mining and extraction of gold and diamonds, they were actually harvested alongside or beneath rivers, especially in India. London plays host to around 20 rivers hidden beneath the city. Rivers are amazing; their history in relation to ancient living and early civilization has been well engraved in the history books of our founding fathers.