How dangerous is the longest river in the world, the Amazon

(ORDO NEWS) — The Amazon River is located in the northern part of South America, which is located in the southern hemisphere of our planet.

The Amazon stretches across almost the entire continent from the western forests of Peru to the east coast of Brazil. It branches into many tributaries, collecting water from 50% of the continent’s waterways.

Most of the largest waterway in the world passes through Brazil, namely the states of Amapa, Amazonas and Para. The Amazon also flows through Peru, and its tributaries are located in states such as Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador.

Reference! The development of coastal areas is rather slow due to the inaccessibility of places. However, several ports were still built, namely: Belen, Iquitos, Obidus, Santarem and Manaus.

History of the discovery of the Amazon

Based on the course of World History, it can be argued that the first observations of the Amazon in South America were recorded in the reports of Juan de San Martin and Antonio de Lebrija, about travels to the shores of the continent with Jimenez de Quesada. The latter believed that the Amazons, a matriarchal tribe, lived in South America, and the main one was called Harativa.

Francisco de Orellan is considered the discoverer of the Amazon. This happened in the summer of 1542, when he, mistaking the men with long hair for the Amazons, fought them. Initially, he wanted to name the river after himself, but, having changed his mind, decided to give a different name. According to legend, the river was named after brave warriors, fearless women who fought alongside men.

Origin of the name of the river

The name “Amazon” appeared at the beginning of the 16th century during the time of the conquistadors in Spain, who took part in the colonization of America. The conquistadors noted that in battles on the banks of the river, women of Indian tribes fought boldly and selflessly alongside men. Thanks to this, the legend of the Amazon tribe, which consisted exclusively of the female population, was recalled.

Women did not tolerate the presence of men and were famous for their courage and courage. After drawing an analogy with a tribe, the river was named “Amazon”. Before the march of the conquistadors, the river was called “Holy Mary of the Fresh Sea”. The river received this name from the Spaniard Vincent Yanes Pinson, the ship commander during the 1st expedition of Christopher Columbus.

Where does it begin and where does it end?

In the mid-90s of the last century, an expedition was organized in the Amazon jungle, the members of which determined the exact place of the beginning of the great river.

The members of the expedition climbed up the Ucayali River (Peru), crossed the Apurimac River and reached the Apachete Stream. It is here, at the source of the stream, that the Amazon River begins.
In the east, the Amazon flows into the Atlantic Ocean; this place is considered its mouth. The largest river delta on the planet is located here, with an area of ​​100,000 square kilometers.

Area, depth, length, bottom topography

The river originates in the state of Peru at an altitude of 5,170 m, in the region of the Andean mountains. It extends to the eastern part of Brazil and gradually drops to 3,500 m. The river flows parallel to the equator, from the west to the east. It is formed by the confluence of the Apachet, Ucayali and Marañon rivers.

the longest river in the world the Amazon 2

Total length of the river:

Marañon6 400 km
Apachet6 992 km
Ucayali7 100 km

Until now, the scientific community has not come to a single conclusion, which of the three sources should be considered a reference when calculating the length of the Amazon. An underground river Khamza flows under the Amazon River. It is located at a depth of more than 3.8 thousand meters and is fed by underground groundwater. The largest width of the Amazon River is about 31 km, the deepest place reaches 36 m.

The river, together with ocean waters, forms the world’s largest delta with an area of ​​over 100 thousand km². In the middle of the Amazon River, there is an island called Marajo. It was formed as a result of the rise of the river bottom to the surface, subsequently, several small islands joined together. The area of ​​the unique island is almost 55 thousand km².

Salinity and composition of water

20% of the total supply of fresh water that feeds the Atlantic comes from the Amazon River.

As the fresh water of the Amazon mixes with the salt water of the ocean, there is an active turbulence at the surface, which is called the resulting Amazon tidal wave. Fresh water mixes very heavily with salt water, and at a distance of 115 km from the confluence border, the water is fresh.

Relationship with the World Ocean

The Amazon carries its fresh water into the Atlantic at a speed of 4.5 meters per second. In one second, the ocean water supply is replenished by 50 million liters of Amazonian water. The Amazon is the longest river in the world with a record basin area. Together with a tributary called the Takantins, the Amazon basin covers almost 7,200,000 km².

The Amazon River is fed by rainwater and water formed after snow melts. Near its mouth there are about 500 inflow sources that constantly feed the Amazon. The most important tributary of the Amazon is called the Marañon and is almost 1,420 km long.

Other tributaries that provide the Amazon with full water:

titleapproximate length (in km)
Isa1.6 thous.
Rio Negro2.2 thous.
Shinga1.4 thous.
Purus3.2 thous.
Zhurua2.4 thous.
Topajos1.9 thous.

Climate, water temperature

Due to its location, the Amazon has warm equatorial weather with heavy rainfall. The year is climatically divided into 2 parts: wet and dry. The dry season lasts in this area from the beginning of August to the end of December. The temperature during this period can rise to + 40 ° C at 100% humidity. At the same time, the water level of the Amazon River is minimal.

The most abundant amount of precipitation falls in the period from early January to late July. During this period, the temperature fluctuates around + 20 ° C. At this time, abrupt weather changes become more frequent here. It rains in the morning and afternoon, but in the evening the weather improves and the hot sun shines.

According to statistics for the last few years, annual precipitation is 3 thousand mm on average. The average annual air temperature is + 25 ° С.

Seasonality strongly affects the level of the river and its fullness. During the dry season, the river overflows a little more than 10 km wide, its area during this period is 110 thousand km². During the rainy season, the river level rises by more than 14 m, the basin area can reach 150 thousand km². The highest water level in the river: in June, May and July.

Nearby natural attractions

Tourists are advised to visit and see the following objects:

  • Jau National Park. Located in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, the park is home to unique flora and fauna and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Montagnas do Tumucumaki National Park. The largest tropical rainforest park on the planet, located in the state of Amapa (Brazil). It is home to jaguars, eagles, water turtles and rare agouti.
  • Amazon Botanical Gardens. Many flowers, medicinal plants and fruit trees grow here. Locals offer guided tours of the gardens and offer drinks and juices from fresh fruit.
  • “Black Rivers”. The waters in them are really colored black due to the many algae that decompose in them.
  • Milky trees. The uniqueness of these trees lies in their fruit, which tastes like milk.
  • “Chocolate” trees. In addition to the “milk” trees in the Amazon jungle, there are also “chocolate” trees, whose fruits taste like cocoa.

Theater Amazonas

Theater location: Brazil, State of Amazonas, 69025-140, Manaus, Centro, Avenida Eduardo Ribeiro. The theater is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day, except Mondays. The theater has an original painted facade of the building and a chic interior decoration.

Iquitos town and nature reserve

Iquitos is one of the largest cities on the planet, which does not have a land connection with other settlements. To get to the unique city is possible only by air or by water.

the longest river in the world the Amazon 3

The history of the city began with the development of rubber fever. People who got rich from processing it built a huge number of luxurious mansions in the city, which are now considered a local landmark. Several excursion paths to the settlements of local aborigines have been laid near the city.

Manu National Park

Manu Park is one of the largest nature reserves in the world; it covers about 2 million hectares. The park is located at a variable altitude, from 300 m to 4 thousand m above sea level. Due to this location, several different ecosystems are found in the park at once.

The reserve is home to the largest number of various biological organisms on the planet. It is not easy to get into the park; in some areas of the park, only scientists are allowed access with special passes.

Puerto Maldonado

At a distance of 55 km from Bolivia, there is a small town called Puerto Maldonado. You can get to the town by plane with a direct flight from Cusco.

There are several national reserves near the city, which are inhabited by:

  • numerous monkeys;
  • caimans and capybaras;
  • various reptiles, insects and birds.

Wild tribes

The main attraction of the Amazon is the numerous wild tribes that live in its territory. Some of them have the opportunity to visit and get to know the local traditions, rituals and culture of their inhabitants.

Recreation centers on and near the coast

A vacation on the Amazon coast will leave a lasting impression on tourists.

During sightseeing tours, the following are provided:

  • rest in houses on stilts;
  • night trips to the tropics by flashlights;
  • boat trips on the raging waters of mountain rivers;
  • bungee jumping.

Tours include:

  • transfer and accommodation;
  • three meals a day and a guide;
  • prepared excursion programs.

On the territory of the Amazon there are several hotels for tourists. The hotel “Go Inn Manaus” is located at Rua Monsenhor Coutinho 560, Manaus, State of Amazonas 69010-110 Brazil. The cost of an overnight stay in the hotel is from 2 737 rubles. The hotel has family rooms and non-smoking rooms.

The hotel provides:

  • luggage storage and air conditioning;
  • refrigerator and TV in the rooms;
  • mini – bar and kids club;
  • conference room and telephone;
  • free breakfast and internet.

The hotel staff speaks Portuguese, English and Spanish. The Rei Salomao Hotel is located at 119 Rua Doutor Moreira, Manaus, State of Amazonas 69005-250, Brazil. The hotel staff speaks English, Spanish and French.

The hotel offers:

  • air conditioning and telephone;
  • room service and mini – bar;
  • bath and restaurant;
  • internet and parking.

The location of the Amazonia Tower Hotel is: Avenida Getulio Vargas 227, Manaus, State of Amazonas 69020-010 Brazil. The cost of rooms in the hotel is from 2 767 rubles. per night. The hotel has non-smoking rooms.

The hotel offers:

  • laundry service and restaurant;
  • air conditioning and mini – bar;
  • fitness center and swimming pool.

The hotel has:

  • self-service laundry;
  • family rooms;
  • air conditioning and safe;
  • room service and mini – bar;
  • round-the-clock front desk;
  • transfer from and to the airport;
  • covered parking and luggage storage services.

Interesting Facts:

  1. The Amazon is one of the oldest rivers on the planet; it has existed for over 9 million years.
  2. An order of magnitude more different fish live in the waters of the Amazon than in the Atlantic Ocean.
  3. There is not a single bridge across the Amazon River.
  4. The Amazon is replete with species of ants. There may be more of them on 1 bush in the tropics than on all the British Isles.
  5. The oldest ant species on earth is found in the Amazon.
  6. An extreme from Slovenia named Strel Martin swam across the Amazon in a wetsuit. The event lasted 2 months, he swam about 80 km a day.
  7. From the nearby Sahara, during strong sandstorms, a huge amount of sand is swept into the Amazon basin. The volume of sand that gets into the reservoir can reach 40 tons per year.
  8. During the full moon, a huge wave forms on the river, which moves from the ocean towards the source of the river.
  9. Almost 80% of the foods we eat come from the rainforest: tomatoes, potatoes, bananas and corn.
  10. The Amazon rainforest is home to a huge number of deadly creatures such as the jaguar, venomous reptiles, piranhas and electric eels.
  11. It is believed that in ancient times the Amazon River did not flow into the Atlantic, but into the Pacific Ocean. At some point, for inexplicable reasons, she changed her direction.

The Amazon is an amazing river, famous all over the world for its unique nature and fauna. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most valuable corners of the planet that must be protected.

How does geographic location affect the body of water and its inhabitants?

The location of the Amazon is unique: its tributaries are located on opposite sides of the equator. Northern tributaries are most abundant in the summer from April to October, while tributaries south of the equator gain strength from November to March.

Due to this, the Amazon does not dry out throughout the year. During the summer months, the inflow of water becomes so strong that the river overflows its banks and floods huge swamps of the jungle, turning them into swamps. This greatly complicates the life of local tribes, forcing them to migrate deep into the jungle, away from the coast.

Reference! At the mouth of the river, where the Amazon waters flow into the Atlantic Ocean, huge waves periodically occur. Their height sometimes reaches 4-5 meters. Locals call such waves “thundering water”. They collapse on the banks and destroy everything in their path, including buildings.

Learning and mastering

The first attempt to develop the Amazon and the adjacent tropical forest can be attributed to the beginning of the 10th century AD. NS. By the middle of the 13th century, 1 settlement appeared on the outskirts of the tropics. After Christopher Columbus’s travels across South America in 1492, the Portuguese and Spaniards began to actively explore the Amazon.

The first European man to venture into the expedition, Conquistador Francisco de Orellano, made a huge contribution to the study of the river. The members of the expedition of the mid-19th century, the German geographer Humboldt Alexander and the botanist from France Bonaplan Aimé, carried out the ascent along the Orinoco River to Casiquiare, to the place where a tributary called the Rio Negro flows into the river.

Thanks to this, it became clear that the Orinoco is divided into 2 parts related to different pools. This natural phenomenon is called “River Bifurcation”.

Interesting historical facts

The Amazon is the deepest river in the world, it exists thanks to the replenishment of rainwater, melting snow and the ingestion of a huge volume of water from adjacent tributaries. More than 500 tributaries feeding the Amazon are located along its mouth. The largest of them, 17 in length, are almost 2 thousand km.

On the one hand, the waters of the tributaries flow into the Amazon:

The most important tributary of the Amazon – the Marañon1415 km
shingu1979 km
jurua2400 km
purus3211 km
tapajos1992 km
madeira3250 km

On the other hand, tributaries flow into:

JapuraIts length is 2820 km
Rio NegruIts length is 2,250 km.
IsaIts length is 1575 km.

A huge part of the Amazon is located in Brazil, the source of the river is located in Peru. Before entering the Atlantic Ocean, the river flows through Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador.

Controversial length

When asked which river is the longest, there are usually different answers. This is due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to determine the size of watercourses and for this you need to know exactly where they begin and at what point they end. For example, as many as four rivers compete for the title of the source of the Amazon: Apurimac, Marathon, Maregnon and Ucayali, which greatly complicates accurate calculations of its size.

For a long time, the Nile was the longest river on the planet. According to various estimates, it stretches from 6670 to 6853 meters. Amazon was usually ranked second after him. It was believed that it originates in the northern part of Peru, which means that its length does not exceed 6500 meters.

Recently, new data and other studies have emerged, thanks to which the Amazon has become the world leader. The length of the river today is determined in the range of 6900-7000 meters, and its sources are sought closer to the center, or even the south, of the state of Peru.

The nature of the Great River

The Amazon begins its journey in the Andean mountains at heights of several thousand meters. There, its tributaries flow through narrow deep valleys, which often turn into gorges with high steep walls. Here they pick up a fairly high speed, and in some places they form waterfalls.

On leaving the mountains, the area where the Amazon River flows becomes flat and slightly dissected. This is how it is up to the shores of the Atlantic, forming the largest plain in the world – the Amazonian lowland.

Hundreds of kilometers across the territory of Peru, the river flows in the form of numerous tributaries. It becomes the Amazon itself at the confluence of Marañon and Ucayali, near the border with Brazil, in the Pacaya-Samiria park area.

It is a turbid stream that winds strongly and forms many branches and oxbows. Due to its characteristic color, its upper course is called Solimoins, which translates as “yellow river”. Near the city of Manaus, the Amazon merges with the large tributary of the Rio Negro, which is known for its very dark hue and is nicknamed the “Black River”. Their waters have different densities and do not merge immediately. For about six kilometers, they form two parallel streams of different colors.


Where the Amazon River is in the lowlands, its channel is wide, and the current speed is about 5 meters per second. On the plain, its slope is minimal, and the banks are very low and descend to the channel in stepped terraces. The lower levels of the floodplain (Igapo) are heavily flooded during floods, turning the area around the river into impenetrable swamps for several months. Above are the terraces of varzea, which are not flooded every year, and even higher are areas where water does not reach at all.

In normal times, the width of the Amazon reaches from 5 to 20 kilometers. During the rainy season, it spreads over 50 kilometers or more, increasing its area almost threefold.

The Amazon runs in a hot climatic zone where there is never snow and frosty winters. Therefore, it is not covered with ice, and it feeds mainly due to precipitation, of which there are a lot.

It runs very close to the equator and has tributaries in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. Thanks to this, the river constantly remains full-flowing, and floods occur on it all year round, only in different places. The seasons of the hemispheres seem to balance each other: it rains north of the equator from March to September, and south of the equator from October to April. This allows you to keep the level in the river approximately the same, without significant fluctuations.

the longest river in the world the Amazon 4


Over the entire long journey, more than 500 tributaries join the Amazon River, many of which are important waterways in themselves. Flowing into the main channel, most of them form deltas with shoals and alluvial islands. Some of them are connected to the main river by many side branches.

An interesting feature of the Amazon tributaries is their color. There is not a single place in the world where rivers have so many different colors. In addition to the blue-black Rio Negro, there is the greenish Tapajos or the milky-white Purus and Madeira, as well as various streams with gray, yellow and brown waters.

Due to the humid climate with an abundance of rainfall, most of the region’s rivers are very deep and stretch for many kilometers. Approximately 20 tributaries of the Amazon range in length from 1,500 to 3,300 kilometers. The most significant of them are: Zhurua (3280 km), Madeira (3230 km), Purus (3200 km), Rio Negru (2300 km), Tapajos (2200 km), Xingu (1980 km), Japura (1900 km).

Delta amazon

The waters of the river are heavily muddy with silt and soft rocks that break off the banks and rush downstream. Between 600 million and 1.2 billion tons of particulate matter are thrown into the ocean annually. Where the mouth of the Amazon River is located, the sediments form a huge delta. It is a muddy lowland cut by many branches and channels.

The river delta is located on the territory of two Brazilian states and covers an area from 100 to 300 thousand km2. It contains a large number of islands covered with palm trees and other evergreen vegetation. At the entrance to the ocean, shallow streams of the Amazon merge to form several wide estuaries. The southernmost of them on both sides are washed by one of the largest islands in Brazil – Marajo, whose area (40.1 km2) is slightly smaller than Switzerland or the Netherlands.

The slope of the river in the Amazonian lowland area is small, so it experiences the effect of oceanic tides. Entering through the mouth of the river, they form waves up to five meters high, which roll along the shores of the Amazon with a crash and destroy everything in their path. These tidal waves are called “blemish”, which translates as “thundering water.”


At the source, the Amazon flows through difficult mountainous areas, where only extreme people can cope with it. But at the foot of the ridges, it opens onto flat terrain and becomes accessible for water transport. To the city of Manaus, its depth is from 3 to 20 meters, then it increases, and in the delta it is about 100-200 meters.

The main channel of the Amazon is accessible for crossings by boats, small boats, ferries and river taxis over a stretch of 4,300 kilometers. From where the Rio Negru joins it to its very mouth, it is accessible to ocean-going ships and liners.

With all its tributaries, the Amazon forms an extensive transport network, the length of which is 25 thousand kilometers. Its largest ports are: Belen, Obidus, Santarem, Manaus, Iquitos.

Underground source

Relatively recently, in the territory where the Amazon is located, a significant underground source Hamza was discovered. It is located at a depth of 4 thousand meters, and flows almost parallel to the “Great River”. Moreover, its length is about 6 thousand kilometers, which makes it one of the world’s largest waterways.

The discovery took place in 2011, when scientists suggested that the underground source is the twin river of the Amazon. Later it turned out that the water in it is salty, and its flow is almost imperceptible and amounts to almost a centimeter per year. Because of this, Hamza cannot be called a “river”, but this does not detract from the uniqueness of the discovery.

Vegetable world

The Amazon basin, which stretches for hundreds of thousands of kilometers, is traditionally called the “Amazon”. All of it is covered with evergreen rain forests, which represent one of the most diverse and most important ecosystems on the planet. There are more than a thousand plants per ten square kilometers.

In the forests of the Amazon, hundreds of species of palms and orchids, all kinds of lianas and shrubs grow. In the channels formed by the mighty river, you can find the world’s largest water lily, the Victoria region, whose leaves reach 1-2 meters in diameter.

There are many valuable species in the river basin. Here, rubber plants grow, the juice of which is used for the production of elastic materials; the chocolate tree from which cocoa is made; and also balsa – the source of the lightest wood.

Flora and fauna of the longest waterway in the world

The area around the longest river on the planet is called the Amazon; it is a unique ecosystem that includes a huge number of representatives of flora and fauna, including rare ones. And again, the river is ahead of all such corners of the planet, because the world’s largest forest grows around its banks. The type of this forest ecosystem is the humid tropics.

More than 4 thousand species of trees and an innumerable number of plants, shrubs, flowers grow in the tropics of the Amazon.

The Amazon rainforest and its inhabitants During high tides, coastal forests are flooded, but the species growing there have long adapted to life in such conditions and calmly endure the difficulties of survival under water. Known and interesting trees:

trees amazon

Plants of the Amazon

  • hevea;
  • chocolate tree;
  • cinchona;
  • red;
  • papaya;
  • palms, including banana ones.

A variety of ferns, shrubs, beautiful orchids grow around the longest river. Among the interesting and rare plants, the largest water lily in the world, called Victoria Regia, stands out, the diameter of which can reach two meters. The Amazon forest is full of surprises and unexplored places, where plants and representatives of the animal world or insects, not yet even known to people, may appear.

Fauna dwellers

A unique gene pool of animals, birds, insects, and reptiles has been collected in the territories around this waterway. The Amazon River has one of the most diverse animal worlds.

The river basin is home to almost a third of all freshwater fish species on the planet. This is about 2.5 thousand. World fame, albeit not very positive, was brought to these waters by piranhas – small predatory fish with sharp teeth, to which more than one horror film was dedicated.

Among the interesting species: bull shark, pink dolphin, electric eel, reaching 2 m in length. One of the oldest existing fish, the arapaima, can grow up to 2 m. This species has a history of 400 million years.

More than 250 species of mammals, snakes live in the Amazon: caiman crocodile, huge anaconda snake up to 12 m long, monkeys, tapir, jaguar, capybara. More than 400 species of birds, including the famous small hummingbirds, a huge number of bright and diverse butterflies and other insects – this is only a known part of the fauna that inhabits the territory around the longest river. Some of the species that live here are not found anywhere else on the planet, such as the white dolphin or the Amazonian otter.

The Amazon accounts for about half of all known living organisms on Earth, so it is rightfully considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

What is the role of the Amazon in the Earth’s ecosystem

This long river is essential for the ecology of the planet. If the unique natural world of the Amazon is destroyed, all life on the planet will be threatened. This river with the adjacent forests is often called the “lungs of the planet.” Crowns of trees and shrubs in the region produce a strategic supply of oxygen, help contain the greenhouse effect, participating in the processing of harmful substances released into the atmosphere. The chemical balance of the planet’s air composition largely depends on the health of the rainforest around the Amazon.

The longest river is surrounded by medicinal plant species used for the production of pharmaceuticals and natural medicines. A quarter of the world famous representatives of flora with medicinal properties grow here. This links the Amazon directly to the safety of humanity.

Unfortunately, this miracle of nature has long been threatened by uncontrolled destruction of forests for the sake of valuable timber, industrial pollution and poaching. Among the most important tasks facing ecologists and governments around the world today is the problem of the ecology of the longest river on the planet.


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