Since ancient times, people have been living and expand their civilizations due to the source of water. As a result, rivers play a very important element that produces ecosystems where lives are brought out as well as to rise up the economy around the globe. According to the complexity of international waterway systems, the longest rivers in the world are in many ways the most impressive. Here are the top 10 longest rivers in the world that you should know.
- 1. Nile River -East Africa – 6,650 km (4,132 miles)
- 2. Amazon River, South America – 6,400 km (3,976 miles)
- 3. Yangtze River, China – 6,300 km (3,917 miles)
- 4. Mississippi River – Missouri – Jefferson, North America – 6,275 km (3,902 miles)
- 5. Yenisei River – Angara – Selenge, Asia – 5,539km (3,445 miles)
- 6. Yellow River, China – 5,464km (3,395 miles)
- 7. Ob River – Irtysh, Asia – 5,410km (3,364 miles)
- 8. Paraná River – Río de la Plata, South America – 4,880km (3,030 miles)
- 9. Congo River – Chambeshi, Africa – 4,700km (2,922 miles)
- 10. Amur River – Argun, Asia – 4,444km (2,763 miles)
1. Nile River -East Africa – 6,650 km (4,132 miles)
Known as the longest river on earth, Nile River is situated in the northeastern of Africa, and its length is around 6,650 km (4,132 miles). Flowing from north to the eastern part of Africa and the Mediterranean Sea, this river flows across 11 countries. Those countries are Burundi, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. According to Travelling Along Rivers, a Dutch bilingual travel magazine, the average volume of water flowing at the Nile is 300 million cubic meters, which equals 3 billion gallons per day. Besides, it is said that the Nile Delta length is about 161 km (100 miles) long that stretches from north to south. It also spreads out along the Egyptian coastline about 241 km (150 miles) from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east. Surrounding this biggest river in the world are many historical sites that attract many tourists to visit every year such as the Pyramid of Giza, Abu Simbel, Valley of the Kings, Aswan, and other temples. Those are the popular places that all the visitors should not miss.
2. Amazon River, South America – 6,400 km (3,976 miles)
Located in South America, Amazon River is considered a paradise for all animals and plants, for it nourishes the largest tropical forest on earth, and 20% of its freshwater flows to the Atlantic Ocean. This river’s length is approximately 6,400 km (3,976 miles), which flows across Brazil, Columbia, and Peru. It is said that the maximum depth of this river is about 100 meters (330 ft), while its average depth is around 20 to 50 meters (66 to 164 ft). The Amazon River has been one of the popular places that attract many scientists and researchers to conduct researches and study on animals and plants due to its biodiversity in the Amazon forest. It is said that there are more than 2 million insect species, thousands of plants, and some of 2000 birds and mammals. Moreover, at the Amazon forest live indigenous tribes.
3. Yangtze River, China – 6,300 km (3,917 miles)
Yangtze River, the third-largest river on the earth, is situated in the central region of China, and its length is 6,300 km (3,917 miles) long. As for the size, its width is around 800 meters (2,600 ft), while its depth exceeds 30 meters (more than 100 ft) with the water current rate of 1 meter (3.5 ft) per second. It flows across 11 cites and provinces including Anhui, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Qinghai, Shanghai, Sichuan, Tibet, and Yunnan. Not only this river is known for its ranking as the third-longest river in the world, but it also plays an important role in the Chinese economy in terms of agriculture, fisheries, navigation, and hydroelectric power. Additionally, the Yangtze River Basin provides habitats to various species including the giant panda, red panda, Chinese alligator, Chinese Giant Salamander, Yangtze sturgeon, golden monkey, and many other kinds.
4. Mississippi River – Missouri – Jefferson, North America – 6,275 km (3,902 miles)
Ranking after the Yangtze River, Mississippi is located in North America. This river is 6,275 km (3,902 miles) long, and it geographically flows across 7 states in the USA: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. For its depth, it is separated into 2 areas. Between Saint Paul and Saint Louis are considered as the average depth which is between 2.7 to 3.7 meters (9 to 12 ft), while the deepest part is 18 meters (60 ft) at Lake Pepin. This river has been considered as a drainage system where thousands of rivers and streams flow to it as the water level increases. Besides, it is also the home of more than 120 species of fish and other wildlife such as otters, coyotes, deer, beaver, and many other mammals.
5. Yenisei River – Angara – Selenge, Asia – 5,539km (3,445 miles)
Yenisei River, situated in Asia, is listed as the next longest river after Mississippi River with its well- known scenery. Due to geography, this river flows across 2 countries: Mongolia and Russia. It starts from Mongolia and it runs through Khakassia and Krasnoyarsk city. The length of this river is 5,539km (3,445 miles), and its maximum depth is 24 meters (80 ft), whereas its average depth is 14 meters (45 ft). Furthermore, this river has provided a lot of benefits to the local people as for agriculture, fishery, and cattle ranching. There are also mining areas around the basin where the people can extract copper, coal, and nickel. Not only that, but there are also a lot of hydroelectric power stations built to facilitate 25 million KW to its locals.
6. Yellow River, China – 5,464km (3,395 miles)
It is said that the Yellow River is where the ancient Chinese civilization took place. This river is 5,464km (3,395 miles) long, and it actually originates in Bayankala Mountains at Qinghai Province. It flows through 7 provinces: Gansu, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, and Shandong. Despite its symbolism for China, this river always creates sorrow for Chinese people since ancient times as it usually causes floods and destroys infrastructures and agriculture to its locals. According to the report, there was the worst tragic event causing by flood from the Yellow River in 1887, which caused great destruction to 11 towns and a hundred villages and the casualties to people. 900,000 people found dead and 2 million were homeless due to the flood covered 50,000 square miles.
7. Ob River – Irtysh, Asia – 5,410km (3,364 miles)
Representing one of the 3 great Siberian Rivers, Ob-Irtysh flows across 3 countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, China, and Mongolia. The length of this river is 5,410km (3,364 miles) long. Its source of water comes from melting glaciers at the Altai mountains, which borders between western Mongolia and Xinjiang (China). Since the 19th century till the 20th century, this river has been used for transportation and business. To cater to more needs for electricity, people built hydro-electronic power plants that operate along the river. There are plenty of marine lives in the river, which are very beneficial to the fishing industries in Russia.
8. Paraná River – Río de la Plata, South America – 4,880km (3,030 miles)
Known for its greatest bird sightseeing, Paraná is listed as the 8th longest river in the world that spreads 4,880km (3,030 miles) long from southeast-central Brazil plateau and flowing to the south until it joins the Uruguay River to form Rio de Plata. The maximum depth of this river is 170 meters. This river serves as the means to transport agricultural products, manufactured products, petroleum as well as fishery. Additionally, this also gives benefits to cattle ranchers and farmers to grow their crops and raise their animals. Its natural view also attracts many tourists to visit which promotes the social-economic of the countries, too. Many hydro-electric dams have been built on the river to cover the needs of the people in the region.
9. Congo River – Chambeshi, Africa – 4,700km (2,922 miles)
Formerly named Zaire River, the Congo River is the 9th longest river in the world with a length of 4,700km (2,922 miles) long. It is located in west-central Africa, and it flows across the countries of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. What is more, the Congo River is also known as one of the deepest rivers in the world with a depth of 220 meters (720 ft). This river is also the home of wildlife such as hippos, bonobos, crocodiles, elephants, and more than 600 fish species.
10. Amur River – Argun, Asia – 4,444km (2,763 miles)
The 10th ranking longest river in the world is Amur River, which is located in the north-eastern part of Asia on the border of Russia and China; its length is 4,444km (2,763 miles) long. It has another name in Chinese called “Heilong Jiang” which means “Black Dragon River” It is said that the basin drainage of this river is around 716,200 square miles. In fact, this river is divided into 3 parts: upper part, middle part, and lower part.
The upper Amur starts at the joint of the Shilka and Argun and ends at the mouth of the Zeya which is about 900 km (560 miles) downstream. The middle Amur spreads about 970 km (600 miles) from the Zeya east to Khabarovsk. The lower Amur, located at Khabarovsk to the mouth, is about 970 km (600 miles) long.