50 Amazing Facts About Rivers Around the World

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26Rio Grande's Endangered Status

Rio Grande's Endangered Status

North America’s Rio Grande River is often dry and is considered an "Endangered River."

27. The Nile River used to be in a canyon the size of the Grand Canyon. It formed due to erosion after the Mediterranean Sea dried up.

28. The Ohio River at Cincinnati was as shallow as 2 feet, in 1881, and had a record crest of 80 feet, in 1937.

29. The River Thames in England is 47 million years older than the Amazon.

30. The Colorado River has rarely actually reached the ocean for decades. All its water gets used or evaporates.

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31Danube River's Record

Danube River's Record

The Danube River holds the record for passing through most countries in the world. It crosses 10 countries, namely Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, and Ukraine.

32. The Amazon River didn't have a single bridge until 2012. Its first bridge was constructed with a budget of $400 million and used 1 million bags of cement.

33. The Western Asian Tigris River has a major tributary called the Batman River which flows through Turkey.

34. Despite being the 20th longest river in the world, the Yukon River in North America only has 4 vehicle-carrying bridges spanning it (as of July 2022).

35. There is an 'Underwater River' that flows along the seabed of the Black Sea.

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36Proto-Amazon-Congo River

Proto-Amazon-Congo River

The Amazon and Congo rivers were likely a single river before the continental plates of Africa and South America drifted apart. It would have been around 6000 miles or 10,000 km long.

37. River deltas are named so after the Nile River's delta which resembles the uppercase Greek letter Delta.

38. The Nile River (6,853 km) is half as long as the Earth's Diameter (12,742 km).

39. The pharaohs attempted and eventually succeeded in digging a canal that stretched between the Nile River and the Red Sea. The ‘Canal of the Pharaohs’ was constructed in 1897 B.C. and it was used until being closed for good in 767 A.D.

40. There is more water in the vapor and clouds above the Amazon rainforest than there is in the Amazon river.

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41Amazon's Tidal Bore

Amazon's Tidal Bore

Full moon causes a tidal wave to roll up the Amazon River twice a day over a period of three weeks every year, resulting in a continuous, 4 meter high tidal wave that can be surfed for up to 13 km.

42. There is a massive "underground river," or aquifer that runs about 4 kilometers below the Amazon river for 6000 kilometers, following roughly the Amazon river's flow. It eventually empties into the Atlantic Ocean deep below the surface. It was only discovered in 2011.

43. California's largest body of water, the Salton Sea, was created by an engineering mistake. Irrigation canals were dug from the Colorado River to the Salton sink. When the river flooded, a dyke was breached and the entire Colorado River poured into the sink making the sea.

44. The Ganges River in India contains bacteriophages, which kill pathogens that would otherwise cause widespread disease to humans and animals.

45. The plain fed by the Indus and Ganges rivers in the Indian subcontinent is less than a tenth of the size of the USA but is home to one-seventh of the entire world’s population

46Congo's Fish Evolution

Congo's Fish Evolution

In the lower Congo River, currents can be so strong that a population of one species of fish on one bank of the river can be genetically distinct from those on the opposite bank.

47. Damming the Congo River could generate 40,000 MW of power, which would be equivalent to 20 large nuclear power stations. It could supply 40% of Africa with electricity, and it would produce twice as much power as the Three Gorges dam in China.

48. Russia has to bomb their rivers every winter to prevent dangerous flooding caused by ice dams.

49. Locals in Russia's Far East claim that there are enough lakes and rivers in the region for each inhabitant to have one of each. They are fond of boasting that the region contains every element in the periodic table.

50. Roughly 500 million tons of sediment are deposited in the Gulf of Mexico by the Mississippi River annually.

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