Geography

Facts about Amazon River

18 Amazon River facts

The longest river on Earth

The greatest river in South America, the Amazon River is the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. Discovered in 1500, it is one of the most amazing wonders the planet Earth has to offer. 
1
The Amazon River was first discovered by Spanish explorer Vicente Yáñez Pinzón.
He detected the river in 1500 while navigating the shores of Brazil.
2
The Amazon River is the longest on Earth.
It is 6,992 kilometers long.
3
Until 2007, it was thought the Amazon River came second in terms of length, after the Nile.
Explorers proved, however, that the Amazon River is the world’s longest river system, ending a decades-long dispute.
4
The Amazon River originates in the Andes Mountains in Peru.
5
It flows through six countries.
They are Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil.
6
The first European to navigate the length of the Amazon River was the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana.
He achieved it in 1541, 41 years after the river was discovered by the Europeans, and thus is sometimes confused as the discoverer of the Amazon River.
7
In terms of water volume discharge, the Amazon River comes first.
It has a discharge of approximately between 6,591 and 7,570 cubic kilometers per year, which makes it greater than the next seven largest rivers combined.
8
The enormous discharge of water dilutes the salinity of the Atlantic Ocean for an area of 2,5 million square kilometers.
9
Its delta is the largest river delta on Earth.
It is located in the northern parts of Brazil and covers an area of 1 million square kilometers.
10
There are no bridges on the Amazon River.
There are very few roads along the Amazon River to create the urge to connect them via bridges.
11
The Amazon River is home to the Amazon river dolphin, also known as the pink river dolphin.
It is the world’s largest species of river dolphin, and one of Amazon’s biggest attractions.
12
The Amazon River Basin is a propitious habitat for various species of fish, making it the leader of freshwater fish species worldwide.
There are over 3,000 species of fish, including the Red-bellied piranha, the Tucunaré Peacock bass, the Arapaima, the Armored catfish, and the Bull shark.
13
More than half of the fish species found in the Amazon River are endemic.
14
The largest predator found in the waters of the Amazon river is the Black Caiman.
It is the largest caiman of the family Alligatoridae.
15
In 2011, researchers discovered two new species of freshwater stingrays in the Amazon River.
The Heliotrygon (rosai and gomesi), commonly referred to as the Pancake stingrays, is the first new genus of stingrays from the Amazon described since 1987.
16
The Amazon River, now flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, once flowed in the opposite direction.
Somewhere between 65 and 145 million years ago, the Amazon River changed the course of its flow from western, into the Pacific Ocean, to eastern, into the Atlantic.
17
In 2011, researchers announced a discovery of a 6,000 kilometers long aquifer, flowing underneath the Amazon River.
The Hamza River forms with the Amazon River a unique twin-river system.
18
In 2016, researchers discovered a 9,300-square kilometers coral system in the muddy waters of the mouth of the Amazon River.
The Amazon Reef is one of the world’s largest reef systems. It contains 73 species of fish, over 60 species of sponge, and a wide range of starfish and corals, including staghorn corals.

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