Rivers aren’t just bodies of water flowing to the great oceans that just entertain our eyes with their continuous movement. Rivers have contributions to the historical cities they pass through, giving them water to drink, irrigation for agriculture, and even energy through hydropower. Now, let’s get to know about the longest rivers around the world.
The Nile River is undoubtedly the longest river in the world with an approximate length of 6,670 kilometers long. The Nile’s water resources are shared by eleven countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Congo-Kinshasa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt. You probably have seen the river’s name through history books because of its role as a major contributor in the Egyptian civilization. In the modern era, the Nile has still been used to transport goods along its length.
The Amazon River often goes into battle versus the Nile River when it comes to the “longest river” title but there is no doubt it’s one of the greatest rivers out there with a length of between 6,295 to 6,712 kilometers. Moreover, the widest point the Amazon River can reach is about 11 kilometers. It passes by South American countries which includes Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. The river is known to be the home of natural “extremes” as you can find extremely huge animals from fishes to snakes.
Jefferson-Mississippi-Missouri River System
The Jefferson-Mississippi-Missouri River System begins in Montana at the Red Rocks River and ends at the Red River with the Mississippi River, at the north of Marksville, Louisiana. The river system, with a total length of 6,352 kilometers, serves for transportation, industry, and recreation. In the past, Native Americans were among the first to make use of the river system, routinely canoeing, hunting, and drawing water from its far reaches. Today, it is used primarily for industrial transportation, carrying agricultural and manufactured goods, iron, steel, and mine products from one end of the country to the other.
Yangtze River is the largest river in China and one of the longest rivers in the world with a total length of 6,380 kilometers. It mainly runs across Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Sichuan, Yunnan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, and Shanghai from west to east. Yangtze has been an important part of China’s cultural origins and civilization, contributing to the establishment of irrigations systems and water transportation system.
Rising on the border of Mongolia and China, the Irtysh flows through Kazakhstan before reaching the Ob which starts at the border of Mongolia and Russia and goes north up to the Arctic Ocean. The 5,568-kilometer-long river system is used for transporting goods, supplying homes with drinking water, irrigation for crops, fishing, and creating hydroelectric power.
Yenisei River is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean with a length of 5,539 kilometers. It is the central of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean. It starts from Mongolia and flows through Russia’s Khakassia and the city of Krasnoyarsk.
Huang Ho River
The third longest river in Asia, Huang Ho or the Yellow River has an estimated length of 5,464 kilometers. It is called “the cradle of Chinese civilization” because of its basin where Chinese civilization started. On the other side though, it is also known as “China’s sorrow” because of its frequent floods and the continual elevation of its river bed.
After the Amazon River, South America has Parana River rising on the plateau of southeast-central Brazil and flowing generally south until it joins the Uruguay River to form the extensive Rio de Plata estuary of the Atlantic Ocean. The river’s drainage basin includes the greater part of southeastern Brazil, Paraguay, southeastern Bolivia, and northern Argentina. Parana River, with a length of 4,880 kilometers, has been used for fishing and for the transport of agricultural products, manufactured goods, and petroleum products.
Congo-Chambeshi River gets the spotlight when you talk about the deepest river in the world, but it still enters the “longest rivers” list with its length of 4,700 kilometers. According to history, the river served as a source of livelihood in the ancient kingdoms of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. When talking about the river’s aquatic life, it possesses the highest known concentrations of endemics.
The Amur-Argun River has a length of 4,444 kilometers. Besides being one of the longest rivers, Amur-Argun River also holds the title as having the tenth biggest basin area and the third longest undammed river in the world, after the Amazon and the Lena. Amur River starts in Russia and meets Argun River at the Inner Mongolia region of China.
Another river you’ll find in Russia, Lena River flows 4,400 kilometers from its sources in the mountains along the western shores of Lake Baikal, in southeastern Serbia, to the mouth of it delta on the Arctic Laptev Sea. More than 95 percent of the water flowing from Lena came from melted snow and rain.