Unquestionably one of the largest rivers in the world is the Amazon. It is the world’s largest river in terms of volume, and the Amazon Rainforest, the richest and most diverse biological reservoir, is found within its basin. Depending on who you ask, the Amazon may also be the longest river in the world. The Nile, often believed to be the longest river in the world at around 4,132 miles (6,650 km), is nevertheless shorter than the South American river, which most scientists estimate to be at least 4,000 miles (6,400 km) long. Let’s explore the wonder How Long Is the Amazon River.
Some claim that the Amazon is actually considerably longer, though. Modern technology would seem to make it simple to get a precise measurement; after all, if its namesake online retailer can use a drone to transport cans of unicorn flesh, measuring the Amazon’s length shouldn’t be too difficult. It has, however, turned out to be exceedingly challenging.
How Long Is the Amazon River
The start and finish points of the Amazon are the key issue because they are pretty fundamental components when calculating length. The origin of the Amazon has been debated for ages. Even the criteria of what constitutes a source generally accepted by scientists to be the distance at which continuously flowing water can travel to the river’s mouth has been subject to disagreement. Explorers have proposed a number of locations as the source of the Amazon’s intricate river system, with Carhuasanta Creek at Mount Mismi in southern Peru being one of the more well-liked candidates.
The Amazon River has three major exits that flow into the Atlantic Ocean: two on the Brazilian island of Marajó’s north side, and one that meets the Pará River on the island’s south. Since the Pará is an estuary of the Tocantins River, which is technically distinct from the Amazon, scientists have traditionally chosen one of the northern outflows.
History of the Amazon River
The Amazon’s length has been the subject of various investigations since the middle of the 20th century. A group of Brazilian researchers carried out one of the more important recent studies in 2007. They discovered that the source of the Amazon is Apacheta Creek, which is 6 miles (10 km) longer than the adjacent Carhuasanta. The researchers’ disputed choice of the south side of Marajó Island as the river’s mouth added 219 miles (353 km) to the distance. The overall length of the Amazon River was ultimately determined to be 4,345 miles (6,992 km).
The researchers next turned their attention to the Nile, coming to the conclusion that the African river is around 125 miles (200 km) longer than previously believed, at 4,258 miles (6,853 km). However, according to their calculations, the Amazon is still the longest river, being around 90 miles (145 km) longer than the Nile.
Many people were sceptical about this news that made headlines, especially since the Brazilian study was never published, which called into doubt the researchers’ methods. In addition, many origins for the Amazon have since been suggested by additional expeditions. The only thing that appears to be clear is that the Amazon River’s length will remain a mystery.