The River Amazon in South America is the largest river by discharge of water in the world, and the second in length.
The river originates from the Andes mountains in the Peru.
It runs through Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.
The length of the Amazon River is approximately 6400 kilometers (4000 miles).
The Amazon is the widest river of the world. The width of the Amazon is between 1.6 and 10 kilometers (1.0 and 6.2 miles) at low stage, but expands during the wet season to 48 kilometers (30 miles) or more.
The mouth of the Amazon is over 320 kilometers (200 miles) wide.
The Amazon discharges 209,000 cubic meters (7,831,000 cubic feet ) every second.
The total discharge by Amazon River alone is greater than the total discharge of 7 next largest rivers of world taken together!
The Amazon basin is the largest drainage basin in the world, with an area of approximately 7,050,000 square kilometers (2,720,000 square miles), and accounts for roughly one-fifth of the world’s total river flow.
The river is made up of over 1,100 tributaries, 17 of which are longer than 1,600 kilometers (1000 miles).
Marajó, the world’s largest river island with an area of 48,000 square kilometers (18,533 square miles) is located on Amazon and is about the size of Switzerland.
The Amazon rainforest is the largest in the world and it surrounds and is supported by the river.
The Amazon River is credited with flowing 20% of the Earth’s fresh water into the Atlantic Ocean.
This fresh water brought by Amazon River dilutes the salinity and changes the color of the ocean’s surface over an area of 2,600,000 square kilometers (1,003,865 square miles).
Amazon dumps directly into the turbulent Atlantic. Because of the high tidal energy and the strong waves, sediments from Amazon flow out into the open ocean and thus, Amazon never really forms a true delta.
Because of its vast dimensions, it is sometimes called “The River Sea“.
There are over 5,600 known species of fish that live in the Amazon River, with more constantly being discovered.
The river is also known for supporting turtles, snakes, algae and crabs.
The bull shark has been reported 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) up the Amazon River at Iquitos in Peru.
Amazon River is the prime habitat of the Boto, which is the largest species of river dolphin and is also known as the Amazon River Dolphin.
The tucuxi, also a dolphin species, is found both in the rivers of the Amazon basin and in the coastal waters of South America.
The Amazonian manatee, also known as “seacow“, is found in the northern Amazon River Basin and its tributaries.
One of the largest freshwater fish in the world is found living in the waters of the Amazon River. Arapaima, also known locally as Pirarucu, have been found to reach a length of 4 meters (15 feet) and can weigh up to 200 kilograms (440 pounds).
Also present in large numbers is the notorious piranha, an omnivorous fish that congregates in large schools and may attack livestock and even humans. There are approximately 30 to 60 species of piranha. However, only a few of its species are known to attack humans.
Anacondas lurk in the shallow waters of the Amazon Basin, they are one of the largest snakes in the world and occasionally attack larger animals such as goats that get to close the water.
The Amazon got its name from the brave women warriors of the Greek mythology who were known by the name of Amazons.
The Spanish soldier, Francisco de Orellana, who was first European to explore the Amazon, in 1541, gave the river its name after reporting pitched battles with tribes of female warriors, whom he likened to the Amazons of Greek mythology.
The Amazon River had no bridges until one was built at Manaus in 2011 mostly because there is no need, the majority of the Amazon River runs through rainforests rather than roads or cities.Also in some places the crossing can be done by a ferry.
The largest city along the Amazon River is Manaus.Located in Brazil it is home to around 1.9 million people.
In 2007, a man named Martin Strel swam the entire length of the Amazon river! To complete his splashing jungle journey, Martin powered through the water for up to ten hours a day for 66 days!