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Are you interested to learn about the longest rivers of the world? Then you have come to the right place! Rivers are fascinating natural features that add so much value to our world- physically, economically and socially. In this post I will teach you about the longest rivers of the world and why they are so interesting. Ready to learn more? Keep reading…

The 10 Longest Rivers of the World

longest rivers of the world

Have you ever wondered which river qualifies for the list of longest rivers of the world out of 165 major ones? No worries, We’ve got you covered!

A total of 165 rivers are large and broad enough to qualify as major rivers and carry significant amounts of water every day. They have branching streams and provide pure water to millions of people around the world. The number of small and major rivers in the world is difficult to estimate because there are hundreds of smaller ones.

There’s just something quite fascinating about these long rivers in the world, especially when they connect multiple countries or international borders. These gigantic bodies of water are often home to amazing landscapes, wildlife, and the people who live there.

It is a fact that rivers are the birthplace of civilizations. All of the major civilizations have evolved on the banks of rivers, including Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, Egypt, and China. Rivers and lakes are also sources of hydroelectric power.

So, lets learn more about the longest rivers of the world…

1. Nile, Africa – 6,650km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Nile, Africa – 6,650km Posted by Safarisafricana

This 6,650km river, also known as the “Father of All African Rivers,” is the longest river in the world and Africa. The Nile is formed by the White Nile and the Blue Nile, two of its major tributaries. Khartoum, the Sudanese capital, is where the two rivers meet. 

Nile River flows for about 1,380 kilometers from Khartoum to Lake Nasser on the first section, and then for about 80 kilometers on the second section, through five cataracts. Eventually, the Nile River reaches a delta area in North Cairo, where it splits into two different distributaries before draining into the Mediterranean Sea.

A total of 11 African nations have parts of the Nile drainage basin, which spans 3,349,000 square km. From Burundi to Congo, and from the Republic of Sudan to Uganda, all these countries share the River Nile.

Nearly 95 percent of Egyptians live on the Nile today. Canals use water from the Nile to build cities and irrigate fields. Fishing and agriculture are supported by the Nile. The Nile has been a vital transportation route for thousands of years. 

In Cairo, some residents have started taking private speed boats, water taxis, or ferries to avoid congested streets. Egypt’s Aswan High Dam was built to calm rivers and provide hydroelectric power.

2. Amazon, South America – 6,400km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Amazon, South America – 6,400km by Timesnownews

Flowing through seven countries, the Amazon River rises in the Andes mountains in eastern South America, flows through the world’s largest rainforest, and empties into the Southern Atlantic Ocean. This is one of the most important longest rivers of the world.

In terms of size, this is without a doubt one of the largest rivers of the world, with a maximum width of 190 kilometers in the rainy season, and an estimated volume of water of 209,000 cubic meters per second being released into the Atlantic Ocean.

According to a peer-reviewed article published in 2014, the headwaters of the Mantaro River, which originates in Peru’s Cordillera Rumi Cruz, are responsible for the Amazon River. A number of tributaries join the Mantaro River and the Apurimac River, which eventually become the Ucayali River. 

At some point, the Amazon River empties into the Atlantic Ocean near Belem, Brazil. The Amazon River Basin covers an area of approximately 7,050,000 square kilometers, and its watershed includes the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana, and Venezuela.

3. Yangtze, Asia – 6,300km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Yangtze, Asia – 6,300km by pawopa3336

Throughout Tibet and China, the Yangtze-Jinsha-Tontian-Dangqu River system has been known by many names.

This river has historically been a centre of trade, is home to a bunch of weird flora and animals, and generates tons of energy. It’s Asia’s longest river. It facilitates trade and travel between numerous cities.

Almost three-quarters of the river runs through mountains as it snakes through China, flowing from the Tibetan Plateau to the East China Sea. One-third of the country’s population lives along the Yangtze, its main waterway. This is one of the most important longest rivers of the world.

4. Mississippi, USA – 6,275km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Mississippi, USA – 6,275km by Juntospelaagua

At first, there might be some confusion with regard to the measurement of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Jefferson River systems. Since the Mississippi River is only 2,340 miles long, we begin by calculating the length of the river that reaches its furthest point. The Jefferson River is the source that reaches the end.

The water eventually empties into the Gulf of Mexico, but not before it feeds flora and fauna and supplies water to a dozen cities.

When individual rivers are measured rather than the entire river system of the US, the Missouri River overtakes the Mississippi as the greatest river in the United States. It was an important river during the Civil War, and it remains so today.

There are fewer dynamic natural systems along the Mississippi than overly-engineered canals that are more prone to destructive floods. Even though some areas are reestablishing the floodplain’s connection to the river, it continues to struggle to reclaim its original role, and many places still depend on levees for flood protection. 

Presently, the river faces invasive species problems, excessive nutrient contamination from unregulated farmland, as well as habitat destruction issues, which, given that it is one of the longest rivers of the world, is a pretty big deal, warranting urgent attention.

5. Yenisey-Angara-Selenga, Asia – 5,539km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Yenisey-Angara-Selenga, Asia – 5,539km by Inspirich

Most people may never have heard of this as one of the longest rivers of the world, but it is! The Yenisei River, sometimes written Yenisey, rises in northern Mongolia and runs mostly north through Russia to the Kara Sea region of the Arctic Ocean. In terms of basin size, it’s the fifth largest on Earth and the largest in Siberia. One cannot ignore the significant and interesting Yensei River Basin upper part feature, Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest and oldest lake as well as a center of plant and animal species.

While it’s in a faraway part of the world, the regulation of river flow and fragmentation caused by dams for industries along its banks, dependent upon the basin’s abundance of mineral and forestry resources, results in some of the most contaminated water in the world.

6. Yellow River, Asia – 5,464km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Yellow, Asia – 5,464km by Britannica

With a length of 5,464 kilometres, the Yellow River is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-longest river of the world. It originates in the mountains of Western China and flows eastward to the Bohai Sea.

It is thought that ancient Chinese civilisation began along the Yellow River basin, which also served as China’s most prosperous region for a long time. There have been a number of significant natural disasters along the river over the years, including floods that have claimed more than a million lives and substantial changes in river flow. 

Modern dams have reduced the floodwaters significantly and have transformed this as one of the longest rivers of the world.

7. Ob-Irtysh, Asia – 5,410km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Ob-Irtysh, Asia – 5,410km By Worldatlas

Western Siberia’s Ob River, seventh in length in the world, travels 5,410 kilometres. In the Altai Mountains, there is a meeting point between the Biya and Katun rivers, which are both important economic assets to Russia. The river mostly flows through Russian territory, despite several tributaries draining land in nearby countries such as Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan. 

The Ob River empties into the Gulf of Ob, which leads to the Kara Sea in the Arctic Ocean. It has a catchment area of approximately 2,975,000 square kilometres.

There is currently a large navigable waterway on the Ob River that facilitates cargo transportation from the interior to major Russian cities and trade centers. This water route is used to import and export agricultural products and industrial goods, making this one of the most important longest rivers of the world. 

Siberian oil and natural gas fields, producing two-thirds of the country’s oil and natural gas, are located along the Ob River Basin, which is one of the most important oil and gas fields in the country. 

As a result of its varied habitats, the river is home to a large number of industrial centers in the country, including Novosibirsk and Barnaul. Agriculture and livestock are also popular in the steppe zones. In addition to well-developed fisheries, Russian fishermen land large quantities of edible fish from the Ob River Basin each year on its banks. 

Also, the Ob River has the potential to generate around 250 billion kilowatts of hydropower. Three hydroelectric projects already exist along the Ob-Irtysh, one near Novosibirsk and two on the Irtysh, at Bukhtarma and Oskemen, respectively.

8. Parana-Rio Grande, Uruguay –  4,880km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Parana-Rio Grande, Uruguay –  4,880km By Wikimedia

As the 14th-longest river in South America, the Paraná River has many important tributaries including the Paranaiba River, Paraguay River, and Grande River, making this one of the most interesting longest rivers of the world.

Argentina and Brazil are divided by the Parana River; it runs between the Paranaiba and the Rio Grande rivers, and then south and east through Argentina to the Paraguay River and Rio de la Plata.

The word “parana” means “as big as the sea” in the local language.

There are more than 1,000 small islands in the Parana Delta, a river and rainforest network that stretches 8,400 square miles (21,755 square kilometers). Along the river, several dams are constructed, including the Yacyreta and Itaipu dams. There has always been a close connection between the Parana Delta’s port system and the country’s railways and highways, making it the country’s most important waterway network. 

The system consists not only of a connection to the Atlantic Ocean but also of the Parana-Paraguay canal, which links the Uruguayan port of Nueva Palmira to the Brazilian port of Caceres. The river’s natural resources provide the locals with materials for the production of food products.

This river is known by the name Alto (Upper) Parana, whose origin lies at its convergence with the Grande and Paranaba rivers. Discover why the Parana River is so important to wildlife in subtropical wetland regions along its course.

9. Congo-Chambeshi, Africa – 4,700km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Congo-Chambeshi, Africa – 4,700km By MONUSCO Photos

Although the river begins peacefully near Lake Tanganyika, its history is turbulent as well. Gradually, the river widens and becomes faster until it emerges from the “Gates of Hell,” a 75-mile canyon filled with impassable rapids. In the Lualaba, or Upper Congo river, lush tropical rainforest surrounds it again. 

This quiet stretch of river is where Kinsangani is, a city known for conflict since its Belgian colonial days. Stanley Falls gives way to the Middle Congo, a 1000-mile navigable river that can be nine miles wide in some places. 

Not only is this one of the longest rivers of the world, it is also one of the world’s deepest rivers- the Congo River can reach a depth of more than 220 meters. Congo is the third-largest drainage basin on earth after Amazon and Rio Plata. The Congo is believed to have originated in the Zambian Chambeshi River. 

As part of a river that drained Africa during the period of Gondwana, geologists believe the Congo and Amazon flowed westward rather than eastward. A dam in the Congo Basin could produce 13 percent of the world’s hydropower, however biologists warn it is not a good idea.

10. Amur, Asia – 4,444km

Longest Rivers Of The World
Amur, Asia – 4,444km By Worldatlas

Here is the last of the longest rivers of the world on my list. The Amur River is the Chinese name for Heilung Jiang, a significant watercourse in northeastern Asia. Black Dragon River is the literal translation of Heilung Jiang. A tributary of the Russian Federation, the Shilka River, meets a tributary of Manchuria, the Argun River, to form the Amur River. 

As it flows southeast and then northeast, it empties at the Tatar Straits, which separate Sakhalin from Siberia. There are two main tributaries of the Sungari River, which forms the border between Manchuria and Siberia. It is the third-longest undammed river in the world after the Amazon and Lena.

In the Russian Federation, the Amur has a drainage area of 1,844,000 square kilometers (712,000 square miles) and drains 200 tributaries. It is the world’s tenth-largest river basin. On the left, are Shilka, Zeya, Bureya, and Amgen, and on the right are Huma, Ergun, Songhua, and Ussuri.

The Longest Rivers Of The World- Parting thoughts!

One of the most important functions of rivers is that they transport water from the land to the ocean. In the ocean, seawater evaporates constantly, which causes clouds. As clouds travel across the land, they release moisture as precipitation. Freshwater is essential to all life on Earth, which is constantly replenished by the water cycle. It feeds rivers and streams. It flows between the ocean and the air. The longest rivers of the world play a vital role in this movement.

This article on the longest rivers of the world lists the ten longest rivers in the world, of which two are in Africa, two originate in South America, one exists in North America, and five originate in Asia. The world’s largest cities are located along the banks of rivers, and they use the river’s water to navigate, generate hydroelectric power, supply drinking water, and engage in various leisure activities.

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