The Amazon River flows through South America, providing essential hydration to plants, animals, and people as it courses from the Andes mountains to the Atlantic. Thousands of species of fish and mammals make their home in its water and even more use its banks and the surrounding Amazon Rainforest as their natural habitat. It is one of Mother Nature’s finest creations and it is truly a wonder to behold. In this blog post we are going to look at just what makes this mighty waterway Amazon River so exceptional. Buckle up and get ready for some awe-inspiring facts about the Amazon River.
9 Facts About the Amazon River
1. No-One Actually Knows How Long the Amazon River Is
There are several theories about how long the Amazon River is. This is because the question of where is the source of the river is still hotly debated. The Marañón, Apurimac, and Mantaro, all originating in the Andes of Peru, have all been dubbed the source of the river. Until this has been settled once and for all, it is unclear whether the Amazon River is the longest river in the world or whether the winner of this title is the Nile River.
2. The Amazon River Is the Largest River in the World by Volume
One thing we know for definite and that is that in terms of volume, the Amazon River trumps all the other rivers. In fact, the Amazon River is so large and powerful that it dumps 200,000 cubic meters of water into the Atlantic Ocean every second.
3. There Are Piranhas in the Amazon River
The Amazon River is home to the most notorious of all the river fish: the piranha. Did you know that these water monsters can grow up to two feet in length! In all honestly, piranhas are not at all as scary as pop-culture makes them out to be. Take the opportunity to fish for piranhas on your Delfin Amazon Cruise.
4. The Amazon River is Not Just One River
The Amazon River is actually made up of over 1,100 tributaries, which feed in from all over South America. Some of these tributaries are over 1,000 miles long and are impressive in and of themselves.
5. Someone Once Swam the Entire Length of the Amazon River
In 2007, Slovenian athlete Martin Strel swam the entire length of the Amazon River – from the chilly headwaters in the Peruvian Andes all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. It took him 66 days and he covered 3,274 miles.
6. The Amazon River is Home to the Pink River Dolphin
Beneath the waters of the Amazon River swims the pink river dolphin, also known as the boto, a creature shrouded in mystery and legend. These majestic mammals are rare but can be found in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve in the Peruvian section of the Amazon Rainforest.
7. The Largest Freshwater Fish in the World Lives in the Amazon River
The enormous arapaima, known to the locals as pirarucu, lives in the Amazon River. These water giants can grow up to four metres in length and can weigh up to 200 kilograms.
8. The Amazon River Used to Flow in the Opposite Direction
As strange as this may sound, scientists have discovered that around 15 million years ago, the Amazon River flowed in the other direction. Before the mountains were formed, the river used to flow out into the Pacific Ocean. It then became landlocked for 5 million years before eventually carving a new path out to the Atlantic Ocean on the other side of the continent.
9. The Amazon River is Bridge-Free
There isn’t a single bridge crossing the Amazon River. This might seem strange but if you were to visit you would understand why. There are virtually no permanent settlements right on the banks of the river so bridges are not necessary. Instead people use small boats to cross the river.
For more Amazon River Facts, please contact us, or if you are interested in booking a cruise aboard Delfin Amazon Cruises, please call 1-833-201-8684.