The Amazon River is an incredible natural phenomenon, boasting the title of being both the world’s largest river by volume of water and second longest river in the world. Its total length of over 4,000 miles is a stunning testament to its power and beauty – and its drainage basin covers an incredible 40 percent of the South American continent.
The Amazon River is one of the most fascinating bodies of water in the world. It is the largest river on the planet, with a length of 6,400 kilometers and a maximum depth of 100 meters. It is one of the richest and most diverse ecosystems in the world, home to thousands of species of animals and plants, many of which are endemic to the region.
Some characteristics of a surprising river
The Amazon River received its name from the Spanish conquistadors who explored the region in the 16th century. The indigenous people who lived in the area referred to the river as “Amazunu”, which means “waters of the mother of the sea”. The Spanish named it “Amazon River”, although it was in honor of the warrior women of Greek mythology.
It is not a river, since it is a network of rivers. It has more than 1,100 tributaries. In fact, some of these tributaries are so large that they are considered major rivers.
The Amazon basin is the largest river basin in the world. The river flow circulates with an average of 209,000 cubic meters of water per second. It covers an area of approximately 7 million square kilometers and flows through eight countries.
Home to multiple animal species
It is the largest tropical forest in the world and home to a large number of animal and plant species. About 10% of the world’s known species inhabit the Amazon rainforest.
Its waters are home to the pink dolphin, a species found only in the Amazon River and its tributaries. It is also home to other dolphin species, such as the Risso’s dolphin and the tucuxi dolphin.
Some of the largest and most dangerous snakes in the world can also be found. The green anaconda, the boa constrictor and the Amazon rattlesnake are the largest. The green anaconda can grow up to 10 meters long and weigh more than 250 kilograms.
It is known as the “river of giants” because of the number of giant fish species that inhabit it. The giant catfish of the Amazon can grow up to 3 meters long and weigh more than 150 kilograms. There are also other giant fish, such as the goldfish, the sawfish and the arapaima fish.
The Amazon River basin has lush vegetation.
20% of all plant species in the world are found in the Amazon basin.
The area is made up of thousands of islands, many of which are covered with lush vegetation. The island of Marajó, for example, has an area of more than 40,000 square kilometers.
The region is renowned for its floods, which occur every year during the rainy season. During this period, the river rises up to 15 meters, flooding huge areas of the jungle. Although these floods are essential to keep the Amazon ecosystem healthy. They help to renew nutrients in the soil and create new habitats for wildlife.