Rivers play a significant role for a country’s economy. Its importance can be traced back during the ancient time when people flocked together by the river awaiting traders from different parts of the world. Likewise, rivers provide life for the inhabitants. It supplies food to people, as well as habitats for many marine species.
But there are people who can’t help but wonder what the longest river is. There’s an ongoing debate as to whether the Nile or the Amazon river is the longest. But measuring the length of a river is a tricky business. There are different factors to consider, not to mention the actual location of the river.
On this list, check out the longest rivers in the world and some juicy facts about them.
List Of The Longest Rivers In The World
1. Nile River (6,650 km)
– The Nile River is considered the longest river in the world, although its exact length is still debated. It flows through eastern Africa and into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile River passes through 11 countries. In addition, the Nile River is divided into two main tributaries: the White Nile and the Blue Nile.
2. Amazon River (6,400 km)
– The Amazon River is the second longest river on Earth, next to the Nile River. But there are ongoing debates between the two as to which will be considered as the world’s longest river. However, it is the largest river in terms of water flow. Even with the combined water discharge of the next seven largest rivers, the Amazon River is still larger.
3. Yangtze River (6,300 km)
– The Yangtze River is the largest and longest river and China, and the third longest in the world. It passes through 11 Chinese provinces and cities from West to East. Yangtze River serves as a historic site to the country, as well as in terms of economic and cultural importance.
4. Mississippi River (6,275 km)
– The Mississippi River is the longest river system in North America. It flows entirely in the United States. It rises in Minnesota and flows to the Gulf of Mexico where the Mississippi River Delta is located.
5. Yenisei River (5,539 km)
– The Yenisei River is a river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. It begins in Mongolia and follows a course due North to the Kara Sea’s Yenisei Gulf. The river has four tributaries namely Angara, Nizhnyaya, Tuba and Tunguska.
6. Yellow River (5,464 km)
– The Yellow River holds the position as the second longest river in Asia, and the sixth longest river in the world. It originates in Qinghai Province of Western China, and flows through nine provinces.
7. Ob River (5,410 km)
– The Ob River can be found in Russia, and it has a great economic importance for the country. The river passes through Russian territories, while its tributaries drain land areas in the adjacent country of China. Finally, the Ob River is drained into the Kara Sea.
8. Parana River (4,880 km)
– The Parana River is a river found in south-central South America. It runs through Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Among the South American rivers, the Parana River is the second longest, next to the Amazon River.
9. Congo River (4,700 km)
– Formerly known as the Zaire River, the Congo River can be found in the African continent. It is also considered the deepest river on Earth. There are more than 4,000 islands within the river. Also, the river’s basin has close to 1,000 species of birds, and it is home to more mammals, fishe and birds than in other parts of Africa.
10. Amur River (4,444 km)
– The Amur River is found between the borders of Russian Far East and Northeastern China. Amur literally means “rest”, which is derived from the Mongolian language. Also, the largest fish species that can be found in Amur River is the “kaluga”. It can grow up to 5.6 meters.
11. Lena River (4,400 km)
– The Lena River is one of the largest rivers in Asia, covering almost a fifth of Russia. Also, the river is host to many bird and fish population. Its origin is in the Baikal Mountains and it is known as the largest Arctic Delta in the world.
12. Mekong River (4,350 km)
– The Mekong River is found in Southeast Asia and is the 12th longest river in the world. Six countries share the water resource of Mekong namely Myanmar, China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The term Mekong originated from the Thai “Mae Nam Khong”, which means “The Mother of Water”.
13. Mackenzie River (4241 km)
– The Mackenzie River is the largest and longest river system in Canada. It passes through a broad, isolated region of tundra and forest within Canada’s Northwest Territories and Yukon. It is the largest and the longest river meandering from North America into the Arctic Ocean.
14. Niger River (4200 km)
– The Niger River is the third largest and longest river in Africa. Its major tributary is the Benue River. Similar with the Nile River, the Niger River floods yearly. The flooding starts in September and ends in May. Also, throughout the Niger River Delta, the African Lion can be found.
15. Murray River (3,672 km)
– The Murray River is the longest river in Australia. It rises in the Australian Alps and meanders across the inland plains before reaching the ocean via Lake Alexandria. It is also the third longest navigable river in the world. It is likewise the third largest water catchment worldwide.
16. Tocantins River (3,650 km)
– The Tocantins River flows through Brazil’s northeastern part. It originates from a district with significant mountain ranges called Pireneus. The term tocantins is of Tupi language, which literall means “toucan’s beak”. It is the number 16 longest river in the world.
17. Volga River (3,645 km)
– Europe has its own longest river known as the Volga River. It is the largest river in Europe in terms of watershed and discharge. The Volga River as flows through central Russia going to the Caspian Sea. It is likewise widely known as Russia’s national river.
18. Shatt al-Arab River (3,596 km)
– The Shatt al-Arab River is located in Iraq. The name Shatt al-Arab literally means “stream of the Arabs”. It is also called Arvand Arabs, which is derived from the Persian language. It means “Swift River”. The Shatt al-Arab River’s water resources are shared with the neighbor Iran.
19. Madeira River (3,380 km)
– The Madeira River is located in South America. The major water resources of the river are shared with Brazil and Bolivia. It is also worth mentioning that the Madeira River is home to more than 900 species of fish. Also, the river is the largest tributary of the Amazon River.
20. Purus River (3,211 km)
– The Purus River is likewise a tributary of the Amazon River. It is also part of the international between the two South American countries of Peru and Brazil. Its origin can be traced in Southeastern Peru.
21. Yukon River (3,185 km)
– The Yukon River is found in British Columbia, Canada. It is the third largestand longest river in North America. Its water resources are shared with Canada and the United States. In addition, the river is one of the most significant rivers in the world that primarily deals with breeding salmon.
22. Indus River (3,180 km)
– The Indus River is shared by three countries namely China, India and Pakistan. However, it is the longest river in Pakistan. In addition, the name India is a reference to the Indus River. One of the most notable feature of the river is the species of dolphins that spend their lifetime in freshwater.
23. Sao Francisco River (3,180 km)
– The Sao Francisco River is located in Brazil. It is the longest river that entirely runs in Brazil. Also, it is the fourth longest river in the entire South America. Likewise, it is known as the river of national integration in Brazil.
24. Salween River (2,815 km)
– The Salween River’s point of origin is in the eastern highlands of the Tibetan Plateau. There are approximately 140 species of fish that can be found in the river. Also, the Salween River is home to the most diverse turtle community on Earth.
25. Syr Darya River (2,212 km)
The Syr Darya River is found in Kyrgyzstan. Also, the Syr Darya River is historically important mainly due to the fact that the Battle of Jaxartes took place there. Also, it was home to the now-extinct Syr Darya sturgeon. This species of sturgeon was primarily found in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.