A glance at any school textbook will tell you that it is the Nile that holds the title of world’s longest river. Flowing 6,695km from Lake Victoria in Uganda all the way to Egypt and the Mediterranean, the Nile brings life to millions of plants, animals and humans on its way.
Measuring in at 6,437km, the Amazon is officially a little shorter than its African counterpart. However, in 2007 a team of scientists claimed to have discovered a new source for the waterway that would bump it up to a whopping 6,800km and give it the title of world’s longest river.
One thing that’s not up for debate is the fact that the Amazon is the world’s largest river by volume, discharging on average a staggering 4,200,000 cubic feet of water into the Atlantic Ocean every second!
At the peak of the high water season, the Amazon is around 28 miles across, with the mouth of the river reaching up to 300 miles and discharging 7.1 million cubic feet of water per second – 60 times the discharge of the Nile and 11 times that of the Mississippi.
This incredible volume is difficult to imagine and is best experienced by taking a cruise on the Brazil Amazon to see the vast river for yourself.
Specially designed ships, like the Tucano riverboat, take passengers deep into the heart of the river system, bringing them up close to the mammals, birds, fish and plant life that call the jungle home.
Apart from providing a fantastic destination for holidaymakers from around the world, the Brazil Amazon also provides a rich climate where some of the most endangered and diverse plant and animal species in the world grow and thrive.
Any trip to the Amazon is a chance to see the wonder of the natural world first hand, and to understand the impact that this mighty river has on the rest of the planet.
For example, the river itself holds 20% of the world’s fresh water and the vast jungle that it feeds produces around 15% of the world’s oxygen whilst supporting some of the most important natural life on earth.
So whether or not the Amazon is the biggest or longest river on earth, it’s definitely the most spectacular and makes a fantastic destination for family trips or educational holidays.