The Unique Qualities of the Largest Rivers in the World

Nature is terrifyingly, awe-inspiringly huge. That much is clear even for those of us who live a metropolitan life completely detached from it. Even so, it never hurts to remind ourselves just how expansive and vast nature truly is. On that note, here are some of the largest rivers in the world and some of the traits that make them unique.


The Nile River

Nile river flowing through desert dunes

Gettyimages/ Matt Champlin/ Royalty Free


The time-honored river of the Nile is the longest river in the world, spanning a whopping 4,137 miles in length.  That’s longer than the distance between the east and west coasts, which is 3,527 miles at best.  Seeing as most early Mesopatnian civilization (Ancient Egypt, Carthage, and so on) were founded on the Nile river, which served as their lifeline, it boasts an honorable reputation reserved only for the places as old as human civilization itself.


The Amazon River

Ariel view of the amazon river

Gettyimages/ Ricardo Lima/ Royalty-free


Flowing through Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Guyana, the Amazon River is not only the largest by water flow – it’s also the second-largest river in the world, period. The average water discharge of the Amazon River is greater than that of the following seven largest rivers combined. This means that it is way too intense to be a showerhead even for those of us who enjoy being bombarded by high-intensity water pressure.


The Mississippi River

Ariel view of the mississippi river

Gettyimages/ Carl M Christensen/ Royalty-free


The great spine of America. Stretching over a sprawling 2,340 miles, the Mississippi is the fourth largest river in the world. It flows throughout the Deep South, and was the setting of such classic American novels as Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn”. The Mississippi was utilized by the native American population for sustenance and transportation, and it is home to 360 different species of fish, 326 species of birds, 145 amphibians, and 50 mammals, making it one of the world’s greatest exhibitions of livelihood and biological diversity.


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