We have always had a fascination with running water. We find it relaxing to watch the water flow by. Oh the stories a river could tell. Were some of them here to see the ice ages and perhaps even had dinosaurs tromp through their running waters? . So which are the longest rivers in the world? There are some differing opinions on how to measure the length of a river. Where do you begin to measure? Do you include the springs and tributeries? The questions are tough, but most can agree on the top three.
The Nile is confirmed as the longest river in the world. Estimates in length go from 4160 miles to 4184 miles depending on the source. The Niles begins its journey in the mountains of East Africa. Three rivers joined into the Nile from and south and are considered sources. The Blue Nile (Lake Tana in Ethiopia), the White Nile (Lake Victoria in Uganda) and the Arbara all join the flow. The river is a life line for many. The countries that enjoy a piece of this spectacular river are Egypt, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zaire, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
~The Amazon ~
The Amazon is a close runner up for the longest river. There is only difference of about 24 miles. The Amazon also holds the distinction of be the widest river on earth. At certain times the river is six miles wide. The variation is due to rainforest which the river travels through and the weather patterns. 20% of the water the pours out of the rivers on the planet into the ocean comes from the Amazon. The Spanish explorer Francisco de Orllana gave the river its name. He encountered a rather mean tribe of women who reminded him of the stories of the Amazon tribes of ancient Greece and that is how the river’s name was determined.
You would take a trip to China if you wanted to trek the 3,964 miles that this river travels. The river ends in East China Sea near Shanghai. It travels through nine provinces and drains an area equal to 695,000 square miles of land. It serves as a major transport area for the people of China.
These are the top three of the longest rivers of the world.
Now we are going to jump to number 15, the Missouri. Why? Because I am the author! I lived in Montana and played in and fished the three beautiful rivers that form to make the Missouri. The Beaverhead River is where Louis and Clark traveled after leaving the Yellowstone area. This river was named because Sacajawea used the beaverhead rock to determine the trail. It joins the Madison.The Madison joins two other rivers in Three Forks, Montana. The Gallatin and the Jefferson wind together with the Madison and the water is renamed the Missouri. When I finally visited the Mississippi River I felt I had come full circle.
Rivers are ever changing and flowing nothing remains constant and they are amazing to watch. If you have a chance to run the three longest rivers, take it.