10 largest rivers on earth

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Is the longest river in the world the Amazon or the Nile? Here is the answer and a list of the world’s largest rivers and their characteristics.
Speaking about the length of rivers, scientists tend to give different figures, because it all depends on what is considered the source of the river. “Mandry” compiled a list of the ten longest rivers in the world. But the places in the ranking can be distributed in another way.



For a long time, the Nile was considered the largest river, but in 2007, Brazilian scientists discovered a new starting point for the Amazon – a stream flowing from a glacier on Mount Misme. The Amazon basin covers an area of 6.9 million km2, which is about twice the size of India. It flows through Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Guyana. Its length is comparable to the distance between Porto and Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) by car.

In addition, the Amazon is the world’s most abundant river. The average volume of water discharged into the Atlantic Ocean is 219,000 m3/s.

2. NIL: 6670 KM.


The river was formed about 30 million years ago, and the inhabitants of Ancient Egypt called it lteru – the source of life. It was the Nile’s floods that brought a fertile layer of silt to the surrounding lands, making them suitable for agriculture. In addition to Egypt, the Nile covers the territories of Burundi, Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.

If the Nile were located in Europe, it could flow from Lisbon to Baku. The river system covers an area of 3.3 million km2, about the size of India. The volume of water is 5100 m3/s.



The riverYANGTZE RIVER flows through China, covering 6300 km from the source to the confluence with the East China Sea – the path from Valencia to Astana. The average volume of water is 31,900 m3/s. The area of the river system is 1.8 million km2, which is equal to the territory of Sudan. The Yangtze waters are home to many endangered animals, including Korean sturgeons and Chinese alligators.



The Mississippi is the largest river in North America: its length without the Missouri is 3734 km, and from the source of the Missouri – 5971 km. It flows through the United States and Canada, and its length is equal to the distance you would have to travel if you went from Luxembourg to Karaganda on foot.

The Mississippi has a wayward character: it can either lengthen or shorten, as Mark Twain noted. The writer’s childhood was spent on the banks of this river, in the town of Hannibal, and at the age of 20 he served as a pilot on steamers. The basin covers an area of 2.9 million km2, which is almost three times larger than Egypt. The volume of water is 16,200 m3/s.

5. HUANG HE: 5464 KM.


The length of the river is comparable to the distance from Nantes to Tehran, and the basin area is 750,000 km2, slightly smaller than Turkey. The average water flow is 2110 m3/s.

Translated from Chinese, Huang He means “Yellow River”, which is associated with the yellow-brown color of the water. It is made up of silt, washed-out soil, clay, and sedimentary rocks. Because of the strong emissions of yellow water, the sea into which the river flows is called the Yellow Sea.

6. OB – IRTISH: 5410 KM,

Ob river

There is no definite answer to the question of which of Russia’s rivers is the largest. The Yenisei, Lena, and Ob with the Irtysh are competing for the right to be called the largest river in Russia. The latter two are located in Siberia and, meeting each other, create the country’s largest river system, the length of which is equal to the road from Bremen to Tashkent by car.

The Ob-Irtysh system ranks first in the country in terms of basin area – 2.9 million km2, which is comparable to the territory of Argentina. The volume of water is 12,800 m3/s. In addition to Russia, it flows through Kazakhstan and China.

7. YENISEY: 5238 KM.


If we consider the source of the Ider to be the beginning of the river, the length of the Yenisei is 5238 km – about the same number of kilometers from Seville to Tbilisi. The river basin area is 2.6 million km2, which is slightly smaller than Kazakhstan. In addition to Russia, the Yenisei flows through Mongolia. The average water flow is 18,600 m3/s. The Yenisei has less microplastics than other large rivers, which is explained by its remoteness from large settlements.

8. LENA: 5100 KM.


This is the length of the river from the source of Vitim, making it one of the largest in the world. It is also the only one whose mouth is located in permafrost. The city of Olekminsk in the Sakha Republic even has a monument to this river – a three-meter sculpture called “Beautiful Lena”.

The basin covers an area of 2.5 million km2, which is comparable to Algeria, and it is located on the territory of one country – Russia. The average volume of water is 17,100 m3/s, making the Lena the most abundant river in Russia. It flows into the Laptev Sea.

9. AMUR – ARGUN: 5052 KM.


The distance from the source of the Kerulen River to the mouth of the Amur is 5052 km. This is the approximate distance from Aveiro, Portugal to Adana, Turkey. The basin covers an area of 1.9 million km2, the size of Indonesia, and is located mainly within Russia, but also touches China and Mongolia. The mouth of the river spews 11,400 cubic meters of water into the Sea of Okhotsk or the neighboring Sea of Japan every second.

The largest tributary of the Amur is the Zeya River, but many scientists suggest the opposite. This is explained by the fact that the Zeya is very full and long.

10. Rio de la Plata – Parana: 4,800 KM.


The length of the river system is approximately equal to the distance from Salamanca, Spain to Gaziantep, Turkey. The area is 3.1 million km2, which is three times the size of Mauritania. It flows through Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Uruguay. The water is pushed into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate of 25,700 m3/s.

La Plata is famous for its widest mouth in the world. On average, it is about 40 km wide, and between Cape San Antonio and Maldonado it is 220 km wide.

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  1. Greg M

    The article is well-organized and easy to follow, with clear headings and concise paragraphs. The use of images and maps helps to illustrate the scale and beauty of each river, adding to the overall reading experience.

    While the article provides basic information about each river, it would have been nice to see more detailed information about the cultural, ecological, and economic significance of each river. Additionally, some descriptions felt a bit repetitive and could have been condensed for brevity.

    Overall, this article is a great starting point for anyone interested in learning about the longest rivers in the world. It provides a good introduction to each river, and the use of images and maps makes it an enjoyable read.