FEB 02, 2017 08:45 AM PST

Amazing Amazon Facts


Did you know that the Amazon River is responsible for 25% of the water flowing into the world's oceans? When all that river gets released into the ocean at the river's delta, it creates a plume of unique salinity and nutrient rich water that is a noticeably different color. That plume reaches as far as 320 km from the delta itself! As the second longest river in the world (6,400 km), perhaps that doesn't come as much of a surprise. But what about its 1,100 tributaries, seventeen of which are longer than 1,000 miles? Or that it has the greatest volume of all rivers?

The Amazon River now flows eastward, however it used to flow in the reverse direction, westward. The change was spurred due to the rise of the Andes mountain range. Within its catchment zone, known for being the most biodiverse region in the world, the rain forests supports 16,000 different species of trees. And those are just the ones humans have discovered!

Another amazing Amazon fact is its flood cycle, which changes the normal width of the river, ranging from 1 to 6 miles wide in some places, to over 32 km in some places! Within all these waters live over 3,000 known species of fish (although there are likely very many more). Anacondas and piranhas also lurk in the shallows of the river, so watch out swimmers!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
NOV 12, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 12, 2019
ESA's Upcoming Euclid Space Telescope Could Teach Us About Dark Energy
The European Space Agency is currently developing a new visible to near-infrared space telescope dubbed Euclid, which is expected to tell us more about the...
NOV 12, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 12, 2019
NASA's Dawn Mission Taught Us Much About the Asteroid Vesta
In 2011, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft arrived at its destination, enabling planetary scientists with the American space agency to study a particularly capt...
NOV 12, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 12, 2019
Why the Search for Other Planets is So Captivating
Astronomers are continuously searching for other planets, whether those reside right here in the solar system with us, or far away in another stellar syste...
NOV 12, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 12, 2019
How Desert Ant Queens Establish a Colony
When a founding desert ant queen is ready to establish her own colony, the harsh environment compels her to do something that no other queen would ever dar...
NOV 12, 2019
Earth & The Environment
NOV 12, 2019
11,000 Scientists Agree-The Climate Crisis is Here
A worldwide coalition of more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries warns "clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergen...
NOV 12, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 12, 2019
Starlink Aims to Provide Cutting-Edge Worldwide Internet Access
Almost everyone has heard by now that Elon Musk wants to launch well over 40,000 new satellites into space to deliver high-speed and low-latency internet t...
Loading Comments...