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We live in an age where water conservation is of the utmost importance which has enhanced the beauty of rivers.
You may ask, what exactly is a river which is why we shall look at its definition. A river is a body of water that is controlled by gravity, i.e. it flows downstream.
It can either be very deep and wide (which is the case when it flows near deep canyons), or it can be shallow (like in plain areas). The estimated length of the longest recorded river i.e. the Nile River, Egypt is about 4,130 mi (6,646.5 km). Rivers offer a rich depth of natural history (pun intended). Many civilizations dating back to 3000 BC set up their homes near rivers like the Nile.
The deepest rivers in the world have been a habitat for many land dwellers as well as various animal hordes. Major tributaries of long rivers have been a constant source of clean drinking water for humans.
The deepest river might have the most secrets.
One thing to note here is that just because a river is deep doesn’t mean that it will be a long river too. Rivers vary widely in different regions around the world. Only five out of the 10 deepest rivers make it to the 10 longest rivers list.
Congo River, Africa: With its deepest point measuring 720 ft (219.4 m), this is the world's deepest recorded river. The Congo River also happens to be the largest river in Africa with an estimated length of 2,920.5 mi (4,700 km). Its major tributaries may contain up to 32 different channels. Flowing through the Congo Rainforest, the immense amount of rainfall this region (lower Congo) receives leads to massive erosion of the river floor soil which leads to the formation of huge canyons; this is the reason why it is so deep. The Congo Basin is one of the fertile regions in the world.
Yangtze River, Asia: The Yangtze River has a depth of 656 ft (199.9 m) making it one of the deepest rivers in the world. The Yangtze River originates from the Qinghai-Tibet plateau and happens to be the third-longest river in the world. Supporting about 40% of China’s GDP, the Yangtze River is also home to the largest hydropower station in the world.
Danube River, Europe: The Danube River flows through 10 countries and is an important international waterway. The Danube River has a depth measurement of 584 ft (178 m); it also happens to be the second-longest river in Europe. The importance of the Danube River can be understood by the fact that not only does it provide drinking water to millions of households, but it has also been featured in countless folklore across Europe.
Zambezi River, Africa: Having a maximum depth of about 381 ft (116.1 m), the Zambezi River in Africa is home to Victoria Falls (one of the Seven Wonders of the World). Legends say that this river is protected by the Nyami-Nyami (spirits of water) which might sound strange since this is one of the most popular destinations for river rafting.
Amazon River, South America: The Great Amazon River, having a depth of 328 ft (100 m), is the second-longest river in the world. The Amazon River, despite being one of the most dangerous places on this planet, is one of the few rivers with no bridges; this long river also flowed backward at one point in time.
Mekong River, Asia: Measured at a depth of about 328 ft (99.9 m), the Mekong River is one of the diversely named rivers in the world; it is very rich in biodiversity. The Mekong River is one of the most threatened rivers in the world, with experts suggesting the Mekong Delta may be completely submerged by 2030 which is really concerning since it happens to be the lifeline of the region.
Yellow River, Asia: Referred to as the 'Cradle of Chinese Civilization', it is the third deepest river in Asia, with its deepest point at 262 ft (79.8 m). The color of the Yellow River is brown due to the presence of the sediment 'loess', with some calling it the world’s muddiest river. The Yellow River is a symbol of the Chinese spirit, which is why it was the heart of the ancient Chinese Civilization.
Saint Lawrence River, North America: The Saint Lawrence River, connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean forms the main drainage system for the Great Lakes Basin and has a depth of 250 ft (76.2 m). It is home to the largest estuary in the world (the St. Lawrence estuary) while also being one of the longest rivers in America.
Hudson River, North America: The Hudson River, the deepest river in the United States of America, is measured at a depth of 216 ft (65.8 m). It was originally called 'Ca-ho-ho-ta-te-a' ('the river') by the Iroquois tribe while the indigenous tribe called the Mohican named it 'Muh-he-kun-ne-tak' ('waters that are never still').
Mississippi River, North America: The Mississippi River is the fourth-longest river in the world while having a depth of 200 ft (60.96 m). The Middle Mississippi River is a famous landmark that extends from St. Louis, Missouri all the way to Cairo, Illinois. What's interesting to note about The Mississippi River is the region where water skiing was invented while also being home to 25% of the North American aqua life.
This answer to this question may surprise a lot of people but actually, the country with the deepest river in the world is the Republic of the Congo, home to the Congo River (and the very fertile Congo River Basin).
The country is located in Central Africa and has huge rainforests which are home to indigenous gorillas. The capital city (Brazzaville) lies across the Congo River, very close to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Congo River was originally known as the Zaire River by the ancient land dwellers. Let us look at some more interesting facts about this fascinating river!
The Congo River came to have its name from the Kongo Kingdom which itself was named after the language the native people (Bantus and Ndundu) spoke, Kikongo.
People often underestimate the volume of water discharged by such huge rivers; the Congo River discharges enough water to fill out 13 Olympic-sized pools and more making it the second largest river in the world just after the famed Amazon River.
One of the most important things to note about the Congo River is that it is the only river to cross the equator twice as it is aided by the Lualaba and Chambishi Rivers. The Congo River Basin is also the second largest river basin in the world which is why it is one of the most important ecological landmarks in the world with a huge number of species inhabiting the region.
We know that the Congo River which runs across Africa is the deepest river in the world. We also know that just because it is the deepest doesn’t mean that it would also be the longest but, the Congo River defies this trend. It is in fact the ninth longest river in the world.
The Congo River (or the Congo-Chambishi, Zaire River) is one of the longest rivers in the world measuring approximately 2,922 mi (4,702.5 km) only trumped by the Nile in Egypt. This is not surprising since this river tends to run across the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, Cameroon, and Rwanda.
Fun fact, the Congo River occupies almost 13% of the entire African landmass which is why it has such a huge length. Across its length, there are portions in this river where light cannot penetrate hence an inaccurate measurement of its depth.
Given the fact that it is so deep and tends to have an average depth of about 700 ft (213.3 m), it is most suitable for irrigation and farming facilities. Across the entire stretch of the Congo River, thousands of species have found their home which is why it's so significant!
We would assume that given its enormity, the Congo River would be the oldest or one of the oldest rivers in the world but that is not the case.
In fact, the 10 oldest rivers in the world don’t even include the deepest or longest rivers in the world; the closest is the Nile at the 12th position. The oldest lakes are often smaller in nature and lesser-known to the world!
Now, the question is, what is the oldest river in the world? For this, we have to travel all the way to Australia, home to the Finke River which is about 350-400 million years old! Its age was calculated by taking several geological factors into consideration.
It only flows for a few days throughout the year, rarely reaching its outflow point, Lake Eyre. The Finke River was discovered by explorer John McDougall Stuart and named after his patron William Finke.
The deepest river in the world still remains the Congo River in Central Africa. Throughout our journey, we have discovered various fascinating facts about this majestic river. It continues to flow in full flow even today, acting as an engine for the various activities happening in and around that region.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for deepest rivers in the world then why not take a look at South Korea facts, or Turkey facts.
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