Fact File about the Amazon

Length: The Amazon River is 6280km long.

Source: Calillona, Peru.The Mouth(Delta) is located in North Eastern Brazil.

The Amazon River is the world's second longest river. Only the Nile, in Africa, is longer. The Amazon however, at any one point in time has the highest amount of water flowing down it. No other river even comes close. It may not be the longest, but it is the widest.

The Amazon produces approximately 20 percent of all the water that the world's rivers pour into the oceans on its own.

The Amazon collects water from just over 40 percent of South America's Landmass, through the thousands of tributaries that join the main branch of the Amazon river. Of these tributaries, 17 are over 1600(1000 miles) kilometres long.

From Iquitos in Peru all the way across Brazil to the Atlantic, the Amazon is between six and ten kilometres wide. The maps page has a picture that shows this effect quite well.
The Amazon is even wider when it is flooded in the wet season.

The first European found the amazon because he was 200 miles out to sea and noticed that he was sailing in fresh water. He turned toward shore and found the amazon river. Ships still today anchor in the outflow of the Amazon, to remove the marine life(barnacles) attached to their hulls (salt water organisms can't live in fresh water).

In flood season, the Amazon widens to cover its banks and the islands in the middle of the river The sediment left by the floods enriches the soil.

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