Calculating the full length of any river can be quite a challenging task. Although you would expect this affair to be fairly simple, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration before you can correctly evaluate and approximate the distance covered by these thousand years old geographical elements.
Coming up with a precise result involves accurately measuring distances from beginning to end. The entire process starts from the river source and is completed by discovering the river mouth. Several issues tend to surface while looking for such parts of the river. This is probably the biggest problem topographers stumble upon while mapping the full image of flowing water all across the planet.
A great number of times the actual source of the river is formed by swamps, lakes or seasonal streams. Depending on the season measurements are done, several sources can change. This implies that with temperature changes and other factor fluctuations, river lengths can vary from time to time. Things are the same at the other end of the river too. Mouths are hard to figure out or even discover. Some just widen and connect with oceans or other still water sources and some just get lost along the way, evaporating eventually. Depending on the period of time in which measurements are done, mouths can be found in different places, being influenced by terrain, temperature and season.
There have been several discussions regarding another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration while determining the length of any river whatsoever. Opinions are separated between those that think river tributaries lengths should or should not be added up to the actual length of rivers. This approach tends to affect some smaller river measurements. The top five longest rivers in the world remain the same regardless the fact you may or may not add other quantities the final result.
These are our top 5 lengthiest rivers on Earth:
5. The Yenisey
Measuring 3.434 miles, it is one of the most important rivers in Russia. The water course originates in Mongolia and flows northward, passing by the Western Siberian plain, to find its draining point in the Arctic Ocean. It is one of the most important energy sources in that area, powering several factories and cities.
4. The Mississippi
It measures 3.870 miles and comes in fourth in our top five. It starts its journey at Lake Itasaca in Minnesota and follows a southward path towards New Orleans, Louisiana, draining in the Gulf of Mexico. Near the Algiers Port, the Mississippi reaches depths of over 200 feet.
3. The Yangtze
Asia is home of the third river in the world when it comes to length. The Yangtze,also known as the Chang Jiang, measures 3.917 miles, being the longest river in Asia. The water course is flowing towards the Southwest and originates from the Tanggula Mountains. It crosses south and east-central China and passes near Shanghai. Depths have been measured to reach 30 feet in some parts of the river.
2. The Amazon
Measured at about 3.980 miles is considered the second longest river in the world. Larger in volume than the Nile, its course passes through South America. It is also considered the widest river in the world, some parts getting to be as large as 10Km. The Amazon originates from the Andes Mountains found in Peru, passes Brazil and then drains into the Atlantic Ocean.
1. The Nile
Measuring somewhere around 4.135 miles, its water course crosses almost all of Africa. Many tend to think of Egypt when hearing about the Nile, but the truth is only 22% of the distance it covers passes through this country`s territory. The source of this river was discovered in Burundi, a country just south of the Equator. Flowing northward, it crosses northeastern Africa, and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile is composed out of two separate streams that originate from distinct lakes. The White Nile has its origin in Lake Victoria while the Blue Nile in Lake Tana in Ethiopia.