Amazon River Facts

Amazon River Facts
The second longest river in the world is the Amazon River, located in South America. It flows approximately 4000 miles through several countries including Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Suriname, French Guiana, and Peru. The first documented explorer to reach the Amazon and sail down the river is believed to have been Vincente Yanez Pinzon in 1500. Prior to the European's arrival the Amazon region had been inhabited by natives and the explorers were often attacked by warriors who had never seen anyone from other continents before. It wasn't until the second half of the 1700s that scientific, botanical, and zoological exploration of the Amazon began.
Interesting Amazon River Facts:
The Amazon River is second in length to the Nile River in Africa. The Nile is the longest river in the world.
The source of the Amazon River is believed to be Lago Villafro in Peru's Andes Mountains.
Although Vincente Yanez Pinzon was the first explorer to sail up the Amazon River, the first European explorer to travel the entire length of the Amazon River was Francisco de Orellana, in 1542.
There are more than 1,100 known tributaries flowing into the Amazon River. Tributaries are sources of water such as a small river, stream or other water flow that reaches the river.
At least 17 tributaries flowing into the Amazon River are 1500 km in length.
Manaus, Brazil is the largest city located along the Amazon River, with a population of approximately 1.7 million people.
There are at least 3000 different species of fish living in the Amazon River. New species are constantly being discovered.
The Amazon River is home to the piranha - a fish that is known to swarm and devour livestock that wanders into the water. Their teeth are razor sharp and they are carnivores by nature. Contrary to many 'big fish' stories, there are no known cases of piranha eating humans.
The Amazon River is home to one of the world's largest snakes - the anaconda. They grow so large that they have been known to consume large animals such as goats, as well as small humans when the opportunity arises. The anacondas tend to live in shallow Amazon Basin waters.
When rainy season arrives in South America the width of the Amazon River can reach 120 miles in width.
The Amazon River serves as the main transportation route for produce and people in the regions it flows through.
Although the Amazon River is the second longest river in the world, it carries the most water of any river worldwide.
The Amazon River is responsible for one quarter of the fresh water that flows into the oceans worldwide. The amount of fresh water that flows into the Atlantic Ocean from the Amazon changes the water's color and salt content for approximately 320 km from the river's delta.
Martin Strel swam the length of the Amazon River in 2007, taking 66 days of 10 hours in the water each day to complete his mission.
There are believed to anywhere from 400 to 500 tribes of native South Americans living along the Amazon River's rainforest. It is believed that many of these tribes (as many as 50 or more) have never come into contact with outsiders.

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