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There are a number of long rivers in the world, but it can be unexpectedly difficult to determine the length of a river. Since many rivers join together in river systems, it isn't always easy to say where one individual river begins. In many cases, the river's length is measured from the headwaters that are farthest from the river's mouth; in some instances, this means that the "source" of the river is on a tributary that is known by a different name than that of the main river.
Of the longest rivers in the world, one goes through ten countries. The Nile travels through Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Other rivers, like the Mississippi, go through only one country.
While the Amazon is usually considered to be the second longest river, it carries more water than any other river. The second and third longest rivers in the Amazon system, the Madeira and the Purus, respectively, are also some of the longest rivers in the world, as are two major portions of the Mississippi-Missouri system.
Australia doesn't have an individual river in the top 20. The longest river in Australia is the Murray River at about 1,475 miles (2,375 km). When combined with other rivers in the Murray-Darling River system, however, the length grows to at least 2,094 miles (3,369 km), putting it on the top 20 list.
Of the top 20 longest rivers in the world, only one is in Europe, while three are in Africa. The next longest river in Europe, after the Volga, is the Danube, at about 1,771 miles (2,850 km). Nearly half of the 20 longest rivers are in Asia.
|The Longest Rivers in the World and their Approximate Lengths|
|Rank||River||Location||length in mi (km)|
|2||Amazon||South America||3,980 (6,405)|
|3||Chang Jiang (Yangtze)||Asia||3,915 (6,300)|
|4||Mississippi-Missouri||North America||3,870 (6,228)|
|6||Huang He (Yellow)||Asia||3,395 (5,464)|
|8||Zaire (Congo)||Africa||2,914 (4,690)|
|9||Heilong (Amur)||Asia||2,744 (4,416)|
|11||Mackenzie||North America||2,635 (4,241)|
|14||Parana||South America||2,485 (3,999)|
|16||Shatt al-Arab-Euphrates||Asia||2,236 (3,598)|
|17||Purus||South America||2,100 (3,380)|
|19||Madeira||South America||2,013 (3,240)|
|20||Yukon||North America||1,980 (3,186)|
@matthewc23 - I have to agree with you on that. I remember being in class in grade school and there being a debate about which river is longer, because the Amazon has so many different outlets and this debate was hotly contested, with the majority of class liking the Nile because it was relatively straight up and down.
I wonder if it comes down to the fact that on a map a straight up and down river will look longer than one that winds and bends.
I do not really know why people become defensive about this type of topic that is relatively simple, but for some reason it does happen and I prefer to learn simple facts about the rivers and their importance and not just debate about which one holds the world record for length.
I find this list of the top ten longest rivers int he world quite interesting as the Nile, which is the longest river in the world, seems to be one oft he few relatively straight rivers on this list.
Most of the rivers that are included on this list have a lot of point that branch off and are really part of the larger river basin, but still count as being part of the same river.
A great example of this would be the Amazon River and it really winds and bends and branches off across the river basin while the Nile simply is relatively straight.
what about the yantze river? and is the murray darling and the murray river the same?
Top 10 longest rivers of the world
1. Nile 7,088 km
2. Amazon 6,575 km
3. Yangtze 6,236 km
4. Mississippi-Missouri 6,084 km
5. Yenisy 5,816 km
6. Yellow 5,778 km
7. Ob-Irtysh 5,525 km
8. Amur(Heilongjiang) 5,498 km
9. Congo(Zaire) 5,118 km
10.Mekong(Lancangjiang) 4,909 km
what about the Murry darling river in australia?
Danube is 2780 km long and it runs through nine countries, from the Black Forest to the Black Sea. It is the second largest river in Europe.
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