Wednesday, January 9, 2008

River Amazon: The World's Faucet

I'm a private tutor, and this week my students are learning about, or in most cases, learning more about the Amazon River. So I thought I'd share a little of the information with you.

The Amazon River, or River Amazon, as it is known in South America, begins high in the Andes Mountains. From there the river snakes through the entire northern half of the nation of Brazil.

The river moves 4.2 million cubic feet of water per SECOND and empties into the Atlantic Ocean at its mouth. During the rainy season the amount is increased to 7 million feet per second! It is the greatest river in the world because of the amount of water it carries to the sea (approximately 20% of all the freshwater that flows into the oceans), the area of land that drains into it, and because of its length and width.

It is one of the longest rivers in the world. The Amazon is between 6,259km/3,903mi and 6,712km/4,195mi long. For the last century the length of the Amazon and the Nile Rivers have been fighting for title of the world's longest river. The length of both rivers keep changing. The Nile River in Africa is said to be anywhere between 5,499km/3,437mi to 6,690km/4,180mi long. But there is no question as to which of the two great rivers carries the greater volume of water. It’s the Amazon.

At its widest point the Amazon River can be 11km/6.8 mi wide during the dry season. In an average dry season 110,000 square km of land are water-covered, while in the wet season the flooded area of the Amazon Basin rises to 350,000 square km. When the Amazon River Basin floods during the rainy season the river can be up to 40km/24.8 mi wide. Where the Amazon meets the Atlantic Ocean the river is over 325km/202 mi wide! Ocean going ships can travel two-thirds of the way up the length of the river because it is so deep.

Because the Amazon drains the entire Northern half of the continent (about 40% landmass), including all the tropical rains that fall in the rainforests, it carries a huge amount of water. It is also home to some extreme creatures like the Anaconda (the biggest snake in the world), and Piranha (the most ferocious fish in the world). One of the largest freshwater fisn in the world is found living in the waters of the Amazon. The Arapaima are the largest fresh water fish in the world. They can measure up to a length of 15 ft./4m and can weigh up to 400lbs/200kg. Find out more about this amazing river at:

Research info gathered from:

Now, here's a poem with plenty of water flowing under it:

The Virtue Of Plainspokenness

in a landscape defined by corrugated
sheet metal & negation somebody coughs

dancing in front of the doorway in front
of the window open or shut we finger pop:

with just ten cents between us a shirt
a dress a summons pressed together we

firmly believe a feather boa fur tortoise
lava snake diamond lizard all possible:

after all she insists
that's why we live-for splendor:

then cast the first cold morning of the
year in a plaster mold folded in rubber

with edgewater & a Capella withheld as
evidence until midnight unlocks its arms

or at least answer your telephone then
we might even quarrel if nothing else

or that trap door into the attic
moss-covered & stained by its matrix

with a seam of crystal some of quartz
so hold your breath & keep breathing

Poem first published at:
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Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.


Carlos Norberto Mugrabi said...

The longest river, wider and more abundant in the world is that Dante Alighieri describes in his "Divine Comedy" called Aqueronte. And Virgilio with its: "FLECTERE SI NEQUEO SUPEROS, ACHERONTA MOVEBO", one of his first hydraulic engineers. And the old - but not for that reason defunct- Greeks had alerted on to the subject. By Carlos Norberto Mugrabi.

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