Measuring some of the longest rivers in the world can be a tricky business and as a result the length measurements of many rivers are only approximations. In fact, there has even been some disagreement over the years as to whether the Amazon or the Nile is the world’s longest river. These disparities are usually due to differences of opinion on where the mouth and source of the river are actually located, but for our list we will try to go with what the majority of scientists agree upon. Having said that we bring you the 25 longest rivers in the world.
The Salween, which means “Angry River” in Chinese, is about 2,815 kilometres (1,749 mi) long, and flows from the Tibetan Plateau into the Andaman Sea in Southeast Asia.
The Syr Darya, also transliterated Syrdarya or Sirdaryo, is a river in Central Asia that rises in the Tian Shan Mountains in Kyrgyzstan and flows for some 2,212 kilometres (1,374 mi) to the remains of the Aral Sea.
São Francisco River
The São Francisco is a river in Brazil. With a length of 2,914 kilometres (1,811 mi) it is the longest river that runs entirely in Brazilian territory, and the fourth longest in South America.
The Indus River is a major river that flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through western Tibet (in China) and Northern India.
The Yukon River is a major watercourse of northwestern North America. The source of the river is located in British Columbia, Canada. The next portion lies in, and derives its name from the Yukon Territory. The lower half of the river lies in the U.S. state of Alaska. The river is 1,980 miles (3,190 km) long and empties into the Bering Sea at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta.
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The Purus is a tributary of the Amazon River in South America. Its drainage basin is 63,166 km2 (24,389 sq mi), and the mean discharge is 8,400 m³/s.
The Madeira River is a major waterway in South America, approximately 3,250 km (2,020) miles long and is also the biggest tributary of the Amazon.
Shatt al-Arab is a river in Southwest Asia of some 200 km (120 mi) in length, formed by the confluence of the Euphrates and the Tigris in the town of al-Qurnah in the Basra Governorate of southern Iraq.
The Volga is the longest river in Europe and it is also Europe’s largest river in terms of discharge and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia.
The Tocantins is a river in Brazil and in the Tupi language, its name means “toucan’s beak” (Tukã for “toucan” and Ti for “beak”). It runs from south to north for about 2,640 km.
The Murray River is Australia’s longest river. At 2,375 kilometres (1,476 mi) in length, the Murray rises in the Australian Alps and, for most of its length, meanders across Australia’s inland plains before reaching the ocean at Lake Alexandrina.
The Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, exceeded only by the Nile and the Congo River (also known as the Zaire River). Its main tributary is the Benue River.
The Mackenzie River is the largest river system in Canada. It flows through a vast, isolated region of forest and tundra entirely within the country’s Northwest Territories, although its many tributaries reach into four other Canadian provinces and territories.
The Mekong is a river in Southeast Asia. It is the world’s 12th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is 4,350 km (2,703 mi), and it drains an area of 795,000 km2 (307,000 sq mi), discharging 475 km3 (114 cu mi) of water annually.
The Lena is the easternmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Ob River and the Yenisei River). It is the 11th longest river in the world and has the 9th largest watershed.
The Amur, or Heilong Jiang, is the world’s tenth longest river, forming the border between the Russian Far East and Northeastern China (Inner Manchuria).
The Congo River (in the past also known as the Zaire River) is a river in Africa, and is the deepest river in the world, with measured depths in excess of 220 m (720 ft). It is the third largest river in the world by volume of water discharged.
The Paraná River is a river in south Central South America, running through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina for some 4,880 kilometres (3,030 mi). It is second in length only to the Amazon River among South American rivers.
The Ob River, also Obi, is a major river in western Siberia, Russia and is the world’s seventh longest river. It is the westernmost of the three great Siberian rivers that flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Yenisei River and the Lena River).
The Yellow River or Huang He, formerly spelled Hwang Ho, is the second-longest river in China after the Yangtze and the sixth-longest in the world at the estimated length of 5,464 kilometers (3,395 mi).
Yenisei, also written as Yenisey, is the largest river system flowing to the Arctic Ocean. Rising in Mongolia, it follows a northerly course to the Yenisei Gulf in the Kara Sea, draining a large part of central Siberia, the longest stream following the Yenisei-Angara-Selenga-Ider river system.
The Mississippi River is the chief river of the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States (though its drainage basin reaches into Canada), it rises in northern Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for 2,530 miles (4,070 km) to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi’s watershed drains all or parts of 31 US states and 2 Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains.
The Yangtze River, or Chang Jiang is the longest river in Asia, and the third longest in the world. It flows for 6,418 kilometres (3,988 mi) from the glaciers on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in Qinghai eastward across southwest, central and eastern China before emptying into the East China Sea at Shanghai.
The Amazon River in South America is the second longest river in the world. However, is the largest river in the world by volume with an average discharge greater than the next seven largest rivers combined. It is also considered to be the widest river in the world.
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is 6,650 km (4,130 miles) long and runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.