10 longest rivers in the world

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

Rivers are the waterways of our planet. They bring life to all corners, being a source of valuable fresh water. In ancient times, it was the rivers that became the home for many peoples, were considered the cradle of civilizations. Today they are 'helpers' for millions of people living along the river banks. Some of the reservoirs in our world are truly colossal, and then the furnace will focus on the most significant and largest. Here are ten of the longest rivers in the world.

Water giants of the planet: top 10 longest rivers in the world

Nomination a place River Length
top 10 longest rivers in the world 1 Amur 444 km
2 Congo 4700 KM
3 Parana 4880 KM
4 Ob 5410 KM
5 Yellow he 5 464 KM
6 Yenisei 5 539 KM
7 Mississippi 6,275 KM
8 Yangtze 6 300 KM
9 Amazon 6 400 KM
10 Nile 6 650 KM


Rating: 4.1


  1. Length: 4444 km
  2. Basin area: 1,855,000 km2
  3. Where it flows: Sea of ​​Okhotsk

One of the most famous and longest rivers in Russia flows almost along the border with China. The mighty waters of this fresh reservoir have been of key importance for the peoples living in the surrounding lands for millennia. The landscapes near the Amur coast are impressive with their beauty and riot of colors, but do not underestimate the power of nature: during the high water period – in the spring, when the Amur floods, it is able to demolish everything in its path.

The variety of river inhabitants is amazing: about 140 species of fish live in the Amur, among which there are valuable commercial fish – sturgeon and salmon. This number of varieties is much greater than in most other Russian rivers. About three quarters of all water entering the Amur basin is monsoon rains, and not melting glaciers at all, as is the case with other water bodies in Russia.

The Amur channel is constantly moving, slowly but surely making a new path for itself. The river is considered one of the few on the planet, in the channel of which there are islands, and there are quite a few of them, including large ones. The largest of them is Bolshoi Ussuriysky. Its area exceeds the size of some states – about 350 km2. Amur stands out among most of the world's rivers for one more fact: it is navigable throughout its territory. For more than 150 years Russian ships have been using it.

Interesting fact. One of the tributaries of the Amur – Zeya – is so large that a number of scientists are of the opinion that this Amur should be considered its tributary.


Rating: 4.2


  1. Length: 4700 km
  2. Basin area: 3,680,000 km2
  3. Flows in: Atlantic Ocean

The African river is considered the second largest on the continent after the Nile. Also known under a different name (Zaire), although it is not the largest on the planet, for many centuries it has given life to millions of inhabitants of the hot continent. It is considered the deepest in the world: in some places the depth of the Congo exceeds 230 meters.

But the Congo is not only a deep and long river: few fresh water bodies can boast of such an impressive width, reaching 15 kilometers in some places. The local residents call the upper course Lualaba, but in the European classification, the reservoir, along with all its tributaries, is listed exactly as the Congo. Among all the long rivers of the planet Congo, the only one crosses the equator twice.

The reservoir cannot be called safe, because the goliath fish lives in its waters – a predator reaching 1.5 meters in length and without much hesitation attacks a person who inadvertently entered the water. Congo surprises with its capabilities: its hydropower reserve has no equal in the world (3 hydroelectric power plants have already been built here and more are under construction), and the amount of mineral resources on the coast is simply enormous. Here you can mine zinc, silver, nickel, radium, uranium ore, etc.

Speaking of the latter, one cannot fail to note an unusual fact: the state of the Congo, located on the banks of the river, could become one of the richest in the world. The thing is that 80% of the world's uranium ore reserves are located here. In fact, Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world.


Rating: 4.3


  1. Length: 4880 km
  2. Basin area: 2,582,672 km2
  3. Where it flows: La Plata

As the eighth longest river on the planet, the Parana is second only to the Amazon in the South American continent. This is the main waterway of South America, almost along the entire length of which shipping is actively developed. Parana is rather restless: there are frequent floods, rapid powerful currents, etc. When the river overflows, it destroys buildings with its waters, removes the banks, displaces the coastal animal population.

Translated from the Indian dialect tupi, the name of the reservoir sounds like 'big, like the sea', another tribe calls it no other than 'the river of misfortune'. This South American river power feeds mainly on rains and feeds many cities, both water and hydropower. The many large cities and villages that stretch along the coast of Parana have formed a huge macroeconomic region.


Rating: 4.4


  1. Length: 5410 km
  2. Basin area: 2,990,000 km2
  3. Where it flows: Ob Bay

The mighty river, spreading its waters across the expanses of Siberia, is considered the largest in terms of basin area among all rivers in Russia. Its banks are not inhabited in many places. And all because the river during the spring flood completely sweeps away everything in its path. By the way, more than 200 days a year the Ob surface is frozen with ice.

Interesting fact. After the construction of the reservoir, many coastal settlements and even several areas were under water. Over time, the reservoir became so huge that the locals began to respectfully call it the 'Ob Sea'.

Unlike many other Russian rivers, the Ob does not flow from north to south, but vice versa. By the way, the river is considered not only one of the longest on the planet: its width in some places reaches 50 kilometers. About 500 species of fish live in the Ob waters, including commercial ones. It is in the Ob basin that about 1/3 of the world catch of whitefish (salmon family) is caught.

Yellow he

Rating: 4.5

Yellow he

  1. Length: 5464 km
  2. Basin area: 745,000 km2
  3. Flows into: Bohai Bay

Also known all over the world under the name 'Yellow', the Yellow River flows through almost all of China and is considered the second largest in this country. Moreover, this reservoir is not called yellow by chance: the water really has a bright yellow color. The reason for this is the Shanxi plateau, from which river flows wash out silt, clay and a lot of sedimentary rock.

The Huanehe water level depends mainly on the monsoons. Periodically, this indicator is very high: the river is in first place in the world in terms of the erosion of coastal soil. And frequent rains, monsoons and, accordingly, a regularly rising water level are the reason for no less frequent floods. That is why a huge number of dams have been built on the river – more than 5000. And the river regularly breaks through them. Because of the disasters caused by it, the river was named 'Mountain of China'.

During the Second War between Japan and China (1938), the government of the latter decided to blow up some dams on the Yellow River in order to delay Japanese troops. Unfortunately, the consequences were dire for both the Japanese side and local residents. Such a rash decision led to a serious deterioration in the environmental situation. Over time, the situation was further complicated by the fact that many enterprises are pouring industrial waste into the waters of the river, believing that due to its color this will not be noticeable. And this can lead to an environmental disaster not only in China, but throughout the world.


Rating: 4.6


  1. Length: 5539 km
  2. Basin area: 2,580,000 km2
  3. Where it flows: Kara Sea

It is the longest river in Siberia, originating in Mongolian territory and flowing into the Red Sea. The mighty body of water affects not only the local climate, but also the climatic situation in the world. Residents of Siberia respectfully call her 'Yenisei-father'. The coastal Yenisei fauna is incredibly diverse: both camels and polar bears often come to drink river water.

Half of all Yenisei waters comes from melting snows. In addition, the river basin feeds about 100,000 different lakes. By the way, the Yenisei is the record holder for the number of rivers flowing into it – their number reaches almost 500. During the flood period, the water level in the Yenisei rises to 28 meters in places, the channel is squeezed by steep banks. Unfortunately, due to the activities of nuclear power plants located near the river, the reservoir was contaminated with nuclear waste.

Interesting fact. Once in the Yenisei, a whale was seen, which, apparently, got lost and wandered into the river waters by accident.


Rating: 4.7


  1. Length: 6275 km
  2. Basin area: 2,980,000 km2
  3. Flows in: Gulf of Mexico

The North American record holder is the longest and largest river on the continent. The Mississippi flows through the territory of 10 American states, it was along it that the borders of some of them were established. Although the Mississippi is a flat river, violent manifestations of a turbulent nature are not uncommon for it: in the spring period, terrible floods occur here with catastrophic consequences for local residents. During such floods, the water discharge is colossal: up to 80,000 m3 / sec.

Interesting fact. Mark Twain called the Mississippi “the world's first deceiver” because of its unpredictable and dangerous course.

Most of the Mississippi waters come from melted snow and precipitation, and due to the snow coming down from the Rocky Mountains, the right tributaries are filled, due to precipitation, only the left ones.

It is interesting that the Mississippi is distinguished by its stubborn character not only in the turbulent current, but also in the swiftness of its waters: satellite imagery showed that the river, after entering the Gulf of Mexico, without mixing with salt water, bends around the peninsula, then enters the Gulf Stream, turns to the north and there it gradually dissolves in salty ocean water.


Rating: 4.8


  1. Length: 6300 km
  2. Basin area: 1,800,000 km2
  3. Flows in: East China Sea

The largest in China, the longest and deepest in Eurasia, the Yangtze originates from the Himalayan glaciers. The river is strategically important for the country: there are many cities on its banks. The Yangtze flows through the entire territory of China, occupying a fifth of it and actually dividing the country in half. The Chinese call the reservoir the 'Blue River', although in fact its waters are dull yellow.

The water in the river almost never freezes over the entire surface, with the exception of calm areas located in the upper reaches. The reservoir has become home to several hundred species of fish; many animals and birds live along the coast (including migratory ones). Even endangered animals live in the waters of the Yangtze: here you can meet the Chinese alligator and the Korean sturgeon.

At the exit from the mountains, the river is restrained by the Three Gorges Dam – this is the largest hydroelectric power station on the planet. Throughout its journey, the Yangtze feeds on endless tributaries (lakes and rivers). Having received water from more than 1000 Chinese lakes, the reservoir finally flows into the East China Sea.


Rating: 4.9


  1. Length: 6400 km
  2. Basin area: 7,050,000 km2
  3. Flows in: Atlantic Ocean

The second river on the planet is considered one of the longest and, without a doubt, the largest in terms of basin area. Formed by the confluence of two rivers, the reservoir in ancient times was a deity for local tribes. And that's fair enough given the daunting size of the Amazon. Even when filmed from space, the scale of the river can be seen, striking the imagination.

The Amazon is the deepest in the world, and the jungle that surrounds it is the most unexplored. Tribes that have never been in contact with civilization still live here. Unexplored plant and insect species are found in the Amazonian jungle. The latter, for example, have more than 2,500,000 (!) Species. And in the local forests there are about 3,000 types of fruits.

The Amazon has a huge number of tributaries, 20 of which are very long (over 1,500 kilometers). The amount of fresh water rushing into the ocean is so great that the ocean coast is freshened up to 160 kilometers from the coast. The river is considered one of the oldest: its age is more than 9,000,000 years. In 2011, the Amazon was included in the official list of the seven wonders of the world.

Interesting fact. With the onset of the full moon, a large wave appears on the river, moving from the ocean to the source. Many surfers managed to stay on its ridge at a distance of as much as 10 kilometers.


Rating: 5.0


  1. Length: 6 650 km
  2. Basin area: 3 254 555 km2
  3. Flows in: Mediterranean Sea

Cradle of ancient civilization – the Nile is a great, historically significant river that saw the birth of African civilization. It is noteworthy that, although there is very little land suitable for agriculture in Africa, it grows in abundance along the banks of the Nile. Before the Nasser Dam was built, many sections of the Nile were unnavigable. But the dam made it possible to raise the water level in the reservoir to the required level.

Like another participant in the rating, the Ob, the Nile is one of the few rivers whose direction of movement is from south to north. Nile water is home to many crocodiles, as well as the largest perch on the planet – the Nile. Its weight can reach an incredible 150 kilograms. Unfortunately, the numerous inhabitants of the river cannot be envied, because the Nile is the dirtiest river on the planet: along its entire length, the inhabitants of the coast dump all kinds of waste into the reservoir.

Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

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