Amazon River

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The Amazon River (Portuguese: Rio Amazonas; Spanish: Río Amazonas; pronounced /ˈæməzɒn/ (US); /ˈæməzən/ (UK)) of South America is the largest river in the world with an average discharge greater than the next six largest rivers combined. The Amazon, which has the largest drainage basin in the world, about 7,050,000 square kilometres (2,720,000 sq mi), accounts for approximately one-fifth of the world's total river flow.[2][3]

In its upper stretches the Amazon river is called Apurímac (in Peru) and Solimões (in Brazil).

The width of the Amazon varies between 1.6 and 10 kilometres (0.99 and 6.2 mi) at low stage, but expands during the wet season to 48 kilometres (30 mi) or more. The river enters the Atlantic Ocean in a broad estuary about 240 kilometres (150 mi) wide. The mouth of the main stem is 80 kilometres (50 mi).[4] Because of its vast dimensions, it is sometimes called The River Sea. At no point is the Amazon crossed by bridges.[4] This is not because of its huge dimensions; in fact, for most of its length, the Amazon's width is well within the capability of modern engineers to bridge. However, the bulk of the river flows through tropical rainforest, where there are few roads and even fewer cities, so there is no need for crossings.

While the Amazon is the largest river in the world by most measures, the current consensus within the geographic community holds that the Amazon is the second longest river, just slightly shorter than the Nile. However, in the late 20th and early 21st centuries debate has intensified over the Amazon's true source and therefore its length. Some studies have concluded that the Amazon is longer than the Nile.[5][6][7]


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