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What are some facts about the Amazon River?

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Quick Answer

The Amazon River is one of the longest rivers in world, measuring between 3,903 and 4,195 miles long. It is up to 6.8 miles wide during the dry season and 24.8 miles wide during the rainy season.

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Full Answer

The Amazon River carries more water than any other river in the world. It gathers water from both hemispheres, including areas within Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela. The mouth of the Amazon River is so wide that ocean ships have been able to travel two-thirds of the way up its length.

The river is so huge because of the large amount of rainfall by the equator: 400 inches every year. Much of this rain falls onto the surrounding land and then makes its way into the river. This is why it is also referred to as the Amazon Basin.

The river is the home of a fish species known as Arapaima gigas, the biggest fresh-water fish in the world. Arapaima gigas can reach a length of 15 feet and a weight of 440 pounds. Scientists also find large catfish and bull sharks within the river.

The Amazon River got its name because of the Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana, who told stories of female warriors that he encountered during his travels.

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