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Photo: Futurity.org

The longest rivers in the world are primarily located in Africa and Asia as well as South America. They form some of the largest drainage basins in the world and support millions of peoples and animals worldwide. They are very important for the surrounding ecosystems and throughout history, they have played a vital role for the humans living in these areas as well, and continue to be important even in modern times.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the total length of the world’s longest rivers can differ depending on if you include its tributaries or not. It’s also important to determine the source of the river to know where it begins as well as where it empties.

There are a total of 14 river systems in the world with a length of 4000 kilometers (2485 miles) or more. And a total of 184 rivers around the world which are longer than 1000 kilometers (621 miles).

Here are the top 11 longest rivers in the world:

11. Amur River

The Amur River (Chinese: Heilong Jiang) forms the natural border of far East Russia and China with a total length of 4444 kilometers, making it the 10th longest river in the world.

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Amur River. Phôto: RG 21

It has two tributaries, Argun and Kherlen and flows in a northeastern direction until it empties in the Pacific Ocean.

Total Length: 4,444 km (2,763 miles)

10. The Great Congo River

The Congo River flows through a total of 9 countries and covers a length of 4700 kilometers, making it the second-longest river in Africa.

It was previously known as the Zaire River, and it still holds the record as the deepest river in the world with the deepest point going down to 220 meters (720 ft) below the surface.

Total Length: 4,700 km (2,922 miles)

9. The Paraná River

The Paraná River is the second-longest river in South America and flows primarily through Brazil and Argentina. The river also flows through some parts of Paraguay.

If you include all its tributaries it forms a massive drainage basin that also flows through Uruguay and Bolivia.

Total Length: 4,880 km (3,030 miles)

8. Ob–Irtysh River

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Ob–Irtysh River. Photo: Wikipedia

Ob-Irtysh is the second-longest river in Russia with a total length of 5464 kilometers. It flows through 4 countries (Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia).

The Irtysh has three major tributaries which are Tobol River, Demyanka River, and the Ishim River, together they form a major drainage basin. In history, the river banks of Irtysh were occupied by Mongols and Turkic peoples for many centuries.

Total Length: 5,410 km (3,364 miles)

7. Yellow River

The Yellow River, also known as Huang He is the second largest lake in China with a total length of 5464 kilometers. Just like the Yangtze, the Yellow River flows entirely within China.

Total Length: 5,464 km (3,395 miles)

6. The Yenisei River

Yenisey is the fifth largest river in the world with a total length of 5539 kilometers. It has a drainage area of 2,580,000 square kilometers and mostly flows through Russia with a smaller part flowing into Mongolia as well.

Total Length: 5,539 km (3,445 miles)

5. Mississipi River

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Mississipi River. Photo: The Nature Conservacancy

The Mississippi River is part of a river system of several rivers known independently as Mississippi, Missouri, Jefferson, Beaverhead, Red Rock, and Hell Roaring. Together, they form the longest river in North America with a total length of 6275 kilometers.

The Mississippi River system provides water for 31 states in the U.S as well as 2 Canadian provinces.

Total Length: 6,275 km (3,902 miles)

4. Yangtze River

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia with a total length of 6378 kilometers. It’s an important source of water for about one-third of China’s population. The Yangtze River is also the longest river in the world which flows entirely within one single country.

Total Length: 6,300 km (3,917 miles)

3. Mediavine River

There are many interesting facts about the Amazon River, which is considered an important source of water for millions of peoples as well as plants and animals. The Amazon River flows through Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Brazil.

Total Length: 6,400 km (3,976 miles)

2. Amazon River

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Amazon River. Photo: Nephicode-Blogger

The Amazon River is massive and holds a huge quantity of the world’s freshwater, but in terms of length, it only ranks as the second-longest river in the world with a total length of 6436 kilometers.

Total Length: 6436 kilometers (2,533.8 miles)

1. The Nile River

The Nile is often mentioned when talking about Ancient Egypt, and many associate it with Egypt even today. However, the Nile spans across 11 countries in Africa, although the major parts of the river are located in Egypt and Sudan.

The Nile River is the longest river in the world with a total length of 6,693 kilometers with two primary sources, the Blue and White Nile tributaries.

Total Length: 6,650 km (4,132 miles)

Roe River

The Roe River runs from Giant Springs to the Missouri River near Great Falls, Montana, United States. The Roe River is only 201 feet (61 m) long at its longest constant point, and had been named as the World's Shortest River by the Guinness book of World Records before Guinness eliminated the shortest river category.

Did you know about the longest rivers in the world? Leave a comment below! For more information about different interesting topics – check out our KnowInsider!

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