Rivers are very important bodies of water that help humans in many different ways. Humans built along riverbanks for access to transportation and freshwater. We also use them as boundaries between nations and to bring in the bounty of waters for food. However, some rivers are more well-known than others. We’re going to take a look at 10 famous rivers you need to know and why you should know them in this article.
While we can’t cover every famous river, you may just learn something by reading about the rivers we have listed!
The 10 Famous Rivers Everyone Should Know
We’ve come up with a list of 10 rivers that you may already know about, but we’re going to spend some time telling you why they’re so important. Some of these rivers are better known in different countries than others. You’ll probably see at least one river you didn’t know about.
We are presenting these famous rivers in no particular order. Of course, these are not the only famous rivers in the world. Without further ado, here are 10 famous rivers that you need to know about!
10. Danube River
|Claim to Fame||Flowing through famous cities and trade routes|
The Danube River is interesting because of its impact on trade in Europe. As the second-longest river in Europe, the river stretches through major cities like Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, and Belgrade, and it also includes many other cities in its basin area.
A lot of people tend to ignore Central and Eastern Europe when talking about important waters and areas of trade, but the Danube flows through a lot of places where industry happens.
This river has been valuable for trade and soldier transport since the time of the Romans and even before then. Yet, the river is still significant for trade and well-known for having many famous cities on its banks.
9. Euphrates River
|Location||Turkey, Iraq, Syria|
|Claim to Fame||One of two rivers that supplied Mesopotamia with water|
The Euphrates River’s greatest claim to fame is that it helped supply Mesopotamia with water. Mesopotamia was one of the first true civilizations of the ancient world. Mesopotamia is known for its advances in agriculture, social development, and inventions. Without this valuable water supply, human history would have been very different.
8. Tigris River
|Location||Turkey, Syria, Iraq|
|Claim to Fame||One of two rivers that supplied Mesopotamia with water|
The other part of the river system that allowed Mesopotamia to rise was the Tigris River. This river is farther north than the Euphrates. The Tigris River, along with the Euphrates, was also significant for religious and mythological reasons. This river is currently known for flowing through Baghdad, the capital of Iraq.
7. Delaware River
|Claim to Fame||Site of George Washington’s crossing and victory over Hessians during the Revolutionary War|
The Delaware River proves that a body of water doesn’t have to be massive to be important. This river was the site of an important moment in the Revolutionary War. George Washington was leading the Continental Army at a time when morale was wavering. He was badly in need of a victory.
Starting on Christmas night in 1776, Washington crossed the Delaware River from Pennsylvania into New Jersey to launch a sneak attack on Hessian mercenaries in Trenton. The attack worked and helped to improve the morale of the soldiers before the army had to settle in for the winter.
6. Yangtze River
|Claim to Fame||Home to the Three Gorges Dam, Length, significance to China|
The Yangtze River is arguably the most important one in all of China. This river’s massive basin helps supply water for agriculture throughout a large portion of the country. Moreover, this is the third-longest river in the entire world as well as the longest in China.
Not only is this river incredibly helpful for agriculture, but it’s also home to the Three Gorges Dam. This is the largest hydroelectric power-generating dam in the entire world, and it has held that title for over a decade. Needless to say, the Yangtze River is very significant and deserving of its fame.
5. Ganges River
|Claim to Fame||Water supply for millions near the river, religious and cultural significance|
Although it is not the largest river in Asia, the Ganges is still very important and well-known. This river has religious and cultural significance to Hindu people. Also, the river supplies water for those in its basin, providing millions of people with water needed for agriculture.
There are nearly 150 species of fish living in the Ganges River today. Check out the largest fish of the Ganges River. There are also other animals that live in and around the Ganges River, like snakes and other reptiles.
4. Mississippi River
|Claim to Fame||Vast length, transportation, damaging floods|
The Mighty Mississippi, Old Man River, the Father of Waters. The Mississippi River goes by a lot of names in the United States. This river is most famous for providing water for millions of people that live in towns and cities along its banks.
Cities like Baton Rouge, New Orleans, St. Louis, and Memphis are all connected by this waterway. Many of them also benefit from the hydroelectric power that is generated along the river.
Of course, the Mississippi River is also famous for its propensity to flood. While this has a replenishing effect on the farmlands, it’s devastating to the human settlements. Counting its tributaries like the Missouri River, the total system length of the Mississippi extends past 3,700 miles by some measurements.
3. Finke River
|Claim to Fame||The oldest river in the world|
You may not have ever heard of the Finke River in Australia. It’s not very long and it doesn’t even flow all the time. However, geologists have recognized this as the oldest river in the world. That’s this river’s entire claim to fame!
2. Nile River
|Claim to Fame||The longest river in the world and supports both Ancient and Modern Egypt|
The Nile River is the largest river in the world, and it’s known for being the lifeblood of Ancient Egypt as well as being incredibly important to Egypt today. This river is famous because it was an instrumental body of water for the dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Also, the Nile River is significant for agriculture, transportation, and drinking water.
1. Amazon River
|Location||Peru, Colombia, Brazil|
|Claim to Fame||The second-longest river, incredible biodiversity, high discharge into the ocean, and having no bridges crossing its width|
The Amazon River is the second-longest river in the world, but it makes up for that placing in other ways. The Amazon River has the largest discharge of any river in the world, measuring up to 209,000m3/s! The second river, the Congo River, discharges a fifth of that!
The Amazon River is also well-known for having no bridges crossing it despite being deep enough for boats to travel as far inland as Peru. This river supports incredibly diverse wildlife throughout its run, plants and animals alike. The Amazon River is facing ecological shifts like many others throughout the world.
The world is packed with interesting and important rivers. The 10 famous rivers that we have explored here are certainly worth knowing about. Some of them are still significant to civilization today, and others only earned their fame for a short time. Still, all of them have interesting history and stories surrounding them.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Akitzhaber/Shutterstock.com
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