The Mississippi River runs right through the center of the US, starting in Minnesota and ending in Louisiana at the Gulf of Mexico. It is 2,340 miles long and at the widest point, it is 11 miles wide!
At the headwaters, the Mississippi is only 20-30 feet wide and it is a popular tourist attraction to walk across the mighty Mississippi. But how deep do you think the river gets? Read on to find out the deepest point on the Mississippi River (you will be wowed!).
Where does the Mississippi River start and end?
The Mississippi River starts in a small lake in Itasca, Minnesota. Itasca State Park surrounds Lake Itasca and the meager beginnings of a river that eventually has enough force to generate millions of kilowatts of energy at multiple dams along the way. Currently, there are 29 locks and dams along the Mississippi that help bring electricity to millions of people. The Mississippi flows south down to Louisiana where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico, about 100 miles south of New Orleans.
What is the deepest point on the Mississippi River?
The deepest point on the Mississippi River is 200 feet deep at Algiers Point in New Orleans. So if you were staying at a hotel and ended up on the 20th floor, you could look out your window and see about 200 feet down to the street. That is how deep the Mississippi River is at its deepest point!
Where is Algiers Point in New Orleans?
The Mississippi river twists and turns like a snake through downtown New Orleans, the course determined by the elevation and surrounding shoreline. Right near Algiers Point, on the south shore of the Mississippi in downtown New Orleans, the river is measured at 200 feet. Algiers Point is a suburb of New Orleans with a ferry that transports people across the river to the Canal Street Ferry Terminal. Just north of there is the Audobon Aquarium of the Americas where you can see African Penguins, white alligators and sand tiger sharks!
What is the deepest point on a river in the world?
The deepest river is the Congo River which reaches 720 feet deep! Think about our hotel scenario, that would put you on the 70th floor of the hotel looking down, now that is deep! The Congo River is full of Elephantfishes, cichlids, lungfishes, bichirs, and killifishes.
The Congo River is the second longest river in Africa next to the Nile. The Nile River is 4,132 miles long and runs for about 4,132 miles. It flows south to north through eastern Africa, wait what? Yes, the Nile River is one of the few rivers that flows south to north, but when you look at the topograhphy you understand why. Rivers are going to flow downstream with the higher elevations flowing toward the lower. The Mississippi River actually flows north in several locations along the river due to elevations.
How deep is the ocean?
The average depth of the ocean is 12,100 feet! Again looking at our hotel scenario that puts you on the 1,200th floor, which isn’t a real thing since the tallest building in the world is only 163 stories tall at 2,7165.5 feet tall. But you get the scope of just how deep the ocean is.
What animals live at the deepest parts of the ocean?
There is an estimate that 85% of the species on Earth live on land, 5% in freshwater and 15% in the ocean. But researchers also estimate that only 5% of the ocean has been explored. That leaves future generations inspiration to explore and discover new species!
If you do a search on the fish that live in the deeps of the ocean be prepared for some “nightmare worthy” images. The fish that live in the deeps have large eyes and mouths with jagged teeth and fangs! Think about living in the depths of the sea without sunlight or warmth, not very inviting. Here are some of the fish that live deep in the ocean:
- Stoplight loosejaw
- Black Seadevil
What animals live at the deepest part of the Mississippi River?
The Mississippi River has a variety of animals and fish that live throughout its water, from northern pike that can be found in Minnesota to catfish that swarm the river in Louisiana. But deep in the depths of the Mississippi, there are certainly unidentified species. We do know the following animals live in the Mississippi River:
- Gulf Sturgeon
- Alligator Gar
- Blue Catfish
- Bighead Carp
- Snapping Turtles
Was a 100 pound catfish recently caught in the Mississippi River?
Yes! On August 1, 2022, the Blue Catfish record was broken in the state of Mississippi. A 104lbs Blue Catfish was caught using a trotline by Christopher Halley. He was fishing near the town of Natchez, MS which is around 100 miles SW of Jackson.
Anglers will sometimes target deep water catfish using longer lines than usual to try to get to some of the biggest catches. Depending on the time of year catfish will spend a good deal of time near the bottom of the river feeding on shad, menhaden, and river herring. One technique they use to find food is to swim under a whole school of fish, like striped bass, that are feeding and eat the scraps that float down from the feeding frenzy.
What kind of plants grow in the Mississippi River?
Along the edges of the Mississippi River you can find cattails, wild rice, bulltounge arrowhead, and lotus. You can find water lilies on the surface of the water which bloom in the summer in the northern parts of the Mississippi but can bloom all year round in the warmer southern parts. At the bottom of the river and along the tributaries you can find pondweed, watermilfoil, fanwort, and coontail. These plants play an important part in the ecosystem providing shelter for smaller fish and crustaceans.
What else might be at the bottom of the Mississippi River?
The currents in the Mississippi River are so strong it is not advised to scuba dive in the river. But if sent a drone down to the bottom of the Mississippi you might find some interesting items. Near bridges you may find the rusted out cars from accidents and unfortunately suicides. The cars sink into the murky, sandy bottoms and can drench downstream for miles with the strong currents. A commercial mussel shell diver said he found everything from tires to couches to vans. The bottom is also scattered with debris from steamships from a hundred years ago. You can only imagine what you would find at the deepest point on the Mississippi, 200 feet deep!
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