Source: Calillona, Peru.The Mouth(Delta) is located in North Eastern Brazil. The Amazon River is the world's second longest river. Only the Nile, in Africa, is longer. The Amazon however, at any one point in time has the highest amount of water flowing down it. No other river even comes close. It may not be the longest, but it is the widest. The Amazon produces approximately 20 percent of all the water that the world's rivers pour into the oceans on its own. The Amazon collects water from just over 40 percent of South America's Landmass, through the thousands of tributaries that join the main branch of the Amazon river. Of these tributaries, 17 are over 1600(1000 miles) kilometres long. From Iquitos in Peru all the way across Brazil to the Atlantic, the Amazon is between six and ten kilometres wide. The maps page has a picture that shows this effect quite well. The Amazon is even wider when it is flooded in the wet season. The first European found the amazon because he was 200 miles out to sea and noticed that he was sailing in fresh water. He turned toward shore and found the amazon river. Ships still today anchor in the outflow of the Amazon, to remove the marine life(barnacles) attached to their hulls (salt water organisms can't live in fresh water). The Amazon is the greatest river in the world by so many measures; the volume of water it carries to the sea (approximately 20% of all the freshwater discharge into the oceans), the area of land that drains into it, and its length and width. It is one of the longest rivers in the world and, depending upon who you talk to, is anywhere between 6,259km/3,903mi and 6,712km/4,195mi long. For the last century the length of the Amazon and the Nile Rivers have been in a tight battle for title of world's longest river. The exact length of the two rivers varies over time and reputable sources disagree as to their actual length. The Nile River in Africa is reported to be anywhere from at 5,499km/3,437mi to 6,690km/4,180mi long. But there is no question as to which of the two great rivers carries the greater volume of water - the Amazon. At its widest point the Amazon can be 11km/6.8 mi wide during the dry season. The area covered by the Amazon River and its tributaries more than triples over the course of a year. In an average dry season 110,000 square km of land are water-covered, while in the wet season the flooded area of the Amazon Basin rises to 350,000 square km. When the flood plains and the Amazon River Basin flood during the rainy season the Amazon River can be up to 40km/24.8 mi wide. Where the Amazon opens at its estuary the river is over 325km/202 mi wide! Because the Amazon drains the entire Northern half of the South American continent (approx. 40% landmass), including all the torrential tropical rains that deluge the rainforests, it carries an enormous amount of water. The mouth of the Amazon River, where it meets the sea, is so wide and deep that ocean-going ships have navigated its waters and traveled as far inland as two-thirds the way up the entire length of the river.
The Amazon Rainforest is a habitat for a variety of flora and fauna unique to the Amazon, these organisms are a important part of the ecosystem and deforestation is destroying their natural environment resulting in extinction. There are many reasons as to why the Amazon Rainforest should be protected; the fact that its pristine environment is a home to many amazing creatures is just one.
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