Monday, June 18, 2007

The Nile is not the world's longest river

I was going to save this for Saturday Trivia next weekend, but it is a very slow news day today, so here you have it: the Amazon is longer than the Nile.

IT IS the ultimate pub quiz question and has perplexed school children for generations. But now it appears there might be a definitive answer to the question: 'Which is the longest river in the world?' In geography classes, children all over the world learn that the Nile, in Africa, is the world's longest waterway.

However, scientists in Brazil are claiming to have established once and for all that the Amazon has snatched its title. The Amazon is widely recognised as the world's largest river by volume, but has been regarded as second in length to the River Nile in Egypt.

The revised claim follows an expedition to Peru that is said to have established a new starting point further south. It puts the Amazon at 6,800km (4,250 miles) compared
with the Nile's 6,695km.

I suspect that this is just the beginning of an ongoing discussion about how the rivers were measured, and how this impacts the validity of the results.

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