Rivers are one of the most important natural resources on our planet. They house several different aquatic species, they generate electricity, they allow people to transit between places, and they are also a source of income for many families across the globe.
On top of all that, rivers also provide the perfect setting for fun activities such as swimming, canoeing, kayaking, among others. However, as beautiful and beneficial as they are, rivers can also be pretty dangerous for human beings. There are several facts that make a river dangerous, such as:
- Strong current
- Muddy bottom
That is why we need to be careful when visiting an unfamiliar lake! In this article, we’re going to show you the 6 most dangerous rivers in the world.
List of Dangerous Rivers in the World
1. Parana River
The Parana River in South America is the second-largest river in South America, behind the Amazon river. This beautiful river is quite important in the continent, for it is the source of electricity, income, food, and water for the millions of South Americans who depend on the Parana river.
The Parana River makes our list of dangerous rivers in the world due to constant floodings, which pose a threat to every family living in its basin. On top of that, another consequence that comes with floodings is erosion. Erosion can happen gradually, but it can also happen overnight and that’s why visitors must beware whenever they are near a river bank, lest there is a mudslide while they are walking near the river.
Another danger of the Parana River is that many local families drink its water and use it for cooking, and it is widely known that the Parana River is highly polluted.
2. River Wharfe
This small river in Yorkshire, England is pretty deceiving at first sight. At less than 105 kilometers long, the River Wharfe doesn’t seem to pose any threats to anyone.
Except that it does.
The River Wharfe may not be dangerous on its surface, but at the bottom of this small river there are underwater, slippery rocks that make it very hard for people to walk in a stable manner. Additionally, there is a treacherous part of this river that is known as ‘The Strid’, which is very slippery and fast flowing. According to locals, this part of the River Wharfe can rise a matter of feet in a few seconds.
3. Red River
This massive river that crosses four Southern states in the United States is known for two things: its color — a red texture that is caused by its watershed — and for being one of the most dangerous rivers one will ever come across.
At 2,000 kilometers long, the Red River of the South, as it is commonly known, is connected to the famous Mississippi River and it is a saltwater river. However, it’s not its depth, nor its color, nor its length that makes the Red River a very treacherous one: it’s its strong current!
The Red River is known for having fast-flowing currents that create wild underwater whirlpools that could put any person’s life in danger; it’s dangerous even for professional rescue teams!
4. Congo River
It’s impossible to come up with a list of the most dangerous rivers in the world and not mention the infamous Congo River. Located in the African continent, this is the second-longest river in Africa, as well as the deepest river in the world.
At over 4,000 kilometers long and over 220 meters deep, the Congo River is known for being highly dangerous and deadly. Because of its length, this river is divided into three sections: upper, middle, and lower Congo.
Each of these three parts of the Congo has its own dangers: the lower Congo has a large number of rapids; that is, its waters are more turbulent in this section. The upper Congo has razor sharp thorns, several rocks, and vicious crocodiles! As for the middle of this river, it is known that there are armed rebels hiding in the darkness and ready to ambush anyone who comes their way!
5. Nile River
Who hasn’t heard of the Nile River? This insanely popular river has been mentioned in the Bible, and it was crucial to the Ancient Egyptians, as they could only grow their crops in places where the Nile River had flooded; that is, this river was the only thing that made the Egyptian land fertile back in the day.
However, the Nile is also known for being a very dangerous river! Not only is it so polluted that it can be prejudicial to our health, but this river is also filled with vicious predators and other animals.
One of the most famous animals in this river is the Nile crocodile. At almost 6 meters long and approximately 800 kilograms, this ferocious crocodile usually eats fish, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t mean danger to humans: it is estimated that Nile crocodiles are responsible for hundreds of human deaths every year.
Venomous snakes also pose a threat to humans who visit the Nile, but it’s the mosquitoes that we need to look out for! These tiny monsters transmit potentially deadly diseases, not to mention that they’re pretty annoying as well!
6. Amazon River
Located in Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, this is the world’s largest river by discharge volume. There’s also a lot of discussion as to whether the longest river in the world is the Amazon or the Nile River. Still, both of these rivers are some of the most dangerous rivers in the world!
Being over 6,500 kilometers long, the Amazon River is home to several terrifying creatures that could make even a superhero scared! There are huge snakes — such as the infamous Anaconda — venomous spiders and frogs, piranhas, and other deadly aquatic animals.
However, the signature predator in the Amazon River is the scary Black Caiman. This crocodile is pretty much the same size as the Nile crocodile, but the Caiman is much heavier, meaning that this crocodile is even more dangerous than its African relative.
The Black Caiman doesn’t usually prey on humans, but there are several reports of Black Caiman attacks in the region.
Rivers, as important as they are to our planet, can also be highly dangerous; even deadly, sometimes.
There are several aspects that make a river dangerous, such as strong currents that can create powerful whirlpools that are almost impossible to escape, floods that destroy everything that is in a river’s way, sharp rocks, muddy bottoms that may get people’s feet stuck, pollution, and huge and deadly animals that are just waiting to prey on humans.
Because of that, it’s really important that we keep our distance when we are unfamiliar with a certain river, for we never know what may be waiting for us underwater!
I hope that this article on dangerous rivers in the world was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Geographical Rankings Page!