According to a recently published story in National Geographic, “the origin of the world’s largest river—by volume—has been surprisingly hard to pin down. Explorers and scientists have argued over where to locate the start of the Amazon River since at least the mid-1600s, with no fewer than five rivers in southwestern Peru given the honor over the years.
Now the authors of a study published in the journal Area say they’ve located the mighty river’s true source: the Mantaro River in southwestern Peru. If they’re right, their discovery would add 47 to 57 miles (75 to 92 kilometers) to the length of the Amazon, currently measured at about 4,000 miles (6,437 kilometers) by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Using six different methods of measurement—including GPS tracking data and satellite images—professional kayaker James Contos and his team, funded in part by a grant from the National Geographic Society, determined that the Mantaro River is about 10 percent longer than the Apurímac River, which has been considered the Amazon’s source since 1971.
One reason the Mantaro may have been overlooked, say Contos and his anthropologist co-author Nicholas Tripcevich of the University of California, Berkeley: A twisting bend, or kink, in the river’s lower half makes it look much shorter than it really is….”
Read full story HERE