Discovered: A Huge River That Flows Underneath The Amazon!

This has got to be amongst the weirdest things you’ve heard! Get this: there is actually a river flowing beneath the mighty Amazon!

Scientists have discovered evidence of an underground river, complete with a river basin and features like valleys, flowing 13,000 ft underneath the Amazon. The Brazilian National Observatory, credited with this discovery, has named the river Hamza, after the scientist Valiya Hamza, who has been studying the Amazon for 40 years.

The mouth of the Amazon

A new river – a new type of river!

The Hamza is pretty impressive on its own right, even though it is dwarfed by the Amazon. It is 3,700 miles long, with the Amazon being 4,200 miles long. The Hamza flows along the same slope as the Amazon i.e. from west to east, but at a much slower speed than the Amazon owing to much smoother height gradient underneath the surface.

The river has almost been confirmed, but Hamza is willing to wait till 2014 to get the absolute final confirmation before saying hurrah. The data is primarily obtained from 240 wells drilled into the Amazon region in the 1970’s and 80’s. The wells go down to depths of upto 4,000 meters.

The features of the underground river may be pretty impressive. Scans show that there are vertical drops at 2000 feet depth, but it the river becomes sluggish soon after at greater depths, owing to flat topographical features.

Here’s a video explaining the river in brief.

The effects of this river might have already been apparent for a long time. The salinity levels at the mouth of the Amazon are unexpectedly low and the Brazilian National Observatory claims that the water from the Hamza might be responsible for the unexplained dilution.

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Debjyoti Bardhan

Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.