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11 Deepest Rivers in The World

If you are a nature lover, read our list of 11 deepest rivers in the world.

Civilization was created by the rivers and that’s why their significance cannot be emphasized enough. Water is the substance which provides life on Earth and rivers with their banks provide humankind with everything it needs to survive. As we all know, the first civilizations were born near rivers such as Tigris and Euphrates, as well as the Nile, and from that moment on the existence of humankind has always revolved around rivers. People settled alongside great rivers and thus towns started developing.  Not only do rivers provide food, water needed for agriculture, but also transport. In order to further use the potential of rivers, people built dams and started creating electric power, without which we wouldn’t be able to imagine our lives today. Obviously, the potential of rivers is enormous and they represent a true treasure.

11 Deepest Rivers in The World


Because of its significance, in some cultures rivers are even observed as deities, they are worshiped and addressed as mothers. For example, the Thai word mae nan actually means „water mother“, which tells us enough of how sacred rivers are for some people. In other cultures, countless myths and legends are related to rivers. For example, in the Indian society, bathing in certain rivers like the Ganges or Saraswati can absolve you of all sins. Such is the power of rivers. Read more about rivers on International Rivers.

However, despite all the benefits that rivers provide, which we enjoy daily, we have somehow become reckless towards not only rivers but nature in general. Pollution is a serious issue that humankind is facing nowadays and which requires serious measures to be taken, too. Sadly, we managed to pollute the environment thus increasing the health risks we are exposed to. By polluting rivers we are not only endangering our lives but we are poisoning fish and everything else that lives in rivers, too.

So far we only discussed the benefits of rivers but living near rivers can be dangerous too. Even though rivers bring life, they can also sometimes be ruthless enemies, especially large rivers as their power is bigger and they cause greater damage, naturally. Terrifying floods have taken many lives in the history of the world. One of the catastrophic floods occurred in China in 1935 when Yangtze river, one of the deepest rivers in the world,  flooded killing 145,000 people. Two other floods which were even more deadly occurred in 1887 and then again in 1938 when the Yellow River killed hundreds of thousands of people with the estimated number of casualties going up to 2,000,000 in 1887. The events caused by these large rivers will certainly not be forgotten. If you are interested in knowing more about large rivers then read our list of top 10 Largest Rivers in the World by Volume.

In order to create a list of the deepest rivers in the world, we compared data from multiple sources such as Encyclopedia Britannica and WWF Panda.We expressed the depth in meters and in feet. Check out our list of 11 deepest rivers in the world.

11.The Salween River

Although its depth varies and we cannot be certain of it, the Salween River, rising in the Qinghai Mountains and then entering the province of  Yunnan, finally drops into what is called „The Grand Canyon of the East“, a 4,000- meter deep gorge. (13,000 ft). The Salween River, known as the Nu in China and Thanlwin in Burma, is known as the „Angry River“ in China and flows through the Three Parallel Rivers World Heritage Site.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World


10.The Mississippi River

Depth: 61 meters or 200 ft

The Mississippi Rivers is about 2,300 miles long and it flows throughout the United States. The river is comprised of three parts and those are lower, upper, and middle Mississippi. It is the fourth-longest river in the world.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World

9.The Saint Lawrence River

Depth: 65 meters or 213 ft

The Saint Lawrence River, the number 9 on our list of deepest rivers in the world covers a basin area of 1,344,200 square km including Canada and the US. The river starts at the end lake of Ontario and then flows to the Atlantic Ocean. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, this river was the main artery for timber trade in the 19th century. With the development of the Saint Lawrence Seaway, great parts of Canada and the US are linked with the rest of the world.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World

Felix Lipov/

8.The Hudson River

Depth: 66 meters or 216 ft

According to Britannica, this river was known to Mohicans as „Great Waters Constantly in Motion“ and it begins in Lake Tear of the Clouds in New York. The river is 315 miles long and its basin covers about 36,260 square km. The Hudson River reaches its widest point at Haverstraw Bay which is between Westchester and Rockland counties. Pollution represents a great problem to this river and attempts have been made to preserve the river and its ecological value.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World

Albert Pego/

7. The Yellow River

Depth-80 meters or 261 ft

The Yellow Rivers, the next one on our list of deepest rivers in the world is also called Huang He but earlier it was known as Hwang Ho. After the Yangtze, the Yellow River is the second-longest river in China and it is mainly known for the amount of silt it carries. It is known as the „Mother River of China“ because the basin of this river is the birthplace of northern Chinese civilizations. The Yellow River tends to flood and it is responsible for some of the deadliest floods in the history of mankind.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World


6.The Amazon River

Depth-91 meters or 300 ft

The Amazon River is the second longest river in the world which carries an enormous volume of water with an average discharge of 219,000 m3/sec of water. The river is prone to changes during the year, for example,  during the dry season its width can be around 4 or 5 km at certain places while in the wet season it can increase to 50 km. The Amazon River has the largest drainage basin in the world (about 7,050,000 square km). According to WWF Panda, one-sixth of all fresh water that drains into the world’s oceans goes through the delta of the Amazon which is 320 km wide.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World

5. The Mekong River

Depth-100 meters or 328 ft

The Mekong River, famous for its rich biodiversity with 20,000 plant species, is 2,700 miles long and it is the longest river in the Southeast Asian area. The countries it flows through include China, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. The basin of the Mekong River covers 795,000 square km.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World

4. The Zambezi River

Depth-116 meters or 381 ft

Ranked fourth on our list of 11 deepest rivers in the world is the Zambezi River. Together with its tributaries, The Zambezi River forms the fourth largest river basin of the continent. The source of the river is the Central African Plateau and it empties into the Indian Ocean. In the language of the Tonga people, Zambezi means „The Great River“. At the end of the upper course of the Zambezi River are the beautiful Victoria Falls.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World

Lynn Y/

3.The Danube River

Depth-178 meters or 584 ft

At the third place on our list of deepest rivers in the world we have the Danube River originates in the Black Forest, SW, Germany as Brigach and Brege rivers, which are much smaller and after that it is known as the Danube. It is the second longest river in Europe right after the Volga. Known as Danubius during the Roman Empire, the Danube River flows through many countries including 4 capital cities: Vienna (capital of Austria), Bratislava (capital of Slovakia), Budapest (capital of Hungary), and Belgrade (capital of Serbia). Read more about the history of the Danube on Encyclopedia.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World

Andrij Vatsyk/

2.The Yangtze River

Depth-200 meters or 656 ft

The Yangtze River is the longest river in Asia, and in Chinese, it is known as Chang Jiang (Long River). The river has major importance when it comes to the economy, culture, as well as history and The Three Gorges section is famous for electricity generation, tourism, and flood protection. The Yangtze River is the third longest river in the world.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World

1.The Congo River

Depth-250 meters or 820 ft

Finally, the champion of our list of 11 deepest rivers in the world, the Congo River is formerly known as the Zaire River, and it is 2, 900 miles long. The second-longest river on the continent right after the Nile, the Congo River originates in Zambia between lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa. The Congo discharges 43,300 cubic meters of water into the Atlantic Ocean, a little less than the Amazon. The Congo is crucial for the economic the development of the central African countries.

11 Deepest Rivers In The World

Alexandra Tyukavina/