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Why Do Rivers Stream South? (Uncover 5 Rivers that Break the “Rule”)

Why Do Rivers Stream South? (Uncover 5 Rivers that Break the “Rule”)

Rivers are wondrous our our bodies of water that will measure miles all through and 1000’s of miles in dimension. Many rivers have headwaters and tributaries throughout the mountains, and it could be tempting to consider all rivers as flowing south from northern peaks. In consequence, many people have requested, “why do rivers stream south?” We’ll reply that question, dispel some myths, and give you among the many most distinguished rivers that stream in several directions!

Why Do Rivers Stream South?

Rivers stream in all directions because of they adjust to the path of least resistance.

Realest Nature/

The idea that each one rivers stream south is mistaken pondering that normally stems from people pondering that water flows within the route of the south because of they equate the course with “down.” In another case, they could have a river with a south stream near them. As an example, some Folks may check out the stream of the Mississippi River to buttress their mistaken beliefs that every one rivers stream south.

One different mistaken notion that some people have is that rivers purchase their water from the ocean. Inside the case of the Nile River, looking at a map could make one assume that the river obtains its water from the ocean.

Nonetheless, in case you concentrate on the character of water, you probably can merely determine the truth of the state of affairs. That’s precisely what we’re going to find throughout the subsequent state of affairs.

What Determines the Means a River Flows?

Rivers stream downhill, not basically south.


Gravity is the final phrase determining drive in the case of water stream. Water will stream downhill from the perfect degree to the underside degree using the path of least resistance. Usually, that will make the water stream to the east, west, or north in its place of south.

Aside from gravity, you should take into consideration the realm’s topography when searching for out a river’s course. Usually a river will stream southward and run into a giant mountain range. As a substitute of flowing straight over that mountain, the water would take a path spherical it. As quickly as as soon as extra, that new path would vastly rely upon the terrain, erosion over time, and additional.

Rivers change the best way by which they stream regularly ensuing from modifications in terrain. As an example, the Mississippi River was poised to begin flowing into the Atchafalaya River ensuing from such modifications. Nonetheless, human intervention led to the occasion of a floodgate system to cease that from occurring.

All in all, rivers stream downhill in the direction of the underside degree, which can be any course, counting on the panorama.

Rivers That Do Not Stream South

Many rivers across the globe don’t stream south. In fact, among the many most well-known rivers on the earth don’t stream south. We’re going to check out 5 completely totally different rivers that stream in all varieties of directions. By the purpose we’re carried out proper right here, you’ll see how rivers can stream east, west, north, and south!

1. Nile River: Flows North

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The Nile River was as quickly as considered the longest river globally, and it’s the longest in Africa.

When some people check out the Nile River on a map, they could assume that the river good factors its water from the Mediterranean Sea. That’s maybe true if the river flowed south. Nonetheless, the Nile River flows north!

Two tributaries operate the official start of the Nile River. The confluence of the Blue Nile and the White Nile is the aim of origin for the Nile River. These rivers are located south of Egypt in areas with a greater altitude than northern Egypt, so the water flows just about due north via the nation and into the Mediterranean Sea.

2. Yellow River: Flows East

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The Yellow River is a very prolonged river that drains into the Bohai Sea.


The Yellow River begins throughout the Bayan Har Mountains and flows to its mouth on the Bohai Sea, part of the Yellow Sea and a gulf of the Pacific Ocean. It’s among the many longest rivers on the earth and the second-longest river in China.  Alongside its 3,395-mile course, the river travels east, however it moreover flows north, a little bit of west, south, and east.

This river travels in all varieties of directions! It has been intently dammed to help generate hydroelectric vitality all by way of the nation.

3. Ob River: Flows Northwest

marsh vs swamp
Novosibirsk is on the banks of the Ob River.

Dmitriy Kandinskiy/

The Ob River in Russia flows primarily northwest. It’s one different one among many longest rivers on the earth, and it has only a few sources in Russia. This river has tributaries throughout the Katun and Biya rivers, and these are located 1000’s of miles to the south of the eventual mouth of the river throughout the Gulf of Ob.

All instructed, the Ob River flows about 3,360 miles, ending throughout the Gulf of Ob, a bay throughout the Arctic Ocean.

4. Amazon River: Flows West to East

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The Amazon River is every prolonged and distant in areas.

The mighty Amazon River flows just about all through your full continent of South America. Counting on the measurement used, this may be the longest river system in your full world and has crucial discharge of any river in your full world.

The Amazon River will get its water from the Rio Apurimac in Peru. From there, the river flows west to east all through the continent and ends throughout the Atlantic Ocean. The river is big and has many tributaries from numerous nations on the continent.  

5. Mackenzie River: Flows Northwest

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The Mackenzie River is a element of a much bigger river system that options the Slave, Peace, and Finlay rivers.

The Mackenzie River is located throughout the Northwest Territories of Canada. The river begins throughout the Good Slave Lake and flows northwest for 2,635 miles sooner than reaching its final trip spot throughout the Arctic Ocean.

This river has supported life on this significantly desolate part of the world for 1000’s of years. Moreover, it has the second-largest drainage basin of any river in North America. In truth, crucial drainage basin is found throughout the Mississippi River. The Mackenzie River may not be as recognizable as a result of the others on this document. Nonetheless, it’s a terrific occasion of a river that flows north, even throughout the far northern elements of the world.

Now you know how to answer when any person asks, “why do rivers stream south?” Pretty merely, they don’t all stream south. The 5 examples we supplied that stream east, west, or north are just a few rivers that don’t adhere to the “rivers stream south” concept.

A great deal of totally different rivers stream in directions other than south, and you’ll uncover a great deal of examples in your nation with ease!

Supply: Why Do Rivers Stream South? (Uncover 5 Rivers that Break the “Rule”)

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