The waters of the Rio Negro, the largest left tributary of the Amazon River, live up to their name and, therefore, are undoubtedly murky.
The Rio Negro, 1,700 kilometres, is the longest blackwater river in the world and the second largest in volume, losing only to the Amazon River itself. But what are these black waters exactly?
The Rio Negro’s water has a dark colouration, perhaps similar to brewed tea, due to the decomposition of organic sediments along the river. That is, leaves and other vegetation decompose and release certain tannins that give the water a darker hue.
One of the main tourist attractions in the region is where the dark waters of the Rio Negro meet with the muddier waters of the Solimões River. They flow, side by side, in entirely separate channels for about six miles. This phenomenon is only possible due to the two rivers’ temperature and density differences.
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