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About 10 kilometers from the inland city of Manaus in northern Brazil, the black Rio Negro river, which flows through the city, meet the sandy colored Amazon River, but the water doesn’t mix immediately. Instead, they flow side by side for 6 km, an occurrence known as ‘the Meeting of the Waters’ or Encontro das Águas in Portuguese. The phenomenon occurs at several places throughout the Amazon and on elsewhere on the planet, but nowhere as dramatically as here. It is one of the main tourist attractions of Manaus.

Rio Negro is the largest tributary of the Amazon and the world’s largest black-water river. The name “Rio Negro” itself means “Black River”. The color comes from the presence of dissolved decaying vegetable matter that leached into the water as the river flowed through the rainforest and swamps. A black water river has high acidic levels, and very little sediment. The waters of the Amazon, on the other hand, is thick with sand, mud and slit giving it a brownish appearance.

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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