Vast underground river discovered beneath the Amazon rainforest
Located about 13,000ft below ground level, the discovery by researchers is reminiscent of many indigenous Amazonian legends which speak of an underground river where the souls of their ancestors reside.
The subterranean river has been named “Hamza” and is reported to be 3,700 miles long (6,000 kilometres) flowing in the same direction as the Amazon itself, west to east. However, Elizabeth Tavares Pimentel who presented the find at this week’s 12th International Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society in Rio de Janeiro, reported the subterranean river to be much wider at 124 to 248 miles, moving much slower than its companion surface river.
Pimentel’s research used data gathered from 241 oil wells drilled by the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras in the 1970s and 1980s.
As much as 17 billion metric tons of water flow from the Amazon River into the Atlantic Ocean. That’s enough fresh water daily to supply New York City’s freshwater needs for nine years. Fresh Amazon water flows 125 miles out to sea before mixing with Atlantic salt water, so it can be drunk long before land comes into sight.