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From crocs to cannibals: the world's deadliest rivers
 
 

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Cahills Crossing is located on the East Alligator River in Northern Territory, Australia. 

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People keep crossing it, despite the waters being infested with crocs. In fact, a 2016 survey found an average of 120 crocodiles in a 4-miles (6.4 km) stretch! 

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Formerly also known as the Zaire River, the Congo River is the second-longest river in Africa. The river is teeming with dangers along its 2,900 miles (4,700 km).

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Not only are there deadly animals such as crocodiles, hippos, and snakes, you also have to survive the rapids known as the Gates of Hell.

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And even if you manage to survive all of that, you'd still have to worry about cannibals from the Engombe tribe capturing you in a area known as "the abattoir."

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This Spanish River is as close as it gets to being in Mars! Around 5,000 years of mining have contributed to its composition and dramatic color.

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Rich in iron and heavy metals, Rio Tinto is extremely acidic. The water contains high amounts of iron and potassium sulfate compound, and methane.

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But despite the extreme conditions, some microorganisms do live in the inhospitable river.

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This Colombian river stretches for 236 miles (380 km). Its biggest danger is actually human, as the river is one of the country's major drug-trafficking routes.

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Various armed groups patrol the area, including the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla group. So, not the place for a relaxed boat trip!

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The Citarum River in Indonesia is used by millions of people for irrigation, fishing, and as a source of drinking water.

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But this is one of the most polluted rivers in the world, responsible for numerous diseases in the population, including cancer.

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The first settlements around China's second-longest river date back to around 2100 BCE. But those looking to make the most of the fertile farmland on its margins had to battle the river's flood waters.

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The Yellow River is indeed a wild beast. It has changed course 26 times and flooded over 1,500 times in the last 80-plus years. Millions of people have consequently died.

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The Environment and Society Portal estimates that the Yellow River floods have killed more people than floods from the rest of the world's rivers combined!

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The Niger is the third-longest river in Africa, and indeed the main river of West Africa. It extends for about 2,597 miles (4,180 km).

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Flooding is the main danger of this river. Between 2012 and 2017 alone, it's estimated that around 2.5 million people had to leave their homes.

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In 2020, another 226,000 people had to relocate due to floods. Adding to the rising waters, there's also high levels of pollution and cholera outbreaks to worry about.

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This African river is home to around 90,000 hippos and 188,000 crocodiles, and other dangerous wildlife, such as river sharks.

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And if you happen to survive it all, you'd still have to worry about unexploded landmines and flooding. Yikes!

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India's holy river is a pilgrimage site for hundreds of thousands of people every year. But there's more to the river than its spiritual importance.

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The Ganges is also used for irrigation and to dump sewage. The result is extremely polluted water, teeming with deadly bacteria. Cholera outbreaks, for instance, still kill millions every year.

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You're probably familiar with the Niagara Falls, itself quite dangerous. So much so that since 1850, some 5,000 people have been recovered from its base.

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But the Niagara River has more dangers, including rapids and the 125-feet-deep (38 m) Niagara Whirlpool, which has claimed many lives over the years.

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This unassuming picturesque stretch of the River Wharfe in Yorkshire, England is a lot deadlier than it looks.

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In this section, the river goes from shallow to very deep, which means strong undercurrents, rocks, and underwater caves capable of trapping anyone who falls into it.

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This tributary of the Amazon River can be found in Peru. Its temperature varies, but it frequently reaches up to 200°F (93°C).

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That's hot enough to boil you! Local shamans believe the river is the home of the mythological serpent Yacumama.

Sources: (Grunge)

See also: The most naturally dangerous places in the world

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Humans have always been fascinated by rivers, and indeed they've played a huge role in our development as a species. A source of drinking water, food, and irrigation, rivers have always been present in our lives. But not all rivers are calm streams of crystal clear water. In fact, some are heavily polluted, while others are teeming with dangerous wildlife (and dangerous humans). Many have flooded to the point of killing millions of people, and many others continue to do so by other means.

Curious to discover the deadliest rivers on the planet? Then click on!

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