Major Water Features of Brazil

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Brazil is home to some of the world's largest water features
Brazil is home to some of the world's largest water features (Image: brazil flag button image by Andrey Zyk from Fotolia.com)

Of all the Latin American countries, Brazil is by far the largest and covers almost half of the entire South American continent. With such an expansive area covering so much land, Brazil is home to several of the continent's, and the world's, most impressive water features.

The Amazon River

Brazil is home to the world's largest waterway system in terms of volume: the Amazon River. Second in size only to the Nile, the Amazon River is 4,087 miles long, more than half of which is located within Brazil's borders. The waterway carries about 20 percent of the world's freshwater discharge to the Atlantic Ocean, and the land area covered by its tributaries nearly triples in size over the course of a year.

Iguazú Falls

The Iguazú Falls, the name coming from the Guaraní word for "great water," formed centuries ago after a volcanic eruption. The horseshoe-shaped land formation lies on the Brazilian border with Argentina and is a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. The Iguazú Falls are taller and wider than Niagra Falls and feature nearly 275 cascading points that are divided by various islands.

Lagoa Dos Patos

At 174 miles long and 44 miles wide, the Lagoa dos Patos is Brazil's largest lagoon and the second largest land-locked water mass in South America. Translating to "duck lagoon" in English, the Lagoa Dos Patos is separated from the Atlantic Ocean only by a 5 mile-wide sandbar in the federal state of Rio Grande do Sul of southern Brazil.

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