Why can’t there be a bridge across the Amazon? Even if Amazon is in China, there is nothing it can do

This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown

Bridges built in China are famous all over the world. In the past decades, China has built Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge, Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge, Hangzhou Bay Bridge and so on. Where rivers pass through, many countries have built a large number of bridges, just like China. As the largest and most branched River in the world, the Amazon has not built a bridge so far. Why?

The picture shows the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macao Bridge

The world’s second longest river, has been “unruly” beyond our imagination


The Andes is located on the west coast of South America. It is the longest mountain in the world. It is very close to the Pacific Ocean and extends nearly 9000 km from north to south. The source of the Amazon River is a stream in the Andes. The stream flows from source to source, converges with rivers, and finally forms the magnificent Amazon River. Such a long Amazon River flows through many countries, such as Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and so on, and finally converges with the Atlantic Ocean in the island of Marajo.

1. Each section of the river has its own characteristics, forming the most spectacular tidal bore in the world

No matter in terms of the area of the whole river or the flow of branch rivers, the Amazon River is worthy of being “the world’s dominant River”, and nearly 7 million square kilometers of fertile land is moistened by it. The indigenous people of South America once said with pride, “if the Andes is our mother, then the Amazon is our father.” With a total length of 6436 kilometers, the Amazon River is the second longest river in the world after the Nile River.

The length of the upper reaches of the Amazon reaches more than 2400 kilometers, and the width of the river in the middle reaches is the widest, generally reaching nearly 8000 meters. Compared with the middle reaches, the lower reaches of the Amazon River is the deepest, reaching more than 80 meters. It is worth mentioning that due to the deep water in the lower reaches, there will be a large amount of silt deposited at the mouth of the Amazon River. Over time, the silt has finally formed a large alluvial island, which is also called malaruo island. Its area is larger than that of Taiwan Island. The Amazon River has always been “unruly”. Its unique feature is that it does not form an estuary delta plain at the estuary. The estuary of the Amazon River is like a big trumpet. Every time the Atlantic water is invaded by high tide, it will support the Amazon River and block the downstream channel, forming the largest and most spectacular sea tide in the world – the Amazon surge.

2. River branches, can make full use of water resources


In addition, the Amazon River has many branches. For example, there are about 17 branches with a length of more than 1500 km. Although these branches are all over different areas, they are like branches in the forest. Each branch is intertwined and closely connected. The middle and upper reaches of Amazon are very turbulent, just like a person with a short temper, who will burst out his emotions anytime and anywhere for no reason; while the lower reaches of Amazon are like a quiet girl, flowing gently on the Amazon plain. Because of abundant water resources, many countries make full use of water resources on the river. For example, Peru has built hydropower stations in the Amazon basin.

Why didn’t the Amazon build a bridge?


The Amazon River is eccentric, with rising water level and widening river surface, so it is difficult to repair the bridge


If every river has its temperament, then the temperament of the Amazon River is very strange, even the researchers can’t understand it. Why do you say that? You should know that the Amazon has a tropical rainforest climate, and its annual rainfall is very rich. Therefore, its flood season changes with its temperament. Generally, the flood season of the Amazon River is from November to June of the next year, but when the water level will increase and when the river will flood is not clear to relevant industry insiders.

However, after the water level rises, the width of the whole river is three or four times the original. What does this figure mean? That is to say, when the water level rises and the Amazon floods, the residents living around the river banks have to move, otherwise their lives will be in danger. People living around the Amazon will be affected by the Amazon anytime, anywhere. In this case, the water level of the Amazon River can rise up to 20 meters, which brings great difficulties for the construction of bridges. Because the bridge designer will first consider the flood season water level, but such a high water level makes the bridge design very difficult.


The Amazon often “changes its course” along with a lot of sediment

Most of the areas that the Amazon River flows through are very flat. Upstream, the Amazon River will carry sediment. As the amount of sediment increases, the Amazon River often “changes its course”. This is like a wild horse that is not tamed. It should have run in the direction we specify, but if it is not completely tamed, the wild horse will deviate from its way of thinking.


This kind of river is not fixed, unbridled flow, human also can not build a bridge. Although the Amazon River Diversion, unable to build a bridge, but it is convenient for the residents living around here. They travel by boat, and after the river is diverted, people living here can use the rich soil to develop crops. The Amazon region still maintains its original natural environment, and its economic development is backward. People can only rely on planting for a living. Instead of building bridges, it is better for the farmers here to reclaim more land, because it is more economical for them to develop crops than to build bridges.


There are many kinds of animals in the Amazon River, which are aggressive and threaten human life

The seemingly calm Amazon River is full of crisis. Due to the special geographical environment, there are various rare animals hidden in the dense forest. In particular, there are many “invisible killers” in the Amazon River. For example, the most famous one is the piranha.


Piranhas inhabit in the mainstream, large tributaries, wide rivers and rapids. Although they are small in size, they have a large number of them. Their temperament is very fierce and brutal. In particular, they like the smell of blood and are very sensitive to the smell of blood. Once any creature in the river is injured accidentally and flows blood, they will become the ferocious things of piranhas. According to relevant historical records, in the 1980s, more than 300 people died in the overboard accident of Obidos. If you accidentally fall into a group of piranhas, you will be their feast.

In addition to the piranha, there are electric eels in the Amazon River that can discharge as much as 300 volts. If it encounters a slightly larger electric eel, it can discharge nearly 600 volts. The electric energy of the electric eel is very powerful. Therefore, they are also called “high voltage king in water”. It is understood that the electric eel discharges at least 50 times per minute. Although the electric eel has very strong energy, it is still in the water When it radiates energy, it doesn’t last long.

Many fishermen have food as bait first. When the eels run out of energy, they will catch the eels at the last moment. When scientists dissect and analyze electric eels, they find that although electric eels can electrocute organisms, they are far greater than their energy needs. In other words, they will use up all their energy to protect themselves when they have to.

Compared with the electric eel, the caiman crocodile in the Amazon River is also one of the fierce animals threatening human life. Caiman crocodiles like to attack quietly and take the initiative to surprise people. Once they are inadvertently bitten by caimans, they will try their best to drag people into the water. If people don’t have the help of their companions at this time, it is difficult to deal with and get rid of this fierce crocodile. It can be seen that there are many ferocious creatures in the Amazon River, which can be called the “forbidden zone of human life”. If human beings want to build a bridge in the Amazon River, they have to enter the river, which is too expensive to risk their lives. It is impossible to build a successful bridge.



It costs a lot of money to build a bridge in the Amazon River, which is difficult to build

Amazon River not only has a wide area, but also has many branches. Even if it can build bridges, it is very difficult to build bridges, and the cost is also huge. For example, the project of drilling holes in piers is hard to imagine. In addition, since the Amazon River passes through many countries, even if the bridge is successfully built, who owns it in the end? So in every way, the Amazon River can’t build a bridge.

If the Amazon River is in China, can it be built successfully?

China’s bridge construction technology can be rated as the world’s first. Even the most difficult Sichuan Tibet highway has built the Lhasa bridge. Some netizens can’t help asking, “if the Amazon River is in China, can it be built successfully?” I’m afraid I can’t do anything, because we have mentioned before that there are many ferocious creatures in the Amazon River, which can’t be changed. Even in China, ferocious creatures still exist in the Amazon River, which is extremely dangerous for bridge builders.


China’s terrain is high in the West and low in the East, with a broad mountainous area. If the Amazon River is in China, its river area alone will occupy more than half of China. If there are more mountainous areas, there will be more branches of rivers. From west to East, the river gap will be very large. If we want to build large bridges, how many bridges will we need to build? In terms of geographical location and river branch area, the Amazon River in China is also unable to realize the bridge construction plan.

With the change of ecological environment, new changes will appear in the Amazon River in the next few decades or hundreds of years. Maybe by that time, the development of human science and technology will have a qualitative leap, and the bridge collapse plan will be fully automatic. At that time, for the people living around the Amazon River, the social and economic development has been realized. I hope this goal of building bridges will be realized one day in the future.

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