The Rio de la Plata is a river that was created through the joining of Parana River and Uruguay River. In British English and the Commonwealth, it is referred to as the River Plate. Other English-speaking countries referred to it as La Plata River. The shape of the river is funnel-like and it is located at the southeastern coastline of the South American continent. The total length of the river is 290 kilometers or 180 miles starting from its confluence down to the Atlantic Ocean.
Widest River of the World
The Rio de la Plata is known as the widest river in the world. The width of the river grows starting from 48 kilometers or 30 miles wide at the confluence to 220 kilometers or 137 miles wide at the point where it drains out to the Atlantic Ocean. The river serves as a portion of the boundary between Uruguay and Argentina. Located in the southwest part of the river are the capital cities of Buenos Aires and its major ports. Located in the northeast part of the river is Montevideo, the capital city and main port of Uruguay.
The main tributaries of the Rio de la Plata are the rivers Parana and Uruguay. If we include the major tributary of Parana River which is the Paraguay River, the basin covers an area that is about one-fifth of the continent of South America. The covered area of the Rio de la Plata basin includes southern and central Brazil, southeastern Bolivia, most of Uruguay, northern Argentina, and the whole country of Paraguay. Annually, there is approximately 57 million cubic meters or two billion cubic feet of silt being carried into the river. Regular dredging is done in the area to keep the shipping route open from Buenos Aires to the Atlantic Ocean.
The English name of the Rio de la Plata which is River Plate is sometimes thought of as mistranslation but actually it is not. During the 12th century going forward, in the Early Modern English usage of plate, it would mean silver or gold. Beginning at the time of Francis Drake, the river is already called as the Plate River or River Plate in English. The Silver River is a modern-day translation of the Spanish name Rio de la Plata. This translation refers to the riches of the legendary Sierra de la Plata that is believed to be located upstream.
There are some animal life found in the Rio de la Plata that includes the unique La Plata Dolphin, varieties of sea turtles, and several species of fish.