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     The Amazon River is the second longest river in the world, after the River Nile which is in Africa. It is the mightiest river in the world and has the greatest volume of water of any river. It also has the largest drainage basin. The Amazon is in South America, and stretches 6,437 kilometers from the Andes Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. It holds more water than the Mississippi, Nile, and Yangtze Rivers together. The name "Amazon" comes from Greek mythology. The first European to sail the Amazon River in the 16th century, Francisco de Orellano, saw long-haired warriors on the river and thought they were women, so he named the river after the female "Amazon" warriors in Greek mythology.

 

亚马孙河是世界上流域面积最广、流量最大的河流。它全长约6437公里,略短于尼罗河,居世界第二。亚马孙河位于南美洲中北部,发源于秘鲁安第斯山脉,自西向东贯穿亚马孙平原,每年注入大西洋的水量相当于世界河流注入大洋总量的六分之一,比密西西比河、尼罗河和长江流入大洋的总量都要多。据记载,“亚马孙”的名字是16世纪西班牙探险家弗朗西斯科·奥雷利亚纳所起,因为他把沿河看到的长发战士误认为是女子,于是就以希腊神话中女战士的称呼“亚马孙”命名这条河。

 

(本文选自人民教育出版社《中学英语文化背景知识手册》,2008年8月第1版)

    
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