Interesting Facts About the Mississippi River That May Surprise You

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With a length of over 2,000 miles, there is more to the Mississippi River than just being one of the longest in the US. Here are twelve facts you might not have known about this well-known waterway.

1. It’s Home to Lots of Animals

American Pelican Rookery on Mississippi River
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Being one of the largest rivers, it is no surprise we see a wide range of animals throughout its length. 360 species of fish, 326 species of birds, 145 species of amphibians, and 50 species of mammals to be exact.

2. The States It Runs Through

Mississippi River just north of New Orleans
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We all know the Mississippi River runs through multiple states, but just how many? 10 states, meaning it touches 1/5 of all the states in the U.S.!

3. Birthplace of Water-Skiing

Water Skiing
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18-year-old Ralph Samuelson created water-skiing when looking for a snow-skiing alternative in 1922. Though he sadly didn’t get to patent his creation, we can thank him for the fun had across rivers today. 

4. A Favorite of Mark Twain

Mississippi River - DP
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

The writer of Huckleberry Finn, along with many other books we enjoy today, had a particular fondness for the Mississippi River. Many of his works take place on or near it. 

5. Flowing Backwards

Barge on Mississippi River
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In August of 2012, the Mississippi River saw a strange happening: it flowed backward for about 24 hours! This was thanks to Hurricane Isaac and also happened with Hurricane Katrina. 

6. Swimming the Length

swimmer in cold river
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

While many of us just marvel at the length of this river, one man decided to swim it. Martin Strel took 68 days but officially swam the entire length of the Mississippi River.

7. Driving the Length

Mississippi River road
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If you don’t want to take 68 days to swim the river, try taking the Great River Road instead. This federally designated National Scenic Byway only takes about 36 hours to complete and runs right along the river. 

8. Lots of Bridges

Bridge in Mississippi River
Image Credit: Wager

With how long the river is, we need a lot of ways to cross it. The first bridge was set up in 1855, and since then, we have created 170 bridges in total to make our way across the waters.

9. All the Figures

Barges on Mississippi River
Image Credit: Raney

We know the length of the Mississippi River, but what about its other measurements? At it’s deepest its 200 feet and only 3 feet at its shallowest. The river also ranges from only 20-30 feet across to over 11 miles.

10. Water Collection

Mississippi Rive in St. Louis City
Image Credit: Mishra

Though the river only flows through 10 states, it collects water from way more! The water in the Mississippi comes from 31 US states and 2 Canadian provinces. 

11. It’s Still Widely Used

Shipping on the Mississippi River
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You might think that with all our modern tech we don’t need to use the river to transport goods like we did in the old days. However, the Mississippi is still a major transporter of goods, with over 460 million tons of freight transported every year.

12. A Drop of Water

Water fall on the upper Mississippi River
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It takes a single drop of water about 90 days to travel the length of the river. That’s about 3 months!


Best Gas Stations in America Worth Stopping For

Bucees gas station red truck
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Gas stations are typically nothing more than mere pit stops during long journeys, serving the functional purpose of refueling vehicles. However, there are some exceptional gas stations across America that go beyond the ordinary, offering unique experiences and amenities that make them destinations in their own right! 

Best Gas Stations in America Worth Stopping For

Best Cities to Vacation in That Don’t Require Renting a Car

Mackinac Island bikers downtown
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When planning a vacation, there’s enough to worry about without stressing over renting a car, where to park it, and whether you can afford the extra insurance. What if you simply choose a location designed for people without cars and skip the rental car altogether? You could plan on walking, rent an e-Bike, or Uber when the occasion calls for it. It will still be cheaper than renting a car. Here are some of the absolute best cities for vacationing without getting behind the wheel. 

Best Cities to Vacation in That Don’t Require Renting a Car

Facts About the Oregon Trail That Prove Most of Us Would Have Never Made It

covered wagon
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Imagine embarking on a journey spanning 2,000 grueling miles, filled with treacherous river crossings, food rationing, relentless weather, and the constant threat of disease. Welcome to the life of a pioneer on the Oregon Trail!

Facts About the Oregon Trail That Prove Most of Us Would Have Never Made It

Step Into the Past: 10 American Ghost Towns to Explore

old truck in a ghost town
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America may not have a history as old as other countries, but we do have our share of ghost towns. Around 3,800 of them, according to a recent report by the New York Times. From the largest ghost town in Jerome, Arizona, to quirky ghost towns like Calico, California, here are ten of the most well-known in America.

Step Into the Past: 10 American Ghost Towns to Explore

Could You Have Done What Lewis and Clark Did? Probably Not and Here’s Why

Lewis and Clark 2- DP
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Lots of people are into hiking, although very few have the stamina to do what Lewis and Clark did. Can you even imagine making an 8,000-mile cross-country trek into unchartered territory? Take a minute to explore these 12 riveting realities of the Lewis and Clark expedition that will leave you questioning your own survival skills.

Could You Have Done What Lewis and Clark Did? Probably Not and Here’s Why

Featured Image Credit: Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock


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Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.