The Hamza – a subterranean river to rival the Amazon: 6,000km long, 4,000 m down

Subterranean rivers are the stuff of mythology and there is something dark and mysterious and yet wonderful about them. Greek mythology includes the Styx, Phlegethon, Acheron, Cocytus, and Lethe as rivers within the Underworld. The Saraswati River is believed to have drained the north and northwest region of India in ancient times, supporting over 16,000 settlements. Although the river does not have a physical existence today many still believe that it flows underground. The River Fleet is London’s largest subterranean river. Forced underground by the city’s burgeoning populace the river still flows from its source in Hampstead Heath to its mouth where it joins London’s main waterway, the Thames. The longest known subterranean river was the Disu Subterranean river in Du’an, Guangxi Province, China – until now.

Forbes / AP: Sao Paulo

A huge underground river appears to be flowing thousands of feet beneath the Amazon River, Brazilian scientists said Thursday. Valiya Hamza of Brazil’s National Observatory said researchers found indications the subterranean river is 3,700 miles (6,000 kilometers) long, about the same length as the Amazon on the surface. Hamza said the discovery of the possible underground river came from studying temperature variations at 241 inactive oil wells drilled in the 1970s and 1980s by Brazil’s state-run oil company, Petrobras.

He said the “thermal information” provided by Petrobras allowed his team of researchers to identify the movement of water 13,100 feet (4,000 meters) under the Amazon River.

map of the amazon river

map of the amazon river image -

Their findings were presented last week in Rio de Janeiro at a meeting of the Brazilian Geophysical Society. The apparent underground river has been named after Hamza, honoring him as the head of the research team that found the signs of the flowing water. He said the existence of an underground river that also flows west to east would mean that the Amazon rain forest has two drainage systems – the Amazon and Hamza rivers.

There is much about the earth we still don’t know that we don’t know.

And the sense of wonder will remain alive as long as that is so.

UPDATE! Dr. Hamza explains the discovery in an email “interview” with The Hindu. 


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5 Responses to “The Hamza – a subterranean river to rival the Amazon: 6,000km long, 4,000 m down”

  1. Subaida Says:

    What an amazing discovery! Congratulations to Dr.Hamza and his team. There is so much to know about our earth.
    Subaida from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

  2. babu abdul gafoor kadoopali Says:

    Dr. Hamza ! is my uncle- discover a new river, that flows underneath of amazon- a great discovery-thank god- babu abdul gafoor

  3. Shafna Faisal (Baby) Says:

    Amazing discovery! Congratulations to Dr.Hamzaka (Ichappa)

    Shafna Faisal(Baby) from Riyadh #

  4. Hamza subterranean “river” criticised by Petrobras geologist – a case of “sour grapes”? « The k2p blog Says:

    […] seems that a Petrobras geologist – Dr. Jorge Figueiredo – does not like all the attention that Hamza and Pimental are getting. He may well have a point but there seems to be a touch of “sour grapes” about his […]

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