Scientists discover world’s darkest river – Ruki. In what is believed to be the first-ever scientific study of an African river, scientists have concluded that the dark water is caused by large amounts of dissolved organic matter in the surrounding rainforest.
Scientists discovered that the color is caused by carbon-rich compounds leached from decaying plant matter, which are washed into the Ruki River by rain and floods. Dr. Travis Drake, lead author of the recently published study, said Ruki is “essentially a bush tea” in which carbon-rich plant matter is brewed. The resulting color of the water makes the Ruquí River darker than the Rio Negro.
“The organic compounds leached from this vegetation absorb light, so the higher the concentration, the darker the water will appear,” Dr. Drake said. “It’s like using many tea bags to brew a particularly concentrated tea.” .”
Using a measurement system, a team of scientists from ETH Zurich in Switzerland found that the Ruki River is 1.5 times darker than the Amazon, the world’s black water river. Although the Ruki River occupies only one-twentieth of the Congo Basin, it provides one-fifth of Congo’s entire dissolved carbon.