10 Ugly Rivers of the World

Posted on 02 February 2010

God created all things big small and the wonderful Mother Nature has bestowed man with bounty of beautiful and magnificent creations. Snow covered mountain tops glittering as the sun rays touch the tiny crystals, the falling rivers that boldly part even the hardest rocks, the vast grasslands and tall trees swishing as the passing breeze whispers quietly , and so on,  God created a perfect harmonic balance between the plants, animals, man and their surroundings But man’s quest to transform the world acc to his needs and preferences, have broken all laws of nature and the world stands at the juncture of self destruction and transience.

I am not a nature lover or a geologist studying the shifting trends of nature and nor am I some volunteer of any ‘save nature’ movement. I am a simple and a selfish human being who is worried about the future of his family as I spectate the nature being murdered by people just like me. I wont talk of global warming and melting glaciers but will give you a small glimpse of what we are doing to ourselves.

Here are few rivers which once may have been the habitat of the most beautiful aquatic life but now house our wastes. Have a close look at these ugly rivers of the world.

Citarum river, Indonesia

14river01-600Image source

Surprised? That’s the Citarum river  in West Java, Indonesia. While this river may look like garbage pool to you but is actually the main source of water for agriculture and water supply for the people. The river is heavily polluted by the human activity and has  no aquatic life breathing beneath the floating wastes. In December 2008, the Asian Development Bank approved a $500 million loan for cleaning up the river but as we see it will take years to get back the dead river back to life.

Yamuna River, India

Yamuna River

Yamuna the largest tributary river of the Ganges  is one of the most polluted rivers in the world where 58% of the waste from the Indian capital New Delhi is dumped  into the river. Its very surprising to note that a total of Rs 1,700 crore has been spent on cleaning Yamuna as well Ganges but with all efforts turning to vain, government has finally laid its hands down.

Buriganga river, Bangladesh

river, Bangladesh

Image source

The Buriganga River is the main river flowing beside Dhaka city, capital of Bangladesh. The biological dead river owns its plight to the 80% is untreated directly flowing into the river and  polythenes deposited beneath water .

Yellow river from Lanzhou, China

yellow river

Image source

The Yellow River is China’s second longest river and is  the main water supply for millions of people in northern China. But the river with primarily  Lanzhou which is the prime source of  drinking water for the two million local residences,  is heavily polluted with oil spills taking place every now and then due to  industrial contamination.

Marilao river, Philippines


Plastic wrappers, rubber slippers, banana trunks and a bloated carcass of a dog, that’s few of the things you may find floating in the Marilao river. The waters contain toxic chemicals such as chromium, cadmium, copper and arsenic making the water very dangerous. Despite campaigns by the local government and imposing fines,  households still throw their garbage, and factories release their effluents into the river resulting in highly contaminated water.

Ganges river, India

pollution-around-the-world2 []AFP PHOTO/Prakash SINGH

Ganga is the most sacred river for Hindus that emerges from gangotri glacier. An estimated 2,000,000 people ritually bathe daily in the river, inspite of being unsafe as chemical wastes, sewage and corpses remains float fearlessly   across the water body.

Songhua river, China



The Songhua is a river in Northeast China, and is the largest tributary of the Heilong River.  In November 2005, the river was contaminated with benzene, that lead to a shutdown of Harbin’s water supply.

The Mississippi river, USA


The Mississippi River is a major economic and natural resource for the heartland of the United States. The river drains nearly 40% of the continental United States, including its central farm lands and carries an estimated 1.5 million metric tons of nitrogen pollution into the Gulf of Mexico each year.

The Sarno river, Italy


The Sarno is a stream that passes through Pompeii to the south of the city of Naples. It is considered the most polluted river in Europe. The situation is aggravated by large-scale dumping of untreated agricultural and industrial waste into the river. The polluted basin waters flowing into the Bay of Naples also increase the sea water contamination.

The King River, Australia


The King River is arguably Australia’s most polluted river that suffers severe acidic condition related to mining operations.. About 1.5 million tonnes of sulfidic tailings entered the river system each year up to 1995 with total of more than 100 million tonnes until date.

This is just the end of my list of ten rivers that look ugly and are dangerous to humans around them. There are hundreds more like them lying lifeless with plastics and toxics floating above the dead water creatures and plants. We all are educated and showing ignorance towards the matter is not a wise behaviour we all know. But still we stay mumm and are happy with mineral water bottles and our water purifiers at our homes. I do not ask you to think about the world but sit and ponder about your future. How far you can convince yourself after watching the plight that the rivers have met today, that you have a safe tomorrow?

24 Responses to “10 Ugly Rivers of the World”

  1. Internético says:

    Hey,and the Tietê River, Brazil??

  2. jamdun says:

    i would think the river thames in england would be pronounce on the list

  3. Allaiyah says:

    Suddenly, enforcing the death penalty with public executions sounds like a great way for places like China to force a stop in pollution. Of course, places like coal mines that dump their wastes into rivers rural people drink from, pay the government to look the other way.

  4. robin yates says:

    the river Thames has salmon returning to the headwaters so to say it is polluted is rubbish

  5. reza fauzan says:

    oh my gOD….. my Country (indonesia) is 1st place,,,,, wtf… a lot of people ignoring future for next generation…..
    look at the river,, garbage pool…. WTF

  6. sagar says:

    where is river bagmati from nepal.it is the most pathetic holy river

  7. Nuria says:

    What about Buenos Aires’, Argentina’s Riachuelo River? yuckety yuck.

  8. resident90 says:

    how dare you not mention the scenic Los Angeles river.

  9. shimlahills says:

    Well Ganges is the most holy river in India, but because of government ignorance this is what our holy river has turned out to be. well i feel bad and kind of embarrassed when i saw these pictures. we all need to join hand and stand to take an initiative.

  10. The Gunny says:

    The person did say that it was his list of 10, probably because that’s where he visited. A most horrifing list to be sure.

  11. Dave says:

    The river thames is not on the list because its becoming one the best kept rivers in England, fish that were not there 50 years ago are slowly making their way further inland such as trout and the microoganisms they feed, on hopefully salmon will make their way back to but the river would have to be ultra clean for that to happen.

  12. SilentPirate007 says:

    This is an extension to the citarum river shown in first place:


  13. Passarella says:

    You just don’t know the Tiete and Pinheiros river in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
    All pure water is ending… So sad

  14. Andrei says:

    poor mother earth. T_T. why do people have to do this. this is soo soo soo disappointing.

  15. Man says:

    they are not river any more they are drain systems now

  16. Charles says:

    the Riachuelo in Buenos Aires?do you know it? check it

  17. Asshole says:

    Funny how only one American river is listed and it’s polution is caused farming. Farmers, way more evil then the masses around the world filling their rivers with trash. Bad Americans, bad.

  18. Me says:

    Funny how i’m in Indonesia, and i never even knew there was a place like that…

  19. bob says:

    Makes the BP oil spill look clean by comparison. Where is the outcry to this tragedy, mostly the overpopulation of the world. Compare what it was like in Egyptian times with so few people to what we have now. And to think there are littering fines here and there and we have street cleaners or used to before the financial crisis. See the ultra rich move amongst this, or cozy suburbanites? These places are not high on the travel brochures that we have become accustomed to. This is just terrible.

  20. Sanjeev Kumar says:

    Ohh My GOD , GOVT. of India sholud be think about river At least For GANGA, ….ohhh wait a minut look to whom i requested ,

  21. Kate Vinclette says:

    i think that there should also be river rhine cuz it is also polluted

  22. remya says:

    Thanks… It helps me to complete my project.

  23. shailu says:


    that means India has win majority, and many more will be there. shamefull.

  24. philip says:

    Makes me think of an old saying i have heard once or twice. Mans Inhumanity To Man.or to put it more in perspective. Mans Inhumanity To Nature. PEOPLE WHAT KIND OF ENVIROMENT ARE WE LAYING FOR ALL FUTURE GENERATIONS ??? This has to stop

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