Euphrates River: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Euphrates River.

  • The Euphrates River is the longest river in western Asia. It flows for 1,740 miles from its source in eastern Turkey to the Persian Gulf.
  • The Euphrates River flows through Turkey, Syria, and Iraq and many great civilizations have developed along its banks in the area know as Mesopotamia.
  • Most of the water in the Euphrates River is from melting snow and rainfall. The river drains an area of about 193,000 square miles.
  • Ancient Mesopotamia occupied the area between the Euphrates River and the Tigris River in what is now Iraq. Babylon, the location of the Tower of Babel, was built along the river.
  • The Euphrates has been important to people living along its course, for centuries. The Syrian city of Aleppo depends on the river and its lakes for much of its drinking water.
  • The Euphrates is mentioned in the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden. The Euphrates is also referenced in the Old Testament as being one of the four Rivers of Paradise, representing the four quarters of the known and inhabited world.
  • Over 50 species of fish can be found in the Euphrates and fishing is still important to many people along the river. The soft shelled turtle can also be found here.
  • Several large dams have been built along the Euphrates River during the last 100 years. The Euphrates Dam is over 200 feet high and has created a huge reservoir.
  • In ancient times the Euphrates River was often used as a boundary between different regions or kingdoms. Many battles were fought here, including one in 605 BC between Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon and Egypt’s Pharaoh Necho II.

What next? Discover more river facts by visiting our rivers resources page.

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