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Shortest River Takes A Minute To Walk

February 24, 2018 Coronavirus (Covid-19) No Comments Email Email

THERE’S little wonder the State of Montana in the USA claims its Roe River is the world’s shortest – at just 61 metres long it’s a whole 10 metres shorter than the length of a 747 jumbo jet, and it can be walked from start to finish in under a minute.

It was back in 1987 that final year students at the Lincoln Elementary School in Great Falls, Montana thought the little un-named river near their school really deserved a name. So with the help of teacher Susie Nardlinger they wrote to America’s Board of Geographic Names, suggesting that the tiny stretch of water, that ran that 61 metres from its source at Giant Springs to where it empties into the Missouri River, be given a name and put on the map.

And they proposed Roe River after the fish eggs used in their biggest local industry, a fish hatchery.

The suggestion won approval, and the students then put it to Guinness World Records that it recognise their now-named Roe River as the world’s shortest. But when Guinness did so in 1989, it drew a lengthy challenge from the State of Oregon that claimed its briefly-named D River was shorter by 24 metres than the Roe, which then brought counter-challenges from Montana.

But because the two States used different methods for measuring, and their rivers had differing tidal influences, Guinness decided it didn’t want anything to do with the squabble, and in 2006 quietly eliminated the World’s Shortest River category from its World Records – leaving Montana’s Roe River the world’s shortest, having been previously recognised for this by Guinness back in 1989.

David Ellis

ALL of just 61 metres long, you can walk the full length of Montana’s Roe River, seen emptying here into the Missouri River, in under a minute. (WikiMedia)

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