Things You Didn't Know About the Mississippi River
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They don’t call it the Mighty Mississippi for nothing: The Mississippi River flows more than 2,000 miles through 10 states, providing water for 18 million people and serving as a vital trade route for 175 million tons of freight each year. It has long been intertwined with the history and expansion of America, providing crucial resources and transportation links. Native Americans have lived along the Mississippi River since at least the fourth millennium BCE, and the Indigenous Anishinaabe peoples called it the Misi-ziibi, meaning “Great River.” And, of course, it’s a critical habitat for numerous animal species, including the 260 types of fish and 326 species of birds that make their home in or beside the water. But while all of us have heard of it, how much do you really know about the Mississippi River? Here are seven surprising facts about the Mighty Mississippi.