The Number Pi Controls All the Rivers in the World

Sep 14, 2020

Did you know the notorious number pi has an unusual relationship with rivers? Or, more precisely, mathematicians believe that the irrational number pi controls the bendiness of rivers.

In 1996, the earth scientist Hans-Henrik Stølum published a paper and claimed the average sinuosity of rivers around the world is pi. In other words, he said that although the bendy paths of the world’s rivers seem chaotic meanderings, they are actually mathematically predictable patterns.

Definition: Sinuosity is a measurement that shows us how “bendy” a river is. To find sinuosity, we need to measure the total length of a river and divide it by straight route from the river’s source to mouth.

If you are interested in this astonishing finding, you can visit this link and get more information.

A meandering tale: the truth about pi and rivers
Pi Day 2015: A well known fact about pi is that it describes the bendiness of rivers. I wanted to test this theory, and so I crowd-sourced river lengths to find out