Geek Trivia

The Only River In The World That Crosses Itself Is The?

Pecos
Mississippi
Amazon
Rhine
What Was The Name Of The First Laser Light Show Technology?
The Pecos River flume diverting irrigation water over the Pecos River in 1903.
Eddy Stringfellow/National Park Service

Answer: Pecos

The life of a river is a simple one with few rules: flow from point A to point B, don’t fight gravity, and don’t cross yourself. Unless, of course, you’re the Pecos River and a bunch of industrious humans lend you a heavily engineered helping hand.

In 1887, farmers and frontiersmen were desperate for water out in the arid lands of New Mexico. So desperate that they were willing to undertake the construction of a massive wooden flume to redirect part of the Pecos River back over itself in order to bring water miles into the parched land they wished to farm and develop.

The original wooden flume was destroyed by flooding in 1893 and its replacement was ready to collapse a decade later. With help from the federal government, the flume was finally replaced by a large concrete aqueduct in 1903, the largest in the world at the time of its construction.