While many rivers do indeed empty out in the ocean, there is no natural law forcing them to do so. In fact, many rivers will empty into lakes or seas that have no connection to the ocean. Some rivers may even dry up and pass into arid wastelands or deserts. The reason rivers move at all is because they flow downward, and water, like everything else on Earth, is subject to gravity. When pulled downward by gravity, water will follow the path of least resistance. In many cases, this simply means descending from high ground to sea level and eventually emptying out into the ocean. But in cases where no path to the ocean is available, many rivers find other places to end, such as lakes and valleys.
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