The legend of El Dorado gave birth to the Amazon. Chasing the mystic ‘city of gold’ the explorer Francisco de Orellana discovered the Amazon but failed to find any gold. However, gold indeed the rainforest is. Picture a place where the sunlight struggles to reach the ground and the mist envelopes every leaves and branch. Where a multitude of exotic creatures make their presence felt to the ears rather than the eyes. And an ocean of a river, the great river amazon, that is always in an eternal fight to dwarf the forest. The eerie silence, the shadows, and the enormous vastness lend such a beauty and mystery to the landscape that it has fascinated men for ages. Such is the Amazon rainforest and there is no other like it. Except man, perhaps, whose greed has managed to ring a death knell to these majestic forests. One of the most important biological hot spots on the earth, the Amazon rainforest supports the most diverse variety of life forms that are not found anywhere else on earth. A host of indigenous tribes have been living in this forest for centuries with some not even seen the signs of civilization even now. It is a world of endless mysteries that are yet to be uncovered. Read the article below to learn some interesting and fun facts about the Amazon rainforests.
Interesting And Fun Facts About Amazon Rain Forest
- The biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest is immense. The region is believed to have 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2000 birds and mammals. There are 2500 species of fish, 1500 species of birds, 1800 species of butterflies, 4 types of big cats, 200 species of mosquitoes and 50,000 species of higher plants that have been documented till now.
- The total area covered by the rainforest is 7 million square kilometers and is spread over Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. The major portion of the rainforest is in Brazil. It represents 54% of the total rainforests of the earth.
- About 50% of the total plants and animals on this earth are found in the amazon.
- If the entire Amazon is designated as a country then it would be the 9th largest in the world.
- The Amazon rainforest is the hottest and wettest place on earth.
- The area the size of two football fields is destroyed in the Amazon rainforest every second.
- If the present rate of destruction continues then the entire Amazon forests will be lost in the next 40 years.
- The Amazon rainforests are a treasure trove of medicinal plants. Almost 25% of the pharmaceuticals are derived from ingredients from the rainforests.
- The Amazon rainforest produces 20% of the world’s oxygen. Due to this reason, it is described as the “Lungs of our Planet”.
- Over 3000 different species of fruits grow in the Amazon rainforests. While the local tribes use 2000 species of the fruits the rest of the world uses only 200.
- About 3000 different species of plants have been identified that have properties to fight cancer.
- It is estimated that only 1% of the total rainforest plants have been tested for medicinal properties.
- The average annual rainfall throughout the Amazon is 7.5 inches annually.