There are many amazing facts about the Amazon forest you will find interesting. One of the largest rainforests in the world is none other than the Amazon. Spread across much of north and northwestern part of South America and extending all the way to the central regions of the continents. There is no other eco-region on earth quite like this.
And given that it is so vast and still relativelyunexplored, there is much to know about this rainforest.
Given in the list below are ten amazing facts about theAmazon rainforest:
10. The Amazon Rainforest Has Shrunk In Size Considerably
Several centuries ago, there was a time when the Amazon rainforest was much larger than the current Amazon we know. In other words, the absolute size of the rainforest has shrunk considerably over the past centuries or even decades.
For example, the Brazilian state called Rondonia lost a hugeportion of its rainforest within a couple of decades. Other places like theTocantins have lost its rainforests over the course of more than a century.
Today, the Amazon rainforest has shrunk in size considerablydue to deforestation. It is still fascinating just how much of it is stillleft, despite being destroyed for hundreds of years.
9. The Amazon River is One of the Longest In the World & Its Source is a Mystery
Of all the rivers in the world, Amazon happens to be one of the longest at about 6,400 km that stretches from the heart of the Amazon jungle to the foothills of the Andes making the Amazon basin as one of the largest river systems on earth. It is also one of the most beautiful and breathtaking rivers in the world. It discharges an enormous volume of water into the Atlantic ocean.
The starting point contributing to the maximum volume of water to the Amazon river is still unknown and is baffling scientists around the world. We are yet to find the true source of this large river. Several geographers have mapped the area only to find that the originating point kept shifting, changing and even multiple sources of tributaries causing problems to the scientists.
The river that holds the first place is the Nile in Africa which originates in the heart of the continent at about 6,650 km.
8. There Are No Tall Amazonian People in the Jungle
According to an urban legend, it is thought that the Amazonian people are very tall. This is however not true. There are indigenous people living in the Amazon rainforest, and surrounding regions. But they are about as tall as anyone else.
The idea that there is a special race of Amazonian people,who are exceptionally tall, happens to come from popular comics and othermedia.
Even during ancient times, the outsiders, especially theGreeks believed that the Amazonians were giants. But, this myth was broken inthe 1970s when the German archeologists discovered a large femur which wasinitially believed to be of an Amazon giant. Later, it was made clear that itis of a prehistoric giant rhinoceros or mastodon.
7. The Amazon Rainforest Is the Largest Rainforest on the Planet & Gets Fertilized By Sands of Sahara Desert
The rainforest stretches across a vast area of SouthAmerica, spanning about 5.5 million square kilometers.
This is however what is left today, and not the originalsize of the rainforest. It is difficult to estimate what the original size was,but given that the size of the basin was about 7 million or so squarekilometers, you can just imagine how large the rainforest used to be in thepast. Around the Eocene era, around 50 to 35 million years ago, the Amazonrainforest came into existence.
It is mind-blowing to know that the Sahara desert is responsible for fertilizing the Amazon rainforest. The dust from the Northern Chad in Sahara is windblown to Amazon. According to NASA, Sahara transports approximately 182 million
6. There Is a Major City in the Heart of the Amazon, Called Manaus
In the Amazon rainforest, you can find an extraordinarily large city known as Manaus. The history of Manaus dates back to the colonial period when it was built as the Portuguese domain stronghold from the surrounding powers. The city was a trading hub for agricultural products in the area.
Today, it is the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonaswhich was also built as an outpost and a trading center during the colonialera. It is one of the most populous cities in Amazonas.
It came into existence in the year 1669 and in 1832 it became a town. The city gets its name from the indigenous Manaós people. Despite its location inside the Amazon rainforest, the city has very less greenery and vegetation due to rapid development.
5. Macaws, One of the Most Colorful & Peculiar Parrots in the World Are Found Here
Macaw isfamous among bird lovers.
They are some of the largest species of parrots in the worldand have a very long lifespan. Their colorful feathers, playful nature and theability to mimic various sounds make them as a popular pet.
These parrots are visible all across the Amazon rainforest, as well as the regions around it, such as Latin America and the Caribbean islands.
An interesting thing about Macaw is that it eats food containing toxic substances and they are able to digest them. To neutralize the toxins in the body, they happen to eat clay from the river banks. This behavior of clay eating by Macaws isn’t seen outside of the Western Amazon regions.
4. Discovery of Pyramids and Ancient Settlements Deep In the Jungle
The Amazon rainforest is not entirely a vast and untouchedwilderness. This is one of the most mysterious findings ever in a jungle.
On the contrary, there were times in the past, where vast empires existed throughout the region. Even today, many areas of the rainforest are inhabited by the tribes of various indigenous people.
Occupied by empires like the Incas, large pyramids and othersuch structures were built all throughout the region. Even today, there may bemany such buildings that haven’t been discovered yet.
Apart from pyramids, several geometric shapes have been found hidden in the dense rainforest. NASA satellite photos taken till 1999 around the Amazon Basin found that there are more than 200 geometric earthworks. Could these shapes and pyramids be the artwork of a lost ancient civilization? It could be possible that a large mysterious civilization was responsible for these creations. Many researchers still venture into the forest to study and research about these structures.
3. There Is a Vast Amount of Natural Resources Everywhere In the Amazon
Amazon is not just famous for trees and forest landscape. The Amazon rainforest is abundant in natural resources. It is a treasure-trove full of iron, oil, gold, gas, etc. that are available in its vast landscape. However, it is difficult to extract them for commercial use due to various reasons. One of the most important reasons happens to be that of damaging the Amazon ecosystem. Extracting these natural resources simply means destroying the Amazon rainforest.
This is because all of these activities will require thecutting of trees and indeed, the digging up of whole landscapes, to access whatlies beneath the surface.
Despite these concerns, there are many mining and drillingoperations taking place in the Amazon today.
2. The Amazon Spans Across Multiple Countries
The Amazon rainforest happens to be spanning across several countries in the region. Exactly, the Amazon rainforest stretches among nine countries. Among them are countries like Venezuela, Colombia, Suriname, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Bolivia, etc. Brazil holds the largest portion of the rainforest.
Due to Amazon’s large landscape, it is the most diverseecological rainforest in the world. The biodiversity in the forest is extremelylarge and complex.
1. Brazil Has the Largest Share of the Amazon Rainforest
Although Amazon is stretches across multiple countries, Brazil happens to hold the lion’s share of the rainforest.
Approximately 60% of the total Amazon rainforest iscurrently located in Brazil. The rest of the rainforest, i.e., about 40% arelocated in the surrounding countries like Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, etc.
In addition to this, the percentage here is based on recent estimates as of 2019, rather than past ones. Given that the rainforest was larger in the past (due to little deforestation), the exact percentage very likely varied in the past. In the future, the percentages can change as per the rate of deforestation or afforestation.
In all, the Amazon rainforest is one of the most beautifulregions on the planet.
From biodiversity to landscapes and everything in between, thisis one part of the world that can be called a masterpiece of nature.
And it is up to us that we preserve and protect it forgenerations to come.