By Pedro Souza
November 28, 2017
Covering most the northwest of Brazil as well as parts of Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana, the Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. This forest has always fascinated and inspired those who have seen its beauty and amazing biodiversity. To get you better acquainted with it, we have compiled some facts about this wonderful forest.
Running through 8 countries from the Andes to the Atlantic Ocean and passing through the Amazon Rainforest, the Amazon River is the largest river in the world in terms of volume. It deposits 12.6 million liters of water per minute in the Atlantic Ocean. It is also the second longest river in the world, standing behind only the Nile River in Egypt.
The forest took more than 50 million years to form.
It is believed that more than 5 million people inhabited the Amazon Rainforest at one point. By 1980 its population stood at less than 200,000. Nowadays, there is an estimated 2,500 people inhabiting the forest.
Archeological evidence found inside a cave known as Caverna da Pedra Pintada (Cave of the Painted Rock) suggest that humans settled in the Amazon at least 11,200 years ago.
The Amazon Basin covers an area of 7,000,000 square kilometers, of which 5,500,000 square kilometers are covered by rainforest. Currently, the Amazon Rainforest represents half of all the world’s rainforests. In fact it is so large that if it was a country it would be the 9th largest in the world.
It is estimated that the Amazon Rainforest has over 390 billion trees. Unfortunately, that number decreases every day.
There are more fish species in the Amazon rainforest than in all of Europe. Fish play a key role in the diet and life of many of the forest’s inhabitants.
In 1542, Spanish explorer and conquistador Francisco de Orellana became the first European to travel the length of the Amazon River.
The Amazon rainforest is the most biodiverse forest in the world. So far, biologists have already catalogued around 2.5 million insects, 2,200 fishes, 1,300 birds, 430 amphibians, 40,000 plants, 380 reptiles and 430 mammals that live in it.
A third of all bird species discovered so far live in the Amazon Rainforest.
There are around 215 ethnic groups living in the Amazon Rainforest, speaking over 170 different languages.
More than 70% of the deforestation of the forest is currently caused by cattle ranching.
The forest is sometimes referred to as the “lungs of the planet” because it produces around 20% of the world’s oxygen.
There are around 3,000 known edible fruits species in the amazon, of which only 200 are cultivated. The natives eat around 1,500 of all these species.
An estimated 50 tribes that have never had any contact with civilization live in the Amazon Rainforest.
The loudest creature in the Amazon rainforest is the Toucan, which can be heard from almost a kilometer away.
A single hectare of the Amazon Rainforest hold around 900 tons of living plants.
The Amazon rainforest receives around 3 meters of rainfall every year.