The Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is without a doubt one of the true wonders of the world. There are amazing animals and creatures and so much to see that it would astound you. This is one big massive rainforest that’s for sure. Read on for cool facts about this awesome place.
What you need to know about the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is in South America and covers 5,438,975km² of land. That’s seriously big. It travels across nine different countries. Isn’t that amazing! Brazil has 60%, Peru has 13%, and Colombia has 10% while other countries have small parts of the rainforest in their borders. It is the largest rainforest in the world. Not surprising when you think about how big it is. If it were a state, the Amazon Rainforest is so huge that it would have been the 9th biggest country as a whole. Wow!
- The Amazon rainforest has been around for at least 55 million years. Whoa, that is one old rainforest we’re talking about!
- A lot of the species in the Amazon Rainforest you can’t find anywhere else in the world! This is definitely the place to go exploring, to see what you can find. There are over 2.5 million species of insects, more than 40,000 different varieties of plants, 1,500 bird species and over 2,000 fish species.
If you had to walk down on the floor of the rainforest you wouldn’t be able to see all that much as it’s seriously dark. Very little sunlight makes it down there as there is a massive big canopy of trees that cover the top of the rainforest. If it started raining, it would take 10 minutes for you to get wet!
Did you know that there are absolutely loads of medicines that we use today that have come from plants in the rainforest, and only 1% of these have been tested. That’s amazing. With all those 40,000 species of plants, can you imagine how many more medicines and vaccines could be found to help people?
- There are about 50 tribes that are native to the Amazon Rainforest that have never had any contact with the outside world at all! Wow, they would probably get a big shock if they ever had to come into contact with the modern world as we know it today.
- In 1500 there were between 6 and 9 million Amazon natives. Today there are only an estimated 250,000 left. The Amazon natives speak about 170 different languages.
- If you go exploring, keep a sharp lookout for some dangerous animals like anacondas, cougars and jaguars! You don’t want to be stalked by one of these do you? But there’s more, watch out for vampire bats and poisonous dart frogs too.
- About 2.7 million acres of the rainforest are burnt each year, which is bad for everyone as forests and trees help to keep our air clean.
Interesting Facts about the Amazon Rainforest
The is the loudest creature in the Amazon rainforest. You can hear them from almost 1km away. Wow, that’s a loud bird, don’t think it would be cool to be too close it might hurt your ears!
- The name ‘Amazon’ actually comes from a war between Francisco de Orallana, the first European to travel the length of the Amazon River and a number of South American tribes. The tribeswomen and men fought together, so Orallana called them Amazons after the fierce female warriors from Greek mythology. Think he must have been pretty scared!
- In the Amazon it rains about every four days in a week…that’s a lot of rain. It can add up to 10m a year. That is the same height as a three-story building! No wonder they call it a rainforest!
- At different times of the year the Amazon River can be 480km wide. That’s more than the distance between New York City and Boston. Whoa!
The amount of water that flows from the Amazon River into the Atlantic every single day is enough water for all the people of New York City, for an astounding 9 years!
- Did you know that this seriously long river doesn’t have one bridge that crosses it? Wow!
- The Amazon rainforest is more than half of the entire world’s remaining rainforests.
- The rainforest is home to 10% of the known species in the world. That’s a lot for one area!
- Scientists think that if climate change were to increase the world’s temperature by only 3⁰C then 75% of the Amazon would be destroyed. No ways, that’s scary!
- The Amazon Rainforest is also called the ‘Lungs of the Planet’. Why? Well amazingly it gives us more than 20% of the world’s oxygen that we need.
- The last 100 years have seen the rainforest being destroyed at about 1.5 acres per second. Yes, you read right, per second.
This is really sad, as all the forests continue to be cut down, 137 rainforest species are destroyed every single day! That is frightening. How many species will become extinct? Scientists think about 50,000 per year!
Everybody thinks that big corporations are coming in and cutting down the trees, but 60% to 80% of the reason that the forest is disappearing is due to cattle ranching. That’s quite something.
This is very cool. A new river has been discovered and it’s about the same length as the Amazon River. It is 6,000km long and between 200 to 400m wide, which is wider than the mouth of the Amazon River. But where in the world is this river? Well it’s called the Rio Hamza, and it’s underground, yep underground. Even though it’s pretty wide, it’s more like a big trickle than the flowing gush of the Amazon River. That’s amazing.
The Amazon Rainforest is a very precious place on Earth, and we need to protect it to make sure it survives for years to come. Hope you enjoyed these facts and next time you have a Geography test, let’s hope you get full marks, now that you know all there is to know!