Forest; one thing may come into your mind first is the Amazon. It is the largest tropical rain forest on Earth and a very fascinating place also. You may have seen videos or photos but actually it is much more mysterious . The climate is generally hot, humid and wet here, but thus climate plays a lot to maintain our planet’s climate.
Let’s take a safari ride and check about some of the unknown facts of this mysterious and most bio diverse place on Earth.
1. The Amazon Rain-forest covers 3.4 million square miles, which is about 2% of world’s surface but produces more than 15% of total oxygen demand of Earth.
The forest is the largest tropical rain forest in the world and stretches across 9 countries- Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Venezuela, Peru, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil and Bolivia.
The Amazon is so big that it is more than half of the world’s remaining rain forest. Even Ireland and UK could fit 17 times. Due to its dense vegetation the Amazon considered as the lungs of our planet, It continuously take carbon-DI-oxide and releases oxygen like a giant air purifier.
There are approximately 40,000 species of plants, 1300 species of birds, more than 2500 types of fish, 427 different types of mammals, 430 amphibious creatures, 380 types of reptiles and a jaw dropping 2.5 million different species of insects.
The Amazon is the home of some bizarre, poisonous and deadly creatures like pink dolphins, green anacondas, poison dart frogs, bullet ants, electric eels and the legendary flesh eating piranhas.
Around 140 species of plants, animals and insects are getting extinct per day in Amazon forest due to deforestation.
The Amazon river stretches over 6900 kms. with hundreds of water ways, gaining the title of world’s 2nd longest river after the Nile.
But, in terms of water carrying capacity the Amazon river has no competition with the Nile. It carries a staggering 55 million gallons of water every second.
It takes around 10 minutes to reach the rain water at the forest floor due to its thick vegetation and it is completely dark as only 1% of sunlight can penetrate through the thick tree branches.
10. The forest has almost 80% varieties of fruits we get around the world. Nearly 3000 types of fruits including more than hundreds of different oranges, lemons, pineapples etc.
More than 25% of western medicines are manufactured from the sources that are originated in Amazon Rain-forest, but it has been said that only 1% of the trees and plants out of 390 billion has been tested by scientists.
There are around 50 native tribes living in this rain forest, where more than 40% of them don’t have connection with the outer world.
The Toucan is the loudest creature in the Amazon which can be heard from as far as half mile away.
No bridge can be constructed along the width-wise on the Amazon river due to its rapidly changing width, which varies season to season. In dry season the river width stays between 1-6.2 miles but during rainy season the width increases to more than 30 miles.
In 2016, researchers discovered an enormous coral rife in the Amazon river delta, which stretches more than 1000 kms. and covers an area over 9500 square kms.
The Hamza river is known as the twin river of the Amazon river. Which mirrors the length and flow of the Amazon river but it shows 4kms. underneath the surface, which is 4 times wider than the Amazon river and water flows at a speed of 1 mm. per hour.
17. Amazon forest may have the thickest vegetation of all forest in the world but the soil do lack minerals. The amazon soil get fade by the minerals from sands which blow across the Atlantic all the way from Africa’s Sahara desert. It is interesting that Africa and South America are continents separated by a vast ocean but interestingly linked together.
The butterflies of the Amazon drink tears of turtle. Because it contains sodium, an important mineral that is scant in the western Amazon.
In 2007, Martin Strel swam the entire length of Amazon river to complete his jungle journey and set a record. It took him 10 hours of swimming daily for 66 days.
In August 2019, Amazon forest was caught in wildfire. The fire rage lasted for 20 days and made a devastating effect on the wildlife. It recorded that 72,900 fire spots detected by Brazil’s space research center.