15 Things to Know About the Amazon Brazil

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Amazonian Panorama
Source: CIAT

The Amazon is a term used to refer to both the Amazon River and the massive Amazon Rainforest. It is found in South America and spans over nine of the South American countries.They include; Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, and the Guyanas.There are a lot of fascinating facts and myths surrounding this indigenous rainforest. Here are some of the major facts you need to know;

1. What is the Amazon?

The Amazon rainforest is a vast forest that covers over five million square miles. It is the tropical rain forest in that is the largest in the whole world. In the woods, there is an Amazon river that is also said to be the longest river in the world. The river is 6992km and holds more water than the Nile, Yangtze River, and the Mississippi combined. Amazon River delivers into the Atlantic Ocean, approximately, 50 million gallons of water, after every second. The rain forest for millions of years has been around. The river is in the North of the Amazon rainforest. Flowing a length of more than 6000km, it is the second longest river in the world. It comes after the Nile River which holds first place, stretching an even more extended 6,650km!

2. The Amazonian Etymology

Indegenous People
Source: Daniel Zanini H.

The origin of the name Amazon was a Spanish explorer. The explorer’s name was Francisco Oreland. Female warriors who were known as thelcamiabas or rather women without husbands attacked him during his expedition. He had compared them to the Greek mythology of Amazons. The name hence stuck and has been accepted the world over, for many years as the Amazon.

3. How did Amazon come to be?

Source: CIAT

The Amazon rain forest was likely to have formed during the era of Eocene. The Atlantic Ocean had widened sufficiently providing a warm moist climate to the Amazon basin hence the rainforest appeared due to the global reduction of tropical temperatures. After the extinction of dinosaurs, the rain forest which has been in existence for millions of years, spread across the continent. The climate fluctuations had participated in its expansion.

4. The Amazon importance

The Amazon Painting
Source: Swallowtail Garden Seeds

The rain forest has been known to be indigenous and yet a scenic beauty that has more value to human life. The Amazon is said to produce more than 20% of the world’s level of oxygen. Ironically about 30% of carbon emissions is supposed to come from burning the Amazon. Conservation of this rain forest is more beneficial than its destruction which would have a greater impact on human living things’ survival at large.

5. Value in Medicine

The Amazon as large as it is has been a major ingredient provider for western pharmaceuticals. Even though with less than a percentage of the trees and plants ever tested by scientists, a quarter portions of the pharmaceuticals have the ingredients from the Amazon. The medicines are used worldwide and have been adequately and sufficiently been employed by the society over time.

6. Natural habitat

Lion Tamarin
Source: Cliff

The rainforest is also the origin of more than 80 percent of the food of the world. This fact is true due to the rainforest having over three thousand fruit. Out of the three thousand, two hundred are consumed by the inhabitants. Besides, the rain forest has different types of trees around 750 and approximately 1500 species of plants on one hectare. The Amazon is definitely where nature still abounds.

7. Life within Nature

Macaw Parrot
Source: Steve Wilson – over 8 million views Thanks !!

The ecosystem is amazingly vibrant with over forty thousand species of plants and many mammals. There are species of birds that are 1300, 3000 different fish types, 430 kinds of mammals and astonishingly over 2.5 million insects. As attractive and fascinating as it sounds, the Amazon is also a home for deadly creatures like the flesh-eating piranhas, venomous snakes, and jaguars and not forgetting poison dart frogs. There is an incredible fish with menace eating of the meat of other fish and can grow up to a length of three meters! It has its teeth on its tongue as well as the roof of its mouth.

8. Climate of the Amazon

The Amazon being a rain forest experiences a tropical climate. The tropical climate is characterized by hot, humid conditions in the day as well as night although it is slightly cooler in the evening. It is also a very wet area throughout the year even though between April and September it experiences a dry season. This climate can be uncomfortable but still can’t outmatch its beauty.

9. Deforestation a threat?

An Inside View of the Forest
Source: A. Duarte

The Amazon has a very dark floor with less than a percent of light penetrating through the thick canopy. When it rains, it takes an average of ten minutes before the water touches the ground! There used to be more trees, but effects of deforestation are that more than 137 species are daily going extinct. Though deforestation has minimized, the Amazon still disappears at a high rate of 1.5 acres at every second; it means that the Amazon is facing extinction in 40 years to come if the rate of deforestation still at the current rate.

10. Countermeasure

Due to deforestation, the government of Brazil has put in place measures to counter it. The government introduced a program for deforestation reduction since 2004.This program is inclusive of improved law enforcement, financial incentives for environmental legislation respect and satellite monitoring. Also, the private sector has been responsive to the demands of the consumer for the commodities that are less damaging.

11. Fascinating fact

In the year 2006, geologists studied the speed at which the sediments are carried out to see by the Amazon River. The exciting thing is that they realized that the sediments that were oldest were upstream of their source. This fact led them to the conclusion that river flowed backward during the period of Cretaceous! The change came when the river reversed its course and chose its current direction over a 100 million years ago when the Andes mountains began their rise.

12. Mother Nature

The Amazon not only being the home of birds, plants, insects and fishes of different species, it is also a home for indigenous American Indian tribes. Around five hundred tribes of the American Indians settled there, and the belief is that approximately 50 of these tribes have never had contact with the world outside. They are said to be still uncivilized, and they live in the backward kind of way.

13. Amazonian experience

In the Amazon, rivers are considered as roads. Are you interested in boat rides? The Amazon is a perfect place to visit. The trips on the boats bring a unique experience of the Amazon, which is characterized by the slow pace, catching sleep in the exotic hammocks and also gliding by watching the local as well as forest life. You can also enjoy the exotic feel of waking up in the jungle.

14. Tourism

The Flooded Forest of The Amazon
Source: jai Mansson

The Amazon despite its natural beauty, it is not frequented by tourists or visitors. Among the reasons for such is fear of the drug lords as some foreigners believe. There is no trustworthy information even from the internet, and some tourists are afraid of the animal that they might encounter and also fear contracting yellow fever or malaria. The Amazon would have made a great tourist attraction.

15. Projects

Project Amazon
Source: Henri Bergius

The Amazon with all its ups and downs has been an ideal site for some experiments. These experiments are innovative as well as ambitiously conservatory. They range from jurisdictional commodity certification to projects like reducing emission from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+)  indigenously led and based on performance for deforestation cutting. Now with the facts emphasized, it’s high time you rule out the myths and maybe visit the place some day!

Have a good trip and travel!

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Brazil, South and Central America, State of Amazonas