If you love wildlife and you like traveling by tent and exploring nature, you will definitely enjoy reading this article about the rainforest. To make this topic as interesting as possible, we have composed a list of interesting facts about the rainforest, facts that you should know if you intend to go on an exploration adventure anytime soon!
They are a heaven for wildlife
Currently, rainforests only cover 2% of the total surface of the planet. However, these forests are the place where over 50% of the world’s animals and plants live. Because of this, it is crucial that we protect these areas.
Yet, because of pollution and intense deforestation, rainforests are now considered endangered. As a result, numerous organizations are now trying to protect and to regenerate the tropical rainforest so that various species won’t go extinct.
The Amazon is the largest rainforest out there
According to the specialists, the Amazon is Earth’s largest rainforest, as it is currently covering up to 5.5 million square kilometers. To put this into perspective, just think about the fact that the surface of UK and Ireland combined could fit inside the Amazon forest 17 times.
Also, it is practical to know that the Amazon spreads over the surface of various South American countries such as Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana.
A man managed to swim the Amazon
As you know, the river that crosses the Amazonian rainforest is the Amazon, a river that measures 6,400km (or 3,970 miles). The Amazon is the second longest river in the world after the Nile. Although it seems hard to believe, Martin Strel, a Slovenian long-distance swimmer that is known for swimming the entire length of various rivers, managed to swim the Amazon in 2007.
To do so, Strel had to swim for ten hours every day for no less than 66 days. He had to deal with parasites, piranhas, and other terrible animals. The most amazing fact about Strel is that he didn’t start swimming rivers until he was 50. At the time he swam the Amazon he was 53.
The Amazon is home to 400 to 500 indigenous tribes that are pretty much cut off from the world as we know it. Even more so, it is believed that there up to 50 tribes that have never had any type of contact with the outside world.
So, if you intend to travel to this part of the world, we recommend that you are very prudent when coming into contact with the indigenous tribes.
Weird species of fish
Apart from the much-feared piranhas, the Amazon rainforest is also home to a particular type of meat-eating fish called pirarucu, paiche or arapaima. What makes pirarucus downright terrifying is the fact that they can grow up to 9.84 feet.
Furthermore, not only is this kind of fish gigantic, but it also has teeth on the roof of its mouth as well as on its tongue. So, in comparison, piranhas are nothing to be scared of!
The lungs of the world
One of the most known facts about the rainforest is that this area of vegetation is responsible for taking in a large quantity of carbon dioxide out of the air and transforming it into fresh oxygen. Because of this process, this area of great beauty is referred to as the lungs of the Earth.
To put it into numbers, it can be said that the rainforest produces no less than 20% of the world’s oxygen!
Because of the thickness of the top branches of the trees, also known as the canopy, the floor of the forest is immersed in complete darkness at all times. In other words, the floor of the forest only has access to 1% of the available light!
As a plus, it seems like every time it rains, it takes up to 10 minutes for the rainwater to reach the ground!
Rainforests are crucial to our food and water supply
Although it might be difficult to grasp, around 80% of the most important foods that we nowadays consume on a daily basis are originally from the tropical rainforest. For instance, avocados, oranges, lemons, black pepper, and potatoes, are just a few of the products that we wouldn’t be able to eat today if they weren’t discovered in the rainforest. Just imagine how dull a menu that contained no sugar, coffee, tomatoes, bananas or corn would be!
Although you might be tempted to consider the water from these areas dirty and undrinkable, you should know that a fifth of our fresh water is actually found in tropical rainforests. To be more exact, this water is taken from the basin of the river Amazon.
Because they help maintain our supply of water, these forests are considered essential to the sustainability of the planet. If you love adventures and you haven’t visited the rainforest yet, hop on your bike, strap on your motorcycle helmet and start exploring this rich and beautiful ecosystem as you surely won’t regret it!
Have you ever wondered why rainforests are called this way? Well, the name is linked to the fact that they receive a high amount of rainfall. In fact, this type of ecosystem is distinguished because it is warm and very wet in comparison to others. For a forest to be called a rainforest, it has to have an annual rainfall of at least 75 inches. Yet, most areas actually get over 100 inches of rain annually.
Where are they placed?
Although a common misconception is that rainforests are only located in South America, you should know that this is entirely false, as all continents, except, of course, Antarctica, have rainforests. For instance, you can find small rainforests in Canada, in Africa, Asia and even in Alaska!
What is more, rainforests have also been linked to the phenomenon of temperature regulation. In other words, they can cause distinct weather patterns.