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Amazon Facts

It is believed that the forests of the Amazon can store half of the Earth's rainwater. Without the rainforests continual recycling of water,  droughts would become a common sight.

It is believed that the forests of the Amazon can store half of the Earth's rainwater. Without the rainforests continual recycling of water,  droughts would become a common sight. (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Channels/ Rob Taylor

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  • The Amazon is the planet’s largest rainforest and largest river basin, spreading over an area 50% larger than the European Union’s 27 countries.

  • The Amazon Basin is the largest river basin on earth, extending over 6.8 million kilometers through nine countries. In just 2 hours of its flow it could meet the freshwater needs of New York City for an entire year.

  • Humans have lived in the Amazon for over 11,000 years, but the West only discovered it in the 16th century, when Don Francisco de Orellana, a Spanish explorer and conquistador, led an expedition in search of El Dorado (the fabled City of Gold) into the rainforest.

  • The Amazon is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world, home to a staggering 10% of the world’s known animals and plants. Even now, scientists continue to discover new species at an astonishing rate.

  • The Amazon comprises n half of the world’s remaining rainforest and over 40,000 species of plants.

  • The Central Amazon Conservation Complex is the largest protected area of the Amazon Basin and among the world’s richest in terms of biodiversity.

  • By 2005, 427 mammals, 1300 birds, 378 reptiles, more than 400 amphibians, and at least 3000 species of fish had been scientifically classified in the Amazon region.

  • More than 30 million people live across the Amazon region, with over 280 different languages spoken here. The river system is the lifeline of the rainforest, and an important part in the development of this people.

  •  As many as 60 tribes remain largely not in contact in the Amazon, or live in voluntary isolation. The area is home to 320 indigenous groups that make up roughly 9% of the Amazon’s total population.

  • The Amazon reserves contain 64 species of electric fishes in seven families, including three species new to science. This represents the world’s highest known diversity of this unique group of organisms.
1 comments
Edward Padilla
Edward Padilla

Do visit the Amazon. I wish I could go back with no other interest than exploring maybe the last frontier.