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There are very few sights and spaces on Earth that rival the Amazon Rainforest in both spectacle and mythology. Stretching for thousands of miles across South America, the Amazon basin is an impressive site; a diverse area, holding a number of different geographical and biological records, its status as one of Earth’s finest natural territories is unrivalled.
As an area of interest for a great number of people around the world, here are some of the most impressive facts concerning both the Amazon Rainforest, and the Amazon River.
The Amazon River is one of the longest rivers in the world at an impressive 4,000 miles, placed second after the River Nile. However, in terms of discharge (taking into account the many smaller rivers it branches off into), it is by far the largest according to waterflow.
The Rainforest spreads itself across nine South American nations; it is estimated that its area equates to 1.5 million square miles. The Rainforest represents half the world’s surviving rainforests and is home to the largest number of species of flora and fauna in any rainforest in the world.
The Amazon River is made up of freshwater; interestingly, the River contains 1/5 of the world’s freshwater volume, and dilutes the saltiness of the Atlantic Ocean for over 100 miles off the shore. Additionally, in just one second, the river will extract 55 million gallons of freshwater into the Atlantic Ocean.
Plants and Animals
The Rainforest is home to the largest collection of animal and plant species on the planet and holds many reptiles, amphibians, birds, and primates. There are at least 40,000 different plant species and the River contains over 2,000 species of fish, which is more than the Atlantic Ocean, and is home to dolphins, manatees, and even sharks.
The River Mouth
The mouth of the Amazon River is extraordinarily large; ships have navigated their way inland without realising due to its size. It’s approximately 200 miles long, and contains the world’s largest freshwater island, Marajo Island.
As well as being home to a diverse range of species, it is also home to many Amazon tribes. Although there is no recorded number, as many tribes have not had contact with the outside world, there are thought to be over 400 communities scattered throughout the Rainforest.
The continuous deforestation of the Rainforest may have significant effects on the global climate, considering the Amazon holds 90-140 billion metric tonnes of carbon, and destroying the forest would release this carbon and would accelerate global warming.
The weather of the Rainforest remains quite consistent, and there is rainfall approximately 250 days of the year. The temperature remains within 2-5°C at night and in daytime, usually clocking in at around 27°C, whilst never exceeding 30°C.
As you can see, these facts make the Rainforest one of the most sacred and special habitats in the world. An expansive giant in terms of natural beauty, there is little doubt in anyone’s mind that the Amazon truly is one of most amazing places on Earth.
This article was brought to you by Brazil holidays experts Journey Latin America – who have abundant travel experience over the whole of the amazing Latin American continent.
1st image CC courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcelomdrs/
2nd image CC courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/jorgebrazil/