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11 Fun Facts about Rainforests

by Ariel Canie â—Ź April 03, 2023 â—Ź 2 min read

11 Fun Facts about Rainforests
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What's considered a rainforest?

Earth Month is well underway and we’re celebrating by planting trees in one of the most essential ecosystems on Earth: Rainforests! Rainforest is a term used to describe a tropical or temperate biome that experiences high levels of rainfall– typically between 80 and 400 inches of precipitation annually. Tropical rainforests can be found close to the equator, where the temperatures are warmer, while temperate rainforests can be found in cooler coastal areas north or south of the equator. Characterized by thick, tangled canopies of plants, vines and small trees, rainforests are often referred to as “jungles”. The world’s 5 largest rainforests include the Amazon, Congo, Australiasia, Sundaland, and Indo-Burma.

11 Fun Facts about the Earth’s Rainforests

1. Rainforests provide habitats for many plants and animals

Rainforests cover only about 6% of the Earth's surface, but they are home to over half of the world's known plant and animal species.

2. Rainforests provide us with fresh air

The Amazon can be considered the Eath's air conditioner, producing around 20% of the oxygen produced on land via photosynthesis. 

3. The Amazon is the largest rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, covering an area of around 6.7 million square kilometers. If the Amazon was a country, it would be the ninth largest country in the world.

4. Rainforests are rich in biodiversity

Rainforests are incredibly biodiverse, with new species being discovered all the time. A variety of rare species including bengal tigers, giant otters, amazon river dolphins and orangutans are all found in rainforests.

5. Many people depend on the rainforest for survival

A whopping 1.2 billion people depend on rainforests for their livelihoods. People depend on rainforests for food security, construction materials, drinkable water and energy sources.

6. Rainforests help fight climate change

Rainforests are important carbon sinks, which means they absorb more carbon than they release. The absorption of carbon helps regulate temperatures and fight climate change. 

7. Many medicines come from rainforests

Many of the world's most important medicines have been derived from plants found in the rainforest, including treatments for cancer, malaria, and other diseases.

8. Rainforests prevent erosion

Rainforests are incredibly important for the water cycle, with trees and other vegetation helping to regulate water flow and prevent erosion.

9. Your houseplant came from the rainforest

Many common houseplants originated in the rainforest and have adapted to low sunlight and little water, making them the perfect companion for your indoor space. 

10. Rare flowers can be found in Australian rainforests

Almost 80% of all flowers found in Australian rainforests can't be found anywhere else on the planet. The Daintree rainforest is home to the world's rarest flowering plant– the idiot fruit or Idiospermum Australiense.

11. Rainforest coverage is declining at astonishing rates

Deforestation is a major threat to rainforests, with around 17% of the Amazon rainforest having been destroyed since the 1970s. Every 6 seconds, an area equivalent to one professional football field of rainforest is cut down.

Rainforest facts inforgraphic

Want an easy way to celebrate Earth Month?Plant a treein a rainforest! Planting trees supports the 1.6 billion people who depend on trees for their livelihoods, fights climate through carbon sequestration and and nourishes the Earth’s rich biodiversity by providing food and shelter for plants and animals.

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