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    Fun Facts About the Amazon Rainforest

    by One Tree Planted â—Ź January 04, 2024 â—Ź 3 min read

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    Fun Facts About the Amazon Rainforest

    The Amazon Rainforest is possibly one of the most fascinating places on Earth. If you've seen images or footage of the area, it's easy to be captivated by the breathtaking landscape. Home to an incredible diversity of plants, animals, and trees — this rainforest is teeming with life.

    To start, check out our Amazon reforestation video!

    9 Amazon Rainforest Fun Facts

    1. Lungs of the Earth

    The Amazon Rainforest is responsible for 20% of the oxygen produced on land via photosynthesis, which is why it is often referred to as "Lungs of the Earth".

    While it covers only 3.4 million square miles - less than 2% of the Earth's surface - the Amazon produces 10X that of oxygen!

    2. Spans 9 Countries

    Located in South America and accounting for just over half of the tropics' primary forests, the Amazon Rainforest spans 9 countries.

    The Amazon forest is part of Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and the French Guiana.

    3. World's Largest Rainforest

    How big is the Amazon rainforest? Covering an area of approximately 2.3 million square miles (6 million square kilometers), the Amazon Rainforest is the world's largest tropical rainforest. 

    The Amazon is larger than the next two rainforests (the Congo Basin and the tropical areas of Indonesia). As of 2020, the Amazon had 526 million hectares of primary forest.

    4. Amazon River is the Largest by Volume

    The Amazon River is the world's largest river by discharge, at an average discharge rate of about 209,000 cubic meters per second - representing approximately 20% of global riverine discharge to the ocean.

    The river covers about 2,000 miles, which is similar to the distance between Shelburne, Vermont, and Houston, Texas

    5. Rich Ecosystem

    The Amazon is one of the world's richest and most-varied ecosystems,

    Home to over 40,000 plant species, 3,000 fish species, 1,300 bird species, 430 mammals and an amazing 2.5 million different insect species!

    It's safe to say you will find many interesting and diverse creatures lurking the forest floor, or moving from tree to tree.  

    6. Home to Deadly Creatures

    While many of the animals within the Amazon are gentle and friendly, there are definitely a few that you would want to keep your distance from, such as venomous snakes, poisonous frogs, jaguars  and flesh-eating piranhas!

    What would you do if you came across any of these fascinating, but deadly, creatures?

    7. Dark Forest Floor

    Due to the trees' thick canopies (top branches and tree leaves), many parts of the forest have an almost black forest floor, as only 1% of sunlight can actually make it through.

    The canopies are so thick that when it rains, it can take 10 minutes until the water reaches the soil. 

    8. Indigenous tribes

    In addition to being home to thousands of different tree and animal species, the Amazon Rainforest is also inhabited by 400-500 indigenous tribes. It is estimated that over 50 of these tribes have never had contact with the outside world, showing that there are still parts of the Amazon that remain untouched.

    9. Deforestation

    Over the past 40 years, 20% of the Amazon Rainforest has already been cut down, and it is estimated that if deforestation continues at this rate, there might not be much left in the next 40 years.

    Deforestation in the Amazon is often attributed to cattle ranching occurring in Brazil, a country that contains 67% of the Amazon. 

    While all of these facts and figures are fascinating, the Amazon continues to face profound deforestation: 2023 saw some of the highest rates of deforestation in over a decade.

    This is why it is important now more than ever to action to preserve this amazing forest and all that it has to offer.

    One Tree Planted is working to support reforestation in the Amazon and you can help by planting trees in the Amazon Rainforest.

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