None of the places in the world truly matches the splendor of the Amazon Rainforest! The biodiverse land is an enigmatic habitat with exceptional biodiversity that is also home to countless bird, animal, and plant species. Furthermore, this lush area contributes significantly to combating climate change

Amazon is the largest tropical rainforest, and we have all known it since we were kids because, well, Science exists in classes! But that is not all there is to know about this incredible gift from Mother Nature. We will talk about the most surprising facts about the Amazon Rainforest that will show how truly remarkable this cool place is!

Amazon – The lungs of the planet

The Amazon Rainforest is recognized as “The lungs of our planet.” You see, this region generates around 20% of the oxygen the planet uses. Moreover, the Amazon rainforest also takes up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which improves air quality. 

However, several scholars have presented their hypotheses, arguing that the idea that the Amazon is the planet’s lungs is a myth. But well, at least this is what it is called popularly, and we are quite sure no other place would get this title anytime soon. 

The Amazon River once flowed backward!

The Amazon River flows from the west towards the east before eventually dumping into the Atlantic Ocean, and this is a fact today, right?

But this face would hold no value some couple of million years ago because the river flowed westward during those times. The significant stream changes resulted from the Andes’ gradual rise.

The diversity of the Amazon ecosystem

The World of the Amazon Rainforest

Did you know that the Amazonia is home to one in ten of the world’s known species? The Amazon jungle represents over 60% of the world’s rainforests, and this huge percentage is an indicator of how rich its ecosystem is. 

This impressive region is home to half of the world’s species alone. It has about 80,000 plant species. According to Amazon Conservation, it also has 427 mammal species and 1300 bird species. Besides, it is also home to over 400 amphibians species and 378 reptile species. 

The forest has an abundance of freshwater fish species as well. The number of these fish amounts to around 3000.

It is one of the few remaining safe havens on Earth for jaguars and Amazon’s pink river dolphins. In addition, you will encounter sloths and poison dart frogs, among others. Moreover, you can see coffee plants, monkey brush vines, and passion flowers, among other plants. 

Amazon – the home of the indigenous tribes

We all have mental pictures of the exotic species and lush vegetation of the Amazon jungle! But if you think that this mighty forest is home only to animals and not humans, you’re largely mistaken!

Another one of the lesser-known facts about the Amazon rainforest is that it has been the home to various indigenous tribes for millennia. Every single necessity of their day-to-day lives – right from food to clothing – comes from the forest. 

It is reported that out of the 400 to 500 tribes living in the rainforest, a majority have no real contact with the outside world whatsoever. The Mashco-Piro and Matses tribe are among the tribes that live in isolation.

The mighty Amazon Basin – World’s largest drainage basin

The Amazon River continues to be distinct from any other river in the world. After all, it sustains the world’s largest rainforest.

The river holds a lot of records of its own. You might be shocked to learn that it is the largest river worldwide in terms of volume. Secondly, it is the second longest river (approx 4000 miles), trailing right behind the Nile ( approx 4160 miles). Thirdly, it creates the world’s biggest drainage basin.

The river provides an astonishing 20% of the ocean’s freshwater supply. Besides, surprisingly, the river has no bridges, which means boats are your only way in and out of the rainforest. 

Amazon rainforest’s dark forest floor

Walking through the Amazon rainforest would be a surreal experience, don’t you think? But take a tour guide with you; otherwise, you might not find your way out due to how dark the forest floor is! 

It is natural because the canopy’s leaves regularly provide cover over the area and block sunlight. Additionally, the forest floor is also humid most of the time. 

But that is not all there is to know about these forest floors. They are also the primary places of decomposition, which is crucial for the health of the forest ecosystem. Besides, it provides shelter to flora and fauna, an equally important part of the Amazon rainforest.  

Amazon spans nine countries!

The Amazonia is a vast biodiversity that takes up the majority of South America’s Amazon basin. It spans a total of nine countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana (France), Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.

In case you don’t know, different countries have different percentages of the Amazon jungle. Of these nine countries, Brazil has received the largest share of the rainforest – about 60- 64% of it. Next comes Peru; about 10% of the country is covered in the Amazon rainforest.

In Colombia, Bolivia as well as Venezuela, it covers around 6% of the area. In addition, we have Guyana, where this tropical rainforest covers 3% land, while Ecuador and Suriname have about 2% of the forest. Lastly, French Guiana gets about 1% of this majestic forest.

Amazon’s exotic fruits

Do you know that the Amazon jungle produces more than 3000 delicious fruits? In actuality, this region is where most of the fruits grown and consumed in the West originate. 

You will find a wealth of exotic fruits like Camu Camu and Maracuya. You can taste exotic fruits like Pacay (ice cream bean fruit), Bacuri, and Guarana. In addition, you can find Acai, Cocona, Avocado, and oranges. 

Deforestation – the alarming concern of Amazonia

The Amazon Rainforest saw the highest rate of deforestation in six years in 2022, according to statistics from the national space agency, INPE. This year alone, around 3988 square kilometers of land were wiped out in the region, and these numbers are only from the first six months!

People must be aware that the dangers clouding Amazon rainforests in this recent spike in deforestation are also unsafe for them. The Amazon rainforest has a significant impact on the regulation of the global climate. 

Additionally, it has reached a climate tipping point due to the burning and kilometer-by-kilometer removal of the forest. As a result, the safe refuge for wildlife and plants is losing its capacity to rebound from such risky actions.

Before you go

The Amazon Rainforest is one of the most biodiverse areas on Earth, bursting with hundreds of different species of animals and plants. It makes perfect sense to protect this tropical haven if we want our world to remain healthy. 

Today, we have introduced you to the top 9 most surprising facts about the Amazon Rainforest in this blog. Tell us which facts about this mighty rainforest have surprised you the most!

Interesting in learning more mind-boggling facts about our flora & fauna? Keep returning to us for more!