Welcome to Crazy Wilds! One can’t survive for a minute without lungs. Because lungs provide us with oxygen which is the most vital requirement for life. Do you know that, much like our lungs, our planet also has lungs which provide the planet with oxygen. The Amazon forest produces 20% oxygen on our planet and is known as the lungs of earth. Today we are going to share some important facts about the Amazon. Which is home to hundreds of thousands of different types of animals, insects and birds. Amazon, also known as Amazonia, is the world’s largest forest, spanned across 5.5 million square kilometers. According to wildlife experts and archaeologists, Amazon forest is almost 55 million years old. It covers an area of almost 20% of the whole of South America. In other words, it is 7 times as large as a country like Pakistan. It extends to 9 countries including Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Ghana and French Ghana. 60% of Amazon forest is in Brazil, 13% in Peru, 10% in Colombia while the remaining 17% is in the other 6 countries. About how Amazon got its name, it is believed that a Spanish tourist, Francesco, attempted to cross the Amazon river in 1540. He came into conflict with a native tribe, Tapuyas. Francesco saw native women fighting the battle. Those women resembled ancient Greek warrior women, the Amazons, in their looks. That’s how the Amazon forest got its name.
Amazon River and Streams
The Amazon river is the largest river by volume.
It’s as long as 6500 km.
One can imagine the size of this river by the fact that during the dry season, its width averages between 3 to 9 km.
However, during the rainy season, it gets as wide as 48 km.
To get an estimate about the volume of water in the Amazon, consider the facts that the next 5 biggest rivers after the Amazon, combined together,don’t have as much water as the Amazon.
It is the second longest river after the Nile.
The Nile is 300 km more in length as compared to the Amazon.
Water from the Amazon falls in the Atlantic ocean.
It constitutes one-fifth of all the freshwater going into oceans.
According to research, 20% of earth’s fresh water from the Amazon flows into oceans at a rate of 219,000 cubics per second.
For the sake of comparison, the flow rate of the Indus river is only 25,485 cubics per second.
Almost 1100 water streams flow through the Amazon forest.
Out of those, 17 streams are more than 1500 km in length.
These water streams are a source of life for flora and fauna in the forest.
And it is because of these streams that the whole area gets rains throughout the year.
One of these Amazon streams has boiling water.
According to experts, its temperature is 93 – 110 degrees centigrade.
If some animal falls into this stream, it cannot come back alive.
Animals and Insects
According to a safe estimate, almost 30% of the animals on earth live in this forest.
In the last 2 decades, 2000 new species of animals, birds and insects have been discovered which are not found anywhere else.
These animals also include different types of monkeys, jaguars and gorillas.
Other 430 new mammal species,
The Amazon is home to almost 1500 very rare species of birds.
These include different species of eagles, parrots, sparrows, nightingales and many others.
One of the more famous birds is Macau which is a large parrot with beautiful colors.
Furthermore, the Amazon has 100s of different species of reptiles, not found anywhere else.
Among these, there are many species of snakes, scorpions and crocodiles.
Other than these 2000 species of animals and birds, Amazon forest has no less than 2.5 million different species of insects.
If we only talk about spiders, there are almost 3000 species present.
Some of them are big enough to prey on birds.
Amazon is also home to 120 different venomous species of frogs, strong enough to kill a dozen people.
These frogs are found in different colors and they mostly appear in the rainy season.
There is a rather unique species of ants found in the Amazon, with sting as potent as a bullet.
Its venom is strong enough to kill a healthy man in a matter of minutes.
That’s why this ant is called a “Bullet Ant”.
Besides, Anaconda snakes, usually seen in Hollywood movies, are also found in this forest.
Although not venomous, these snakes can swallow their prey alive.
Among other exotic animals, Amazon also has a rather lethal species of bats that can make a hole in the body of animals without them knowing it.
Of the most dangerous animals in the Amazon forest, Jaguar is the most dangerous.
It’s one of the 4 biggest cats in the world.
It’s heavier than a tiger with a bigger head.
Aquatic life in the Amazon is as unique as any other animal.
Rivers and streams of the Amazon have about 3000 different species of fish.
Pink dolphin, which is a rather unique creature, is also found only in Amazon waters.
Flora in Amazon
The Amazon has almost 40,000 different species of plants whereas 18,000 species of trees.
According to a safe estimate, there are about 390 billion trees in the Amazon.
Some of these trees are so dense that light does not touch the ground beneath them.
And sometimes, even the rain water reaches the ground 15 minutes after it starts raining.
Some of these trees are almost 60 meters or 200 feet broad.
Amazon forest constitutes 20% of all forests on earth.
Researches say that every year forests around the world absorb 200 billion tonnes of carbon.
Out of that, almost 70 billion tonnes or 35% of carbon is absorbed by Amazon alone.
One can fully understand the importance of Amazon from these statistics.
Life in the Amazon is not limited to animals, plants and insects but it also has about 20 – 30 million humans.
Amazon has about 400 native tribes with no contact whatsoever with the outside world.
The forest means everything to them.
That’s where they are born, spend their lives and breathe their last.
Among these tribes, the Wari and Culina tribes were considered cannibals.
But this theory did not have the backing of strong evidence.
Their contact with the outside world seems rather impossible.
However, researchers have gained a lot of information about some of these tribes.
And they are in touch with these tribes.
In the recent past, an indigenous Amazon tribe was discovered which is too primitive to count beyond two.
According to a researcher, Dr Gordon, the people of this Piraha tribe are so primitive that they can’t draw a picture; not even a straight line.
The tribe has a population of 200 individuals.
As explained earlier, the Amazon produces about one fifth of the Earth’s oxygen.
Therefore, not just the Amazon, but all the forests and trees of the world are very important for human beings.
They are the key to reduce global warming by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.
Therefore, we cannot say this without a sad face, that like all other forests, Amazon has also fallen victim to human greed.
According to research, one fifth of Amazon forest has been cut since 1950.
Another research suggests that just last year, 10,881 square kilometer area of Amazon forest was destroyed.
Beside human-caused damage, Amazon has also faced the wrath of natural calamities.
During the fires of 2019, hundreds of thousands of animals in the Amazon were killed.
It also burnt everything in an area of 7600 square kilometers.
According to experts, the Brazilian government has encouraged agriculture and mining in the recent past.
And therefore, an increase in deforestation has been observed.
Now other countries like Peru and Bolivia are following the footsteps of Brazil.
Forests are not only important for wildlife but for human life in general as well.
Therefore, we advise you to take care of trees as it is the same as saving the future of humankind.
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