The massive fire in the Amazon rainforest has left the world concerned. 72,843 fires have been detected so far by Brazil's space research centre INPE. Thousands of acres of fauna of the once lush green Amazon rainforest, tropical vegetation, trees are being razed, and that too for days.
Since August 15, more than 9,500 new forest fires broke out across Brazil, primarily in the Amazon basin. But what’s shocking is that this year alone, over 74,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil. This number is almost twice that of 2018’s total that stands somewhere at about 40,000.
The Amazon forest is the world's largest rainforest and it plays a crucial role in keeping our planet's carbon-dioxide levels in check. This is one of the reasons that the Amazon is often referred to as the 'lungs of our planet'. Here are 11 facts about the Amazon rainforest
The Amazon is home to 16,000 different species of trees, 2.5 million insect species, 40,000 plant species, 2,200 fish species, 1,300 bird species, 427 mammals, 430 amphibian species and 380 reptile species. The forest hosts many deadly creatures like electric eels, flesh-eating piranhas, poison dart frogs, green anacondas, jaguars, assassin bug, harpy eagle, Brazilian wandering spider, Amazonian giant centipede, bullet ant, vampire bat and some seriously venomous snakes like tree boas and pit vipers.
The Amazon trees block most of the sunlight; therefore, the floor of the forest is entirely dark. Only 1% of the light makes it to the floor.
The Amazon delivers 55 million gallons of water into the Atlantic ocean every second. And more than 20% of the world's oxygen is produced by the Amazon rainforest.
There are about 50 native tribes with their own language and culture living in the Amazon rainforest.
The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, covering 5.5 million square kilometres. If Amazon were a country, it would be the ninth largest in the world, measuring a whopping 2.5 million square miles.
The name Amazon was given by Spanish explorer Francisco Orellana, after he was attacked by female warriors named theIcamiabas, or women without husbands.
The Amazon rainforest contains more than 3,000 fruits. Only 200 of these are consumed in the western world.
The Kapok tree in the Amazon is the tallest, which can grow to a length of 200 ft.
The Amazon is found in South America, spanning across Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. Nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest is found in Brazil.
Due to deforestation, it is said that we are making more than 137 species extinct every day. Also, around 30% of our carbon emissions come from burning the Amazon rainforest.
Martin Strel was the first man to swim 5,268 m of the Amazon River from headwaters in Peru to the Brazilian port city of Belem. He holds the Guinness World Record for swimming the entire length.