The Amazon Rainforest is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth. Not only is it home to a bunch of unique animals, but we derive a lot of essential medicines from the different plants that grow there.
You’ve probably heard that the Amazon is a cool place and that it’s a vital part of our planet, but how much do you really know about it? Keep reading to learn a few fun facts about the Amazon Rainforest.
10 percent of our wildlife is found in the Amazon Rainforest.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Amazon is home to 10 percent of the world’s known species. And to make things even crazier, a new species — either plant or animal — is found every other day on average. We are still finding species that we didn’t even know existed!
National Geographic really puts things into perspective with this fact:
“The Amazon has an incredibly rich ecosystem — there are around 40,000 plant species, 1,300 bird species, 3,000 types of fish, 430 mammals, and a whopping 2.5 million different insects.”
When you think about how huge the Amazon Rainforest really is, it makes sense. But that doesn’t make the numbers any less shocking.
The Amazon is home to the Pirarucu.
One of the many species that live in the Amazon River is the pirarucu, which is also known as the arapaima. This is a huge fish that can grow up to 3 meters long. Not only is it gigantic, but it has some other scary features as well — it has teeth on the roof of its mouth and its tongue, according to National Geographic.
Can you imagine seeing this thing in real life? No, thank you.
Over 300 Indigenous languages are spoken in the Amazon region.
At least 30 million people live in the Amazon, and over 2 million of them are Indigenous, according to WWF. There are over 400 Indigenous groups in the Amazon — the most on Earth — and 300 different Indigenous languages.
It's estimated that around 50 of these groups have never contacted the outside world, as per National Geographic.
If you imagined the Amazon floor as a bright place, you’re very, very wrong.
A rainforest sounds like a vibrant place full of light and color. And in some places, it is. But in other parts of the Amazon, the canopy of trees is so thick that hardly any light reaches the forest floor. Some light can peak through the growth, but it’s not much.
Mongabay describes the ecosystem: “The forest floor is the ground layer of the forest made up of the trunks of trees, fungus, and low-growing vegetation.”
Most of the life in the rainforest exists in the trees, about the dark Amazon floor.
When it rains in the Amazon, the water doesn’t immediately reach the ground.
Sometimes when you see a picture of the Amazon Rainforest, you’re looking at a lot of trees and greenery. Well, that’s no joke. The Amazon’s canopy is so thick that it takes 10 minutes for the rain to reach the ground. That’s how thick the trees and leaves are in the forest!