Over half of Earth’s animals and plants live in rainforests (frequently called “jewels of the earth”) which are located in the tropics, the area located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Capricorn, above and below the Equator. In this tropical region the sun shines around the same time every day, all year which helps keep the climate warm and reasonably stable.
South America is home to the world’s largest tropical rainforest, the expansive Amazon rainforest. This abundant and biologically rich forest extends over the Amazon basin, the planet’s second longest river, spreading into the Amazon Basin and 9 countries which including Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Surinam and Venezuela. The Amazon basin encompasses 1.2 billion acres (7,000,000 square kilometers); the forest itself is home to the largest variety of animals and plants and animals on Earth. As a matter of face, these thriving rainforests contain one in ten recognized species on Earth, 4,100 miles of impressive winding rivers.
The vast majority of the Amazon rainforest is found in Brazil (1/3 of the world’s rainforests), covering nearly 60% of the entire area of Brazil at 1 844 394 square miles (3 million square kilometers). These dense rainforests make Brazil one the most intriguing and beautiful countries on earth. Interesting facts about Brazil include that its rainforests consume a substantial amount of the earth’s Carbon Dioxide, releasing Oxygen in return (without which we couldn’t survive). Another interesting fact about rainforests is that about 80% of the food we eat initially came from rainforests including chocolate, tea, coffee, tomatoes, rice, bananas, potatoes, pineapples, corn and black pepper. See this article for more interesting facts about Brazil.
The Amazon rainforest covers more than 60% of Peruvian territory (292,032 miles), more than in any other country other than Brazil. The Peruvian Amazon rainforests are one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. Peru also has the largest number of bird species (44%) in the world and the third largest number of mammals (63%). There is also a high number of orchid, butterfly species in Peru.
This Central American country has extensive tropical rainforests and it is known for continually making outstanding efforts to protect its natural environment and resources. One of my favorite Costa Rica facts, among others, is that more than 12% of the nation’s total land mass is protected. Other Costa Rica fun facts include that it boasts Central America’s largest national park systems and its rainforests are home to thousands of known life forms and just as many that have yet to be defined. Check out this entire post on Costa Rica fun facts!
Democratic Republic of Congo
There are 521,512 square miles of rainforest located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the second largest rain forest in the world (after the Amazon). The Congo rainforest is known for its high levels of biodiversity, including over 10,000 animal species and 600 tree species. The Congo’s rain forests are home to captivating and endangered species including mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, okapi, bonobos and white rhinos. It was the Congo rainforests that were memorialized in the novel “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad.