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15 Interesting facts about the Amazon Rainforest

15 Interesting facts about the Amazon Rainforest

What do you know about the Amazon Rainforest? Here are 15 Interesting facts about the Amazon Rainforest that I bet you didn’t know!

It’s the largest tropical rainforest in the world

The Amazon Rainforest covers an area of 5.5 million square kilometers, which is even bigger than India, which is one of the largest countries in the world. It is home to millions of animals and plants and plays an important role in Earth’s ecosystem. 

There are still native tribes living there

As many as 400-500 native tribes are estimated to be living in the Amazon Rainforest. Some 50 tribes or so might never have had contact with the modern world, although more tribes are attacked by illegal loggers who trespass on their land.

Some of the native tribes have chosen to mix a modern life with the Amazonian life as well. 

Amazonian tribe

Photo: Anton_Ivanov /

Some 20% of the world’s oxygen is produced here

The Amazon Rainforest is often cited as the “lungs of the Earth” and that’s true in many ways because about 20 percent of the total oxygen on our planet is produced here in this rainforest.

Without it, millions of people and animals would be affected. Unfortunately, the future doesn’t look very bright with an increasing number of illegal logging as well as deforestation to make space for agriculture and cattle. 

Home to more than 50% of the world’s biodiversity

If the Amazon Rainforest would disappear, we would lose about half of the biodiversity on this planet. With all animals, insects, and plants considering, biologists estimate that more than 10 million species are living within the Amazonian borders.

Perhaps one of the most amazing facts about the Amazon Rainforest, and something that is worth to save and protect!

Amazon rainforest facts

Photo: Shutterstock

150 acres of the Amazon rainforest is destroyed every minute

This is one of the sad Amazon Rainforest facts that sadly gets worse every year. More and more of the rainforest is burnt down for agriculture or illegal logging, and the companies supporting it become bolder and bolder along with the illegal poachers and tree loggers. 

Martin Strel Swam the entire Amazon River

Perhaps one of the most spectacular facts about the Amazon Rainforest is the accomplishment of Martin Strel who managed to swim the entire Amazon River, which is the second-longest river in the world. 

Not only is it a long distance, but the river is also full of dangerous animals that could kill him.

Amazon river

Photo: Shutterstock

25% of pharmaceuticals are made from Amazonian plants

Some 25 percent of modern medicine is produced with ingredients found in Amazonian plants. With that said, only an estimated amount of 1% of all plants in the rainforest has been tested for their abilities to help humans. 

The treetops are so thick that light rarely reaches the ground

Much of the Rainforest’s ground barely see any light due to thick treetops in large parts of the Amazon. The sun is shining on the canopy and less than 2% of the total 12 hours of sunlight reaches the ground. 

Facts about the Amazon rainforest

Photo: R.M. Nunes/Shutterstock

The name amazon was given by a Spanish explorer

Last but not least of these interesting facts about the Amazon rainforest. You might wonder, how did it get its name?

As a matter of fact, the name was given by the Spanish explorer Francisco Orellana who was attacked by female warriors, which he compared to the Amazons found in Greek mythology. 

It is home to the largest snake in the world

The Green Anaconda is lurking around in the Amazonian waters, and it’s the largest snake in the world with lengths up to 9 meters (30 feet). Luckily for humans, it doesn’t really see us as prey but it could definitely kill an adult human. 

Green Anaconda

Photo: Shutterstock

5 x Amazon Rainforest Facts for kids

  • There are more than 2.5 million species of insects living in the Amazon
  • Electric eels can be found in the Amazon River
  • The river is also home to the infamous Piranha fish
  • 55 million gallons of water is poured into the Atlantic ocean every second thanks to the Amazon rainforest
  • The Amazon Rainforest is located in 9 countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana as well as Suriname and French Guiana.
Amazon Rainforest Facts for kids

Photo: guentermanaus/Shutterstock

General Facts about the Amazon Rainforest

  • Total size: 5,500,000 km2 (2,100,000 sq mi)
  • Location: South America (Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Guyana as well as Suriname and French Guiana)
  • Name in Spanish: Selva amazónica
  • Name in Portuguese: Floresta amazônica

How old is the Amazon Rainforest?

The Amazonian rainforest dates back to the Eocene Era, which lasted some 56 million years ago until 33.9 million years ago. There is no exact date but it’s believed to have existed for at least 55 million years. 

During that period and until today, there have been numerous changes to the ecology and various animals and plants have faced extinction while some have carried on with their existence. 

Is the Amazon rainforest dangerous?

There are certainly dangerous animals living in the rainforest, but most of them have little interest in humans and don’t see us as prey. Furthermore, one of the world’s most poisonous animal is living here, the poison dart frog, which is very poisonous and lethal if touched.

Poison Dart Frog

Photo: Shutterstock

What is unique about the Amazon rainforest?

The large size of the rainforest and biodiversity with an incredible ecosystem makes it very unique. Some 50% of the world’s animals, insects, and plants can be found here, which is definitely a unique fact about the Amazon Rainforest. 

What would happen if the Amazon rainforest disappeared?

Not only would we lose an immense number of species, but the air quality would become worse around the world, and the weather would change as well.

The fact is that scientists aren’t even sure what will happen, but they do know that the result will end in catastrophic events for the people depending on the rainforest and potentially everyone else in the world as well.

How many trees are cut down in the Amazon each year?

Deforestation is a huge problem with more than 7 billion trees being cut down each year. It’s one of the main threats against the survival of the Amazon. 

How many of these Amazon rainforest facts did you already know? Leave a comment below!