Want to know more about the world’s rainforests? They are truly remarkable and biodiverse. Here are 25 Interesting facts about the rainforests that you probably didn’t know before reading this!
Further below, you can also read some tips on how to help conserve the rainforests and some good organizations.
1. It can rain 80 to 400 inches (200 to 1000 cm) per year
To be considered a rainforest it must rain about 80 inches (200 cm) per year, but most of them get more rain by far.
2. Only around 6% of Earth’s land surface is rainforest
They used to cover around 14% but human interaction and development have destroyed much of it. The reason for the destruction is mostly for farming purposes or land for cattle.
3. 80% of natural foods that we consume originated in rainforests
Did you know that some of our most common crops originated in the rainforests? Such as rice, bananas, oranges, pineapple, papaya, mangoes, avocadoes, limes, coconuts, maize, cacao and many more.
For a food lover like me, this is without a doubt one of the most fascinating facts about rainforests.
4. Home to more than 50% of all animal species in the world
The World’s rainforest is some of the most biodiverse places on Earth, and they’re home to at least 50% of all animal species in the world. What makes it even more unique is the fact that the majority of the animals can’t survive elsewhere.
5. There are two kinds of rainforests
These are tropical rainforests, which are warm and have many different kinds of trees. Then there are temperate rainforests, which are cooler and usually have fewer species of trees.
To be considered a tropical rainforest it has to rain between 80-400 inches per year.
6. 25% of modern medicine is derived from the flora from rainforests
Despite this fact about rainforests, there are so many untapped resources that haven’t even been analyzed for its medicinal value. Considering that so many of the plants are endemic, we surely must be missing out on potential cures for diseases.
This is definitely one of the most important facts about rainforests.
7. Deforestation has caused the highest extinction rate in history
Our era has been named the sixth mass-extinction and every day large parts of the rainforests are destroyed. It is estimated that 200 to 2000 animal species go extinct each year from deforestation.
8. Limited farming potential
The deforestation for farming purposes is not very successful long-term since the soil can’t sustain crops for more than 1-2 years. The reason for this is because of the nutrient-deficient soil that is too acidic.
9. Rainforests are found in every continent except Antarctica
Most people think of the Amazon when they hear the word rainforest, but as a matter of fact, every continent except Antartica has a rainforest of some sort.
The reason why there are no rainforests in Antartica is because of the climate. It can’t be too cold, and it can’t be too dry.
10. Congo Rainforest is the second largest of the world’s rainforests
Few people know that the second largest rainforest can be found in Africa, namely in Congo. It has an area of 1,780,000 km2 and is home to an incredible amount of biodiversity.
11. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world
Experts say that as much as 20% of the planet’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest alone. It has an area of 5,500,000 km2 and covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America.
It runs through the following countries: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana.
12. They are still home to some native tribes
No one really knows how many indigenous people that are still living in local tribes in the rainforests around the world, but it is estimated that there are 250,000 people living outside the modern world, mostly in the Amazon forest and Papua New Guinea.
13. Rainforests act as natural water filters
Rainforests are vital for maintaining the water cycle in a natural way on our planet. They add water to the atmosphere, and they keep pollution and debris from flowing into water supplies.
They also slow down rainwater and send it into underground reserves. Perhaps one of the most fascinating facts about rainforests.
14. Daintree is the oldest rainforest in the world
Experts estimate that Daintree is around 180 million years old. Many of the animals living here have special characteristics, such as the cassowary.
Besides its old age, this rainforest is also very important for the biodiversity of Australia, and it’s home to 30% of all frogs, reptiles and marsupial species in Australia as well as 90% of the butterfly and bat species. Daintree is also home to at least 12,000 species of insects.
15. Both animals and humans rely on thriving rainforests
Did you know that about 1 billion people in the world are dependent on the rainforests of our world? That’s a lot, and that’s without considering the oxygen that they produce.
The rainforests also support life for a lot of different animal species, and without them, they won’t survive.
5 x Fun Facts about Rainforests
- A tree known as the idiot fruit grows in Australia’s Daintree rainforest.
- There’s a wrestling frog in Central American rainforests
- Some pine trees in Tasmania rainforest can live up to 2000 years
- The ground floor of the rainforests rarely see sunlight in the densest parts
- There are carnivorous plants growing in the rainforest, such as the Nepenthes rafflesiana and the famous Venus flytrap
5 x Rainforest Facts for Kids
- It can take ten minutes for a falling raindrop to travel from a rainforest’s thick canopy to the floor
- The black howler monkeys can be heard up to 5 kilometers away
- Veiled stinkhorn fungi is a smelly kind of fungi that has the smell of rotting food
- The rainforests are home to animals such as the jaguar, capybara, toucan birds, sloth, orangutan, piranhas, ocelots, macaws, the green anaconda and the red-eyed tree frog just to mention a few
- A four square mile patch of rainforest contains as many as 750 species of trees, 150 species of butterflies, 1500 flowering plants and 400 species of birds
General Facts about Rainforests
Rainforests are characterized by their high amount of rainfall. But they differ depending on where on Earth they are located. A tropical rainforest has a warm and wet climate. These are usually found near the equator, about 10 degrees north or south of it.
Temperate rainforest, however, can be found in the so-called oceanic moist climates. They also receive a high amount of rainfall per year but is characterized by a milder climate with lower temperatures than the tropical rainforests.
The largest temperate rainforests can be found on the Pacific coast of North America.
10 Largest Rainforests in the world
If you’re looking for some Rainforest facts it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest in the world.
- Congo rainforest
- Valdivian Temperate Rainforest
- Southeast Asian Rainforest
- Tongass National Forest
- Kinabalu National Park
- Santa Elene Cloud Forest Reserve
- Sinharaja Forest Reserve
- Pacific Temperate Rainforest
How you can support the rainforests
Due to severe deforestation and illegal logging as well as poaching of animals, the rainforests are hurting. As much as 200,000 acres of rainforest are burned every day.
If we don’t come together and form a global resistance against this madness, greed and money will make us lose some of the most precious parts of our planet.
- Write complaints to your local government
- Join movements that protect rainforests
- Contribute with money and awareness
- Share the news with friends and family
- Support organizations that make a difference
- Stop buying products that are causing deforestation in rainforests
- Write complaints to the companies and tell them that you will not buy any of their products unless they stop
Organizations that make a difference and protects the rainforests
How many of these Rainforest facts did you already know? Share your result in the comment section!