When you are paddling the Amazon river, or any of its tributaries for that matter, taking an Amazon river cruise, or jungle trekking in Peru, Colombia or Ecuador for instance, you will know you are visiting the most powerful and diverse natural phenomenon on Earth, not to mention the awe-inspiring experience you will have in front of its timelessness, indescribable beauty...
The following list of Amazon rainforest facts doesn't pretend to be exhaustive or scientifically elaborated, it only aspires to give you some background info for your next adventure travel in South America.
Amazon Rainforest Facts:
More than 20% of Earth's oxygen is produced in this area, thus the name "Lungs of the Planet".
With 2,5 million square miles, the Amazon rainforest represents 54% of the total rainforests left of the planet.
Amazon rainforest birds account for at least one third of the world's bird species, being toucan the most popular icon.
More than half of the world's estimated ten million species of plants, animals and insects live in the tropical forest. Read more at Amazon rainforest animals.
70% of plants found to have anticancer properties are found only in the rainforest.
The number of edible fruits found in the rainforest is estimated in 3,000. Amazon natives consume more than 1,500, but only 200 are cultivated for use today.
In 1500 there were an estimated 6 to 9 million Amazon natives. By 1900 the number has gone down to one million left in Brazil.
Today, the number is believed to be of around 250,000 Amazon natives, comprising 215 ethnic groups with 170 different languages.
There may also be fifty or so Amazon tribes living in the depths of the Amazon rainforest that have never had contact with the outside world.
An estimated number of 2,700 million acres of the rainforest are burned each year.