Amazon River – Rainforest River
The Amazon is the mightiest river in South America. It carries more water than any other river. It is about 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers) long.
Amazon Rainforests cover only about 6% of the Earth’s surface and they are also home to a vast number of plant and animal species.
There are so many plants, animals, birds, and insects there that no one has been able to list them all! Some of them exist nowhere else in the world.
In 1541, a Spanish soldier named Orellana sailed down the river. He had to fight many women soldiers who lived by the river. It made him think of the Amazons, who were the mighty women soldiers of Greek mythology. So he called the river “Amazon.”
People destroy the Amazon rainforest. Today, the rain forests are destroyed at the speed 1.5 acres per second. Deforestation threatens the existence of the Amazon River. Plants and animals are disappearing.
– A new species of ants found in the forests of the Amazon is the oldest of the existing species. It was named Martialis heureka, which can be translated as “ant from Mars”. Ants do not have eyes, but they have large jaws. They are underground ants. Scientists have compared their finding to the discovery of the platypus among mammals, as the insect has a very ancient structure features. It is believed that ants evolved from wasps about 120 million years ago. “Martian” ant has similarities with the fossil wasp, which is considered “intermediary” between wasps and ants.
– Slovenian swimmer Martin Strel is the first person who has swum the Amazon for a little more than two months. He swam 80 kilometers per day.
– In 1999 the first National Pororoca Surf Championship was organized. Four year later Brazilian surfer Pikuruta Salazar set a world record surfing on the Amazon wave for 37 minutes
– There is the river called Hamza under the Amazon, at a depth of 4 kilometers.
– 20% of the oxygen on Earth are produced by the Amazon rainforest.
– On December 24, 1971 an airplane Lockheed L-188 Electra was hit by lightning and began to break down in the air. It fell deep into the rainforest, approximately 500 kilometers from the capital of Lima. 17-year-old schoolgirl Julianne Kopke was fastened to one of the chairs in a row, which had broken away from the rest of the body. After the falling the girl had a broken collarbone, strongly scratched arm, the whole body was covered with bruises and scratches. The girl was able to survive and 9 days later she found fishermen who rescued her.
Several feature films have been made based on the true story of Julianne Kopke, including Miracles Still Happen (1974), which helped Larissa Savitskaya survive the crash ten years later.
– There is a theory that the Amazon is actually a huge orchard, the remainder of the civilization that flourished in the area about 3,000 years ago.
– Once Amazon flowed into the Pacific Ocean, but then changed its direction in the opposite direction.
– In the forests of the Amazon a microscopic fungus (Pestalotiopsis microspora) was discovered. It eats only plastic. Moreover, it can do it even in the absence of oxygen.
– Once Henry Ford built a working settlement in the Amazon, where lived people who collected rubber crop. Today Fordlandia is an abandoned ghost town.
– The daily flow of the Amazon is a supply of water, which is enough for the whole city of New York for 12 years.
– In the forests of the Amazon are more than 3,000 kinds of fruit.
– The Amazon rainforest is home to over half of the 10 million species living on our planet.
– The first and the only bridge over the Amazon was opened in Rio Negro on October 10, 2010, near Manaus.
– The Amazon contains 20% of all fresh water on Earth.
– Giant tropical forests in the Amazon basin extend over a distance of more than 5,400,000 km2.
– About 80% of the food we eat, originally native to tropical forests. Some of the most popular are coffee, chocolate, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, black pepper, pineapple and corn.