The Amazon rainforest, also known as Amazonia, or the Amazon jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America. This basin encompasses seven million square kilometers (1.7 billion acres), of which five and a half million square kilometers (1.4 billion acres) are covered by the rainforest.
The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world. The Amazon rainforest was short-listed in 2008 as a candidate to one of the New7Wonders of Nature by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation.
The Amazon Basin is the planets largest reservoir of fresh water. One fifth of all running water on the planet flows through the Amazon
The Amazon River is 6,868 km (4000 miles) long, the same distance as North Cape (Honningsvåg - Norway) to Las Palmas (Canary Islands - Spain), a trip that will take you 4 days and 5 hours if you are traveling by car and don't stop to eat and sleep (Ship from Cadiz to Las Palmas).
Special Things about Amazon Jungle
One hectare in the Amazon rainforest has been calculated to have a value of $6.820 (USD) if intact forest is sustainable harvested for fruits, latex, and timber; $1.000 (USD) if clear-cut for commercial timber (not sustainable harvested); or $148 (USD) if used as cattle pasture. In money, the Amazon rainforest should be worth USD 4.092.000.000.000 if sustainable harvested or only 2% of that number if used as cattle pasture.
For the global climate (and you) the Amazonian rainforest has a much bigger value. The Amazonian rainforest is estimated to accumulate 0.62 ±0.37 tonnes of carbon per hectare, per annum. Approximately, 300 million tons, but the logging and deforestation of the Amazon produces 200 million tons of CO2 every year, so a sustainable harvesting of the resources in the Amazon would really make a big difference for the global climate.
The Startling Diversity of Life
- The Amazon is one of the richest areas in the world in animal and plant diversity.
- There are more plant species in one hectare in Amazon than the whole of Europe.
- Over 200 species of trees can be found on one hectare in the Amazon region.
- One tree has been shown to have 72 different species of ants living in it.
- There are about 30 times more fish species in the Amazon river than in all European rivers.
The diversity and contrast of life in the Amazon rainfores
- The Amazon Water Lily (Vitoria-Regia) is the biggest flower in the world with a diameter of two meters
- The caranguejeira spider is bigger than a baseball.
- One species of monkey weighing 130 grams is about the size of a toothbrush.
- World's Longest Snake of 30meter length was found in amazon jungle only.
Yet, the range of plant and animal species in Amazon remains largely unknown.Scientists estimate that only 40 % of all insect species have so far been identified. Over 30,000 species of plants have been identified so far but another 20, 000 are estimated to remain undiscovered. Only during the 1990's seven species of monkeys, two species of birds and dozens of species of frogs and fish have been discovered.