“The Largest Rainforest on Earth”
LOCATION & INTRODUCTION
The Amazon Rainforest is indeed the mysterious place that has powerful attraction. Amazon rainforest is the biggest rainforest on the earth. It is also called Amazonia or Amazon Jungle. This forest covers the Basin of Amazon River which is located in the South America. Amazon River is the largest river of the world in reference of water discharge and the second longest river of the world after Nile. The Basin of Amazon River goes about seven million square kilometers of which five and half square kilometers is covered by the Amazon Rainforest. We can understand the widespread area of this Basin and of the Rainforest by the fact that it passes through the nine South American countries which include Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guyana. The most part of the forest is in Brazil which is about 60%.
The Amazon Rainforest has a long history. Historians say that this rainforest came into existence about 55 million years ago when the Amazon River changed its flowing direction from West towards the East. It was formed due to reduction in tropical temperature. This all happened when the Amazon Basin got warm and the climate got moist because of the widening of the Atlantic Ocean. There is the possibility that as the climate got wetter and the dinosaurs and other animals and plants got extinct, the rainforest may have spread to cover the entire continent. There is an amazing and interesting story associated with the forest. Initially people explored the place to find gold, silver and gems. Then the Portuguese explorers believed that there is an Eldorado (a place which is completely of gold) and women warriors are safeguarding the place. The explorers started to search the place but they never found it.
This mysterious forest is famous for a huge variety of animal and plant species. The diversity of species here in Amazon rainforest has no match around the world. You will find the largest collection of animal and plant species in this forest. There are about 40,000 plant species found here to date. A number of bird species, freshwater fish and butterflies are also found here. This region is so populated with different kind of species that about 2.5 million insect species, 3000 fish, 1294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians and 378 reptiles have been found here. In the river you can find Electric Eels which has the ability to produce electric shock that can be life threatening. Experts believe that it is the largest plant species collection on the earth which contains about more than a thousand types of plants is found in the area of just one square kilometer. This rainforest has trees as any other forest has in the world but these trees are different from others. There are the trees which are about 120 foot high.
The forest is not just populated with the animals, plants and birds species. Indigenous tribes who are the natives are settled here since thousands of years ago. Other than the natives of the area, there are number of people settled here for different reasons. There are about 30 million people settled here. Many pharmaceutical companies have established there facilities for research on plants and animals.
THREATS TO AMAZON
The Amazon Rainforest was declared the candidate of new seven wonders of nature. The biological richness of the forest has not yet revealed completely. But continuous deforestation has severe threats to this mysterious forest of the world. New studies have found that by the year 2030 about 55% of the rainforests of Amazon would have gone. If it happens then it would be a great disaster for the animals, plants, birds species and for the world. Intensity of the threat can be imagined by the fact that there have been droughts for three years. This is an alarming condition for the world climate.