Top 10 facts about the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon is synonymous with South America. It’s the largest of the rainforests, supporting a huge number of plants and animals and hugely important to our own survival. Taking up most of the Amazon Basin, the Amazon rainforest is mostly contained within Brazil, and stretches into Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and smaller parts of some other South American countries. There’s loads to know about the Amazon but here are ten interesting facts about the Amazon Rainforest (and rainforests in general) that we think are the best ten to know.

Discover the Amazon Jungle by foot, boat and from the tree tops
Discover the Amazon Jungle by foot, boat and from the tree tops

1. Around 80% of the food we eat originally came from rainforests. Some of the more popular examples include coffee, chocolate, rice, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, black pepper, pineapples and corn. At The Inside Track we basically live on coffee. That’s reason enough to save the rainforest!

2. Tropical rainforests only cover about 6% of the Earth’s surface, but they are home to more than half the world’s total plant and animal species.

3. The forest floor is almost completely dark – with less than 1% of the available sunlight making it through the tree canopy above.

4. There are around 3000 fruits found in rainforests, and in the west we make use of around 200 of them. However, indigenous tribes make use of over 2000!

5. The rainforests have begun to be destroyed in the last 100 years to make way for farm land. Today, the rainforests are being destroyed by 1.5 acres every second. That’s not a typo.


6. With deforestation continuing at such a fast rate, we’ve created the most rapid extinction rate in the history of the world. 137 rainforest species are exterminated completely every single day.

7. Over a quarter of the medicines we use today have their origins in the rainforests – and that’s after only about 1% of rainforest plants have been examined for their medicinal properties. Imagine what else could be there? It’s not outlandish to think that our best chance of curing the diseases that plague our world could lie within the rainforest. But with so many species exterminated every day, we may never find out.

8. We often think that the soil in the rainforest is really fertile to support such a huge range of plant and animal life. But rainforest land is not really any good for farming. Once cleared, the soil is of such low quality that it can hardly be used to grow anything. After a year or two of farming, the land is totally bereft of nutrients – leaving a useless patch of land.

9. Some people call the rainforests ‘the world’s lungs’, but decomposition of plant matter absorbs as much oxygen as the trees produce. It’s probably more accurate to think of them as having a cooling effect on the global climate, as they absorb a huge amount of heat from the sun. About 30% of our carbon emissions come from one thing – burning the rainforests.

10. If deforestation continues, we’ll completely lose the rainforests within the next 40 years.

Clearly now is the time to visit this amazing region, learn more about this natural marvel and to help gain and spread awareness about how urgent the need to save the rainforest is. Stay in jungle lodges or riverboats and take in the beauty of this biologically diverse region. Go hiking, swimming, canoeing or simply photograph the many thousands of mammals, birds, reptiles and other creatures all sharing a home within the Amazon.

Source: How Rainforests Work

43 comments on “Top 10 facts about the Amazon Rainforest

  1. The Peruvian jungle has a diversity of flora and fauna that makes this trip an unforgettable experience

  2. needs the amount of species of the animals xx

    • Good point! This is a hotly contested issue though among biodiversity experts. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say: “The region is home to about 2.5 million insect species, tens of thousands of plants, and some 2,000 birds and mammals. To date, at least 40,000 plant species, 2,200 fishes, 1,294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles have been scientifically classified in the region. One in five of all the bird species in the world live in the rainforests of the Amazon, and one in five of the fish species live in Amazonian rivers and streams. Scientists have described between 96,660 and 128,843 invertebrate species in Brazil alone.”

      • wow! thanks so much! i needed these facts for a project for science and i couldnt find it anywhere! you are so helpful! THANK YOU!

  3. i would really like to have a fieldtrip to the amazon, it would be awesome!!!

  4. I would really like to visit it someday.

  5. i really enjoyed these facts! great

  6. I`m doing a research project and this has helped ALOT!

  7. ‘the rainforests are being destroyed by 1.5 acres every second’, absolutely shocking!!

  8. I`m doing a research project and this has helped ALOT!

  9. i love this website it gives alot of of infomation

  10. Thanks for putting this page up

  11. this page was helpful for my science project

  12. I needed this for my geography homework thnx

  13. I like this it helped me with my project

  14. This is useful information when my group needs to know about the rainforest

  15. Omg!!! I am shocked to listen these facts…as I am a nature lover I would’nt like this deforestation…please save these lungs of the earth to save yourself….this is the only densed forest in the world ….so please save this amazon forest…☺️

  16. Are we that stupid! Top of the food chain yet so short sited! I worry about my kids future!

  17. We are just enemy to ourselves. Omg! please save Amazon forest. My country Ethiopia lost beautiful forest within few years and currently affected by shortage of rain repeatedly.

  18. so pretty i would love to go

  19. Wow! Great……I was searching for these facts…for my project… Thanks

  20. I loved it for my school project

  21. It was very helpful with my rainforest project thank you

  22. My friend is going to see the rainforest and I think he will enjoy his stay omg it’s beautiful I wish I can visit this place .

  23. cheyenne marie shepherd

    November 1, 2017 at 12:20 am Reply

    hi, international team great paragraph on the amazon rain forest and this is really helping me because I’m studying the amazon rain forest, btw witch means by the way I am in the fifth grade so I’m great full l for this paragraph..

  24. this works for my project

  25. omg so pretty

  26. it need more info about the landscape but was still helpful

  27. Another very Interesting fact about Amazon rainforest is that there are 16,000 tree species and billions of trees in the Amazon.

  28. this website is great it helped me a lot!

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