Rainforests – Lungs Of The World

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Rainforests, the magical homes to thousands of mysterious and jaw dropping species, are places with giant, lofty trees, a hot climate and ample rainfall. Apart from being enchantingly beautiful, rainforests are vital to our planet and our very existence.

Here are the most important and interesting facts about rainforests, the lungs of the world.

Fact 1: According to the United Nations Environment Programme, every second an area of a rainforest the size of a football field is destroyed.

Fact 2: Trees in a rainforest are very densely packed so that during rainfall it takes a drop of rain 10 minutes to reach the ground.

Fact 3: Asian rainforests are home to a diverse variety of animals. Frogs, lizards, squirrels and snakes actually fly through the damp air! Well, truth is they can’t soar through the sky like birds, but they do travel like hang gliders, parachuting of trees and splashing onto the ground.

Fact 4: Rainforests only cover 2% of the Earth’s surface, but are home to 50% of the Earth’s plants and animals.

Fact 5: The only place on Earth without rainforests is Antarctica.

Fact 6: There are two types of rainforests in the world – temperature and tropical rainforests. Temperature rainforests actually existed on almost every continent of the world, but their number has halved throughout the years and today they only cover about 75 million acres.

Fact 7: Why are rainforests so important? Well, without rainforests, global warming would be more emphasized. Rainforests actually regulate temperatures and weather patterns by soaking up rain and slowly releasing it.

Fact 8: Tropical rainforests take in large quantities of carbon dioxide and convert it into breathable air! They are the greatest source of clean air on the planet.

Fact 9: Ingredients for our medicine largely comes from rainforests. For example, nearly half of the prescribed drugs used in the US are made from rainforest plants. Scientists confirm that more than 2000 plants found in tropical rainforests have anti-cancer properties.

Fact 10: Rainforests are known for fresh water. Actually, one fifth of the world’s fresh water is located in the Amazon!

Fact 11: Migratory birds live in rainforests during the Northern winters.

Fact 12: Indigenous people had a special relationship with rainforests. According to history, before 1500 A.D., six million indigenous people lived in the Brazilian Amazon. But, with the disappearance of rainforests the people, who were spiritually bonded with its species, sough new homes.  The number of Amazon dwellers fell to a staggering 250 000 people in the early 1990’s.

Fact 13: The Amazon River, which swirls through the rainforest like a giant serpent, is the river with the greatest volume of water in the world.

Fact 14: In the Amazon there are 18 000 diversities of plants, 434 species of mammals, 239 types of reptiles, 225 amphibians and more freshwater fish than anywhere else in the world.

Facts 15: 90% of the world’s 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty depend on forest resources for their livelihood.  Furthermore, 57% of forests including tropical forests are located in developing countries.

Fact 16: According to fossil records, the rainforests of Southeast Asia have been around for 70 to 100 million years. These rainforests have 1,000 species for every square kilometer.

Fact 17: Bananas, nuts, coffee and tea, oils, cocoa, vanilla, spices and many other foods originate from rainforests.

Fact 18: Wood from rainforests can be found all around us. Tropical forests supply us with some of the most beautiful quality woods such as mahogany, rosewood, sandalwood and others.

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