You probably think that all you have to do to survive is eat and sleep. I bet you may not be aware that rainforests are so important for our survival as humans. Rainforests contain high levels of biodiversity and provide resources necessary for our survival.
Rainforests are very interesting and attractive part of our environment. From the Congo to the Amazon, every rainforest on earth has a unique assemblage of animals, plants, and people. A lot of plants and animal species can be found in the rainforest. Unfortunately, despite the importance of rainforest, human activities such as logging, agriculture, urban sprawl, as well as global warming continue to put rainforests at the danger of going extinct.
In this article, you will learn 10 mind-blowing facts about rain forests.
1. Rainforests Takes Less Than 3% of the Earth
Rainforests, no doubt, is one of the nature’s wonders. Rainforests take only about just 2% of the earth’s surface. As little as this might seem to you, what will blow your mind is that rainforest is home to over 50% of all the animals and plants on earth.
2. Amazon Rainforest is the World’s Largest Rainforest
You might have been hearing of Amazon (not the online marketplace) all your life, but you have no idea it is the world’s largest rainforest. Amazon rainforest covers about 40% of South American. About 2/3 (two-thirds) of Amazon rainforest lies within the borders of Brazil. Amazon rainforest is so large that it is nearly the same size as the continental United States.
After Amazon, the second-largest rainforest is Congo Basin, which is located in Central Africa. The third largest rainforest is located in New Guinea.
3. A Lot of Our Daily Foods Come From Rainforest Plants
Another amazing fact about rainforests is the food they produce. Some of the foods you consume daily such as coffees, bananas, papaya, avocados, cacao, mangos, and many others are products of tropical rainforests plants.
Apart from foods, a lot of herbs and medicine we use daily to treat illness, diseases, and stay healthy are gotten from tropical rainforests.
4. Humans Are Destroying Rainforests at a Pace of 8 Million Hectares Every Year
The greatest threat rainforests face is from humans. Studies showed that we are destroying rainforests at a rate of 8 million hectares a year. Between the year 2012 and 2014, countries such as Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Brazil, and even Malaysia have the highest rates of rainforest loss.
5. Rainforests Helps in Regulating Global Temperature
The reason why there has been so much outcry against the destruction of rainforests is because they help to regulate the world’s temperature and weather patterns.
It is well-known that rainforests are one of the earth’s largest reservoirs of carbon storage. The nature and activities of rainforests help to reduce the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
6. Rainforest Offer Hope For Cancer Treatment
One of the amazing facts about rainforest is that it offers hope for finding a cure to cancer. Scientists believed that plants which can finally bring cure of cancer can be found in tropical rainforest. Already, they have discovered some plant in the rainforest which proved helpful in the treatment for cancer.
7. People Depend on Rain Forest
For more than 1.2 billion people who are facing extreme poverty, Rainforests serve as a source of all they need to survive. Without these rainforests, these people will find it extremely difficult to live.
8. Rainforests are Source of Most Medicines
Over the years, a lot of medicines we depend on to survive were sourced from tropical rainforests across the world. Most of the medicine we use in the treatment of diabetes, rheumatism, inflammation, muscle tension, heart and skin conditions, malaria, glaucoma, arthritis, cancer and a lot more come from rainforests.
Research shows that an estimated 25% of Western medicines were sourced from rainforest plants. According to U.S. National Cancer Institute, about 70% of the plants used in the treatment of cancer are found in rainforests.
9. Uncountable Species of Monkeys
Another amazing fact that will blow your mind is species of monkeys. Scientists believed that there are so many species of monkeys in rainforests that it will take them many years to discover all of them. Just in 2009, a brand new species of monkey known as “Mura’s tamarin” was discovered in a rainforest in Brazil.
10. Rainfall in Rainforest
Just like the name suggests, rainforests get a good amount of rain. In fact, there are about 100 inches of rainfall in rainforest every year. However, there is less rainfall in monsoonal areas. Most of the world’s rainforests lie near the equator.
Rainforests present an amazing sight during rainfall, since the trees here act as a huge sponge, it will take about ten minutes for the water to reach the ground from trees during rainfall. This is because the nature of the trees allows them to bunch the water of the failing rain.
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