The largest tropical forest in the world, the Amazon, holds great biodiversity, is located in the largest state in Brazil and occupies the territory of eight more countries: Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. In 2009, it was considered 7 Wonders of Nature by the Seven Wonders of the Modern World Foundation. Here follow 7 things you need to know about the amazing Amazon:
1. “Indians” are not all the same
Popularly known as “Indians”, the indigenous population in the region is distributed throughout the state and have different traditions, myths and values. The most commonly found ethnicities are Tikuna, Guarani-Kaiowá, Yanomami (which also occupies the territory of the State of Roraima), Sateré-mawé, Mundurucu and Mura.
There are also the “New Villages”, formed by Indians of different ethnicities who left their native tribes seeking interaction with life in the city. In failing to adapt in urban centers, they create a type of “New Village”, a little distant from big cities, but with the possibility of access for children to study, for some to try work. One of these indigenous communities is located on the Tarumã River.
In addition to the indigenous population, the riverside inhabitants, called caboclos, are also present. Coming from miscegenation of whites and Indians, a good part of them live from the production of cassava and rubber.
2. The Amazon River is not born in the Amazon
The source of the Amazon River is in the Andes, in southern Peru. When it enters the Brazilian territory it is called Rio Solimões and finally, in Manaus, after the junction with Rio Negro, it receives the name of Amazonas.
Before coming together, the waters of the two rivers flow side by side for approximately 12 kilometers without mixing. The phenomenon occurs due to the difference in temperatures, density and speed of these rivers. To witness the beauty of the two rivers and the meeting of the waters is simply wonderful!
3. Foods you never tasted (but you should!)
The fruits of the north are a separate attraction and everything is made there: tucumã bread, soursop ice cream, cupuaçu chocolate, açaí wine, araçá-boi sweet, camu-camu liqueurs. And there are some foods that are a little better known around the country, such as the count’s fruit and the pupunha palm heart!
4. 80% of the planet’s fresh water is in the Amazon
Have you ever wondered how many rivers there are in the Amazon? The region has more than a thousand tributaries. The rivers there have different colors because of the substances and nutrients found in their compositions. Black water rivers, for example, are rich in humic and fulvic acids, resulting from the decomposition of humus in the soil, such as the Rio Negro. The clear-water rivers, on the other hand, contain little acid and are born from the crystalline shields, for example the Tapajós River. The rivers of muddy waters come from mountainous regions providing this color, the Amazon River is in that category.
5. Many legends of Brazilian folklore are set in the Amazon
Folklore is part of the Brazilian imagination. Who has never heard stories told by grandmothers and headless mule teachers, a girl who falls in love with dolphins, a naughty boy with his feet back and another naughty boy who jumps on one foot?
The legend of the pink dolphin, who lives in the rivers of the Amazon, and in the early hours of the night becomes a beautiful young woman who seduces young single women. The dolphin conducts its meetings to the bottom of the river, where the girls get pregnant.
The Curupira legend tells the story of an entity that protects the fauna and flora of the forest. Curupira is known for having his feet turned back.
The legends with female figures, on the other hand, include the mermaid Iara who attracts men for her singing and beauty and the legend of Vitória Régia. In this legend, the Moon was a god who dated Indians. One of them, the young warrior Naiá falls in love with the Moon and, one night, seeing the moon reflected in the waters, she gets too close to the lake and drowns. Moved by the situation, the moon god turns the young woman into the Victoria-regia flower that survives under the waters.
6. The land of waterfalls is in the Amazon
If you think you’ve known enough waterfalls, it’s because you’ve never seen those in the Amazon. In the city of Presidente Figueiredo, next to Manaus, it is possible to find 159 waterfalls, 7 rapids, 9 caves and caves. There, there are options for sports such as abseiling, rafting, zip lines, buoy-cross, kayaking, tree climbing and jungle trails.
7. Animals from Amazonian fauna go beyond monkeys and macaws
What animals can we see in the Amazon?
There are about three thousand species in the rivers. The main fish in the Amazon region are tucunares, surubins, piranhas, jaús and tambaquis. About 300 species of mammals inhabit the land, including jaguar, tapir, maned wolf, deer, capybara, otter and armadillo. Not to mention reptiles like alligators, turtles and snakes. In the air, hundreds of parrots, macaws, clams, herons, toucans, sparrows, hawks and owls.