Welcome to the Amazon Rainforest, the world’s largest remaining tropical rainforest. More life hums, buzzes, chatters and bubbles here than anywhere else on the planet. One Amazonian tree can host more ant species than all of the British Isles put together, one hectare of forest boasts about as many frog species as all of North America, and the great expanse of the jungle contains more than twenty percent of the earth’s vascular plant species. Here you can find a monkey small enough to sit on your fingertip, an eight pound toad, a spider that eats birds, and the world’s largest snake, the 30-foot anaconda.
Moreover, forty percent of all of all the earth’s fresh water flows through the Amazon basin; more water than in the basins of the next six biggest rivers combined! In the Amazon river there are islands as big as Switzerland and otters bigger than men, and at certain points along it you can be in the middle and see neither shore. It snakes and swivels thousands of miles and draws in water from over 1500 water sources, including the Rio Napo in Ecuador, one of its primary tributaries plants are found in this equatorial swath of green.
From the Amazon come some of our favorite foods: avocado, black pepper, Brazil nuts, cayenne pepper, cashews, chocolate (cacao), cinnamon, eggplant, figs, ginger, sugarcane, vanilla, and yams. The rainforest also produces many medicines, such as quinine for malaria; curare for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease; as well as many industrial products, including latex, resins, timber, oil, and other minerals.