Curious Facts about Brazil

[Português]

Due to its strong connection with nature, people from other countries often think that Brazilians live in the woods and use vines as means of transport. It is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world with the largest fresh water reserves on earth and one third of the remaining tropical forests. It is estimated that one in 10 existing species of plants or animals are in Brazil. Did you know that…

… Brazil is named after a tree?

According to Frei Vicente do Salvador and Pero de Magalhães Gandavo, Brazil was named after a tree, “pau-brasil”, from which a red resin was extracted and used to dye fabric. Nowadays the official name of the country is República Federativa do Brasil (Federative Republic of Brazil).

… Brazilian bees could prevent tooth decay?

Dentists from the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York and food scientists at the State University of Campinas in Brazil have discovered that a substance that Brazilian honeybees make to protect their hives might prove to be a potent anti-cavity agent. The substance is propolis, a sticky material like glue that bees make to hold their hives together. In a hive, the substance is used to seal holes, keep the hive clean, and even to embalm dead insects.

…the Amazon River is the largest in the world in terms of water volume?

It contains eleven times the water volume of the Mississippi, during the high water season the river’s mouth may be 482 km wide, and every day up to 152,4 million km3 of water flow into the Atlantic. The Amazon’s daily freshwater discharge into the Atlantic is enough to supply New York City’s freshwater needs for nine years.

… Marajó Island, in the state of Pará, is the largest fluvial island in the world?

Its area is approximately 40 100 km ², almost the size of Switzerland which is 41 285 km ². It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the Amazonas and the Tocantins rivers.

…the smallest frog is the “Brazilian baby frog”?

The biggest frog is the appropriately named Goliath frog (Conraua goliath) of Cameroon. They reach nearly 30cm and weigh as much as 3,3 kg. The smallest frog is the Gold frog (Psyllophryne Didactyla) of Brazil. They grow to only 9,8 mm, smaller than a dime! Can you imagine the size of their baby frogs?

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