Amazon River – the river that not only South America but our entire planet cannot be imagined without – seems to have been explored length and breadth. But somehow every year scientists find out something about it they’ve never thought of before. We tried to gather most interesting and least-known facts about it in our feature.
It owes its name to cultural knowledge of a Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana. While discovering South American lands in search for legendary El Dorado, conqueror and his troops sustained vicious attack of local aborigines and most bellicose among them were women. Upon having scarcely fought back, impressed Spaniard who wanted to give the river his own name first, recalled myths of Ancient Greece where a way of life of the Amazons was described – courageous representatives of the gentle sex. It was in their honor that Orellana called the basin.
In twentieth century Amazon River was involved in a dramatic competition with Nile River for the title of the world’s longest river. Calculations after calculation showed it and African giant take lead in turns. Only by the end of the century South American researchers arrived at a consensus with their Egyptian colleagues and admitted: Nile River is indeed longer but Amazon River channels far larger amounts of fresh water. The argument was over at that but the question remains if it is going to stay like this forever even more so with a tributary discovered somewhere in the Andes, the one that Amazon River seems to be starting from. It adds some kilometers to its length that already exceeds 7000…
If forests in general are “lungs of the planet” than tropics that spread along Amazon River constitute a superstation in terms of oxygen production. Just to think of it, over 20% of all air of the world is generated there. And all in all entire eco system is priceless for the planet therefore thoughtless deforestation is a global problem that needs to be solved in 21st century.
Speaking about records, we cannot but mention the fact that inside Amazon River’s basin, in the territory of Brazil, world’s largest river island, Marajó, is situated. Its territory can be compared to the territory of Switzerland.Photo tourthetropics.com
It seems like this gigantomaina penetrates everything that has to do with Amazon River. Among unique plants and animals that inhabit the area, Victoria amazonica (once called Victoria regia) water lily is especially distinctive. Just to think of it, its leaves reach 3 meters in diameter and can hold weight up to 50 kilograms.
Among animals inhabiting the river itself or neighboring territory, there are piranhas, cheetahs and anacondas however multi-colored frogs are considered most dangerous. There are several species of those, one scarier than another: venom of just one individual is enough to kill several dozens people at a time. Therefore locals wouldn’t even think of coming close to river banks without wearing extra thick boots.
Indian tribes that live in the vicinity of Amazon River are still poorly studied. All because their way of life is very reclusive and places they inhabit are hard to reach even having modern means of transport. However these people are very interesting, take at least the Marubo tribe. They have an ancient tradition of playing drums night and day in the same rhythm shifting each other. Thank to it entire tribe have their pulse synchronized and all dwellers feel like they are one. Medical specialists confirmed that heartbeat rates are almost identical even if the ones of children and elderly people are compared.Photofmtdata.ru
Amazingly, there still isn’t a single bridge build across Amazon River because not only is it long but also very wide – on some sections in periods of flood it turns into a real sea with about 80 kilometers of water between the banks! Only in 2010 a passage across one of its main tributaries Rio Negro was built. And altogether Amazon River has about 15 thousand tributaries…
In 2011 it was recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of Nature.
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Icy island of Greenland was first discovered by the Norwegian Vikings. This fact is surprising since this nomadic tribe had enough courage to penetrate into the harsh Arctic climate. We will not delve into searching for reasons which led warlike people to edge of the earth, but supply the modern traveller with the list of core Arctic attractions with a unique Greenlandic touch.
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It has been known since olden times that wine-making process is a true art that is within the power only of the ones sincerely in love with their trade. Let alone beauty of masterpieces created by skillful hands – grape gardens, scattered in various nooks of the world, that impress with grandeur and adorn this planet, ornamenting it with bright juicy colors.
Very often nature tests people. From time to time we have to conquer and subjugate the elements. When men mastered construction of bridges, water obstacles have ceased to be a problem for humanity. However, what to do if a town is behind a pit, flatland or gorge? All-too-common "bridge" on pillars cannot be constructed everywhere.
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The Times newspaper edition recognized Ålesund as the most beautiful town in Norway. It is not without reason: wayward sea, mesmerizing northern nature, famous fjords, fabulous multi-coloured houses in the Art Nouveau style and the legendary Trolls' Path, beckon those wishing to see the stunning wild landscapes.
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First thing that comes to mind on hearing a phrase ‘Chocolate Hills’ are cacao bean plantations, candy villages or some kind of sweets festival. However, we’ll have to disappoint sweet teeth and make happy those who appreciate unusual views – chocolate is nowhere near here, instead there’s a unique work of nature.
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Mauritius is a tropical paradise, for which the area of a small islands is enough to accommodate tourists coming from all over the world. This is a unique intersection of two continents, Africa and Asia, a fusion of diverse cultures, religions, and languages. The place, however, serve as a good example how to get along squeezed but pleased.
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Today OUTLOOK tells about another inspiring example of how a dream can become a lifetime project. Creation of one of the most successful channels in history of television – Discovery Channel, followed by a huge media empire Discovery Communications, simply cannot but motivate to own great engagements.
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Insanely beautiful, raw and refined Africa is exactly the place where one should plunge into a whirlpool of wild nature, taking over an unusual role of a guest in the abode of animals, not vice versa... Here you can free your mind from all artificial and imaginary stuff, feeling like a tiny speck in the vast and exciting world...
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