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I visited the Peruvian Amazon, in late 2019, for 4 short days. Those 4 days immersed in the jungle captured my childlike wonder and curiosity like nothing ever had before. Ever since that trip, I’ve been obsessed with the Amazon Rainforest and planning my next trip back (this time for much longer).
Here are 6 reasons why I think the Amazon Rainforest is fascinating:
1. The Amazon Rainforest is the most understudied and unexplored area on the planet. What secrets are held within its mysterious depths? We’ve discovered a few of its secrets such as the famous Machu Picchu but no one truly knows what answers it may have yet to reveal. But, if we take care of this precious rainforest, then perhaps, in time, it’s mysteries will slowly unfold themselves to us.
2. Very recently, a discovery was made in the Amazon which changed our understanding of Amazonian history. Previously, it was thought that the Amazon had a fairly small population (given in its size), consisting of small tribes and villages. But scientists discovered large amounts of geoglyphs which suggest that the population and technical ability of the people who lived there were much grander than previously thought. Much more research needs to be done to determine just how advanced and vast this magnificent civilization truly was.
3. Currently, over 30 million people live and thrive in the Amazon. Within this population, there are more than 350 native tribes.
4. The Boiling River in Pucallpa, Peru. As if taken from a science fiction film there is, in fact, a river in the Peruvian Amazon that is continuously boiling. It was discovered by Andres Ruzo who followed its long told legends and was led to learn that the legends were true.
5. Uncontacted tribes. The people of the Amazon rainforest are perhaps some of the most ancient and alluring people you could ever meet…if you could meet them. There are an estimated 50-100 tribes (around 5000 people) in the Amazon rainforest who have never seen anyone outside of their tight-knit community. You can watch a video here showing rare proof of uncontacted tribes in the Amazon Rainforest.
6. Due to its strange environmental make-up, the plants and animals that exist here, seem almost alien-like. Here is a shortlist of particularly strange creatures from the Amazon;
- Glass frogs, whose internal organs are visible through a transparent layer of skin on their underside.
- Bullet ants, adequately named, because the pain they inflict replicates that of a bullet wound.
- The Toothpick Fish is so small and skinny that it has been known to swim up the…private parts of innocent swimmers. The only way to get it out is by surgically removing it.
- The infamous Jesus Lizard is equipped with special webbing on its feet which allow it to increase the surface tension on top of the water and run about 8 kilometres per hour.
We live in a society where it’s easy to think that all corners of the world have been mapped and its secrets laid bare. But we have barely even scratched the surface of what is out there to discover and there are immense parts of the world which remain unmapped and unknown to us.
The Amazon Rainforest is one of the last remaining physical frontiers. Beneath it’s thick, green depth lay mysteries and possible answers to questions that have captured the imagination of mankind for centuries.