You may be wondering why you’d want to know facts about Brazil; it is, after all, a country which is rarely heard about on the news. However Brazil, as the largest and richest country in South America, is also becoming one of the most popular tourist countries in the world. With the next Football World Cup happening across the country and the next Olympic Games being held in Rio de Janeiro, it only seems right to know some of the most interesting facts about Brazil! Not only is Brazil one of the fastest-emerging global powers of the new age, it is both beautiful and brilliant. Here are 8 facts about Brazil you will find of interest.
1. The Highest Mountain in Brazil: Pico Da Neblina
At almost 3,000 meters above sea level, the Pico da Neblina Mountain is one of the most beautiful places that Brazil has to offer. Although it is sometimes referred to as being on the border between Brazil and Venezuela, the peak of the mountain itself is wholly in Brazil. The mountain is not only the highest mountain in Brazil but in South America. Its features definitely provide some of the most interesting facts about Brazil.
2. The Largest Lake in Brazil: Lagoa Dos Patos
The biggest lake in Brazil, and the second-largest in Latin America, is Lagoa dos Patos, located in the south of the country. The name of the lake comes from the tribe which lived around the lake prior to European invasion of the continent. It covers 3,800 square miles.
3. The Longest River in Brazil: Amazon River
The Amazon River is indisputably the longest river in Brazil, stretching through Brazil, Venezuela, Guyana, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. The river is so huge that it alone accounts for around 20% of the world’s total river flow, and has the largest drainage basin on the planet. There are no bridges which span any part of the Amazon, mostly because the river flows through rainforest for most of its length.
4. The Moving Capital: Brasilia
The capital of Brazil is Brasilia but there have been three capitals over the course of its history: Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and now, Brasilia. One of the reasons for the move of the capital was in an attempt by the Brazilian government to encourage migration of its people away from the borders into the middle of the country, which was sparsely populated. Among the interesting facts about Brazil and one that lovers of architecture will know, is that Oscar Niemeyer is credited with the overall design of Brasilia.
5. Biggest Waterfall in Brazil: Iguazu Falls
The Iguazu Falls are included in the list of facts about Brazil mainly because the real largest waterfalls in Brazil, the Guaira Falls, no longer exist due to the construction of a dam over the river. Only around 20% of the Iguazu Falls are located within Brazil (being on the border with Argentina), but they are so beautiful that they needed to be included. It’s reported that after seeing the Iguazu Falls, the former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt exclaimed “Poor Niagara!” at the Falls’ beauty!
6. Amazon Rainforest
Of all the things to know about Brazil, the Amazon Rainforest is among the most fascinating. The vast majority of the rainforest is located within Brazil (around 60%), making Brazil home to some of the most spectacular wildlife on the planet. An estimate from scientists has reported that there could be as many as 4 million different species of plants and animals in Brazil alone!
Brazil is home to just under 200,000,000 people, making it the fifth most populous country in the world! Despite the official language of Brazil being Portuguese, there are over 180 different native languages spoken throughout the country. The Portuguese roots of Brazil are not typical of other countries in the region – Brazil is the only country within South America which takes its culture from Portugal rather than Spain.
8. World Cup
One of the sporting facts about Brazil is that it is a nation which is (soccer) football-crazy. Not only have the Brazilian national team won the FIFA World Cup five times, but the 2014 games will be held in Brazil – the second time that Brazil has hosted the competition. Brazil are currently the most successful national football team in the world, contributing names such as Ronaldo, Pele, Ronaldinho and Kaka to the international game.
South America as a continent is absolutely beautiful, but Brazil specifically is one of the nicest countries you can ever visit. These facts about Brazil are only the tip of the iceberg – Brazil has, for example, the second largest Catholic population in the world, 13 cities with over one million residents and is one of the most important producers of coffee in the world. Forgetting about its rivers, waterfalls and forests, Brazil is still an amazing country. What's your favorite feature of Brazil?
Top Image Source: marygrove.edu