Facts about Brazil

We found 31 facts about Brazil

South America's largest country

Brazil is the largest and most populous country in South America and one of the largest and most populous countries in the world. A former Portuguese colony, it is the largest country, with Portuguese as its official language and the only language in the Americas. It is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to more than a century of mass immigration from around the world. It is also the country with the largest population of Catholics in the world.

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is a country located in South America.

It is the largest country in both South America and Latin America.

Brazil has an area of 8.5 million square kilometers and a country of more than 214 million people.

It is the fifth largest country in the world by area (after Russia, Canada, China, and the United States) and the seventh largest by population. It is also the third largest country in the Americas.

Brazil occupies roughly half of South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

It occupies most of the eastern part of the South American continent and its geographic center, as well as various islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

It has the Fernando de Noronha archipelago, and several small islands and atolls in the Atlantic - Abrolhos, Atol das Rocas, Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo, Trindade, and Martim Vaz.

It borders all South American countries, except Ecuador and Chile.

It borders Uruguay to the south, Argentina and Paraguay to the southwest, Bolivia, and Peru to the west, Colombia to the northwest, and Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana to the north.

Brazil is the longest country in the world, stretching 4395 kilometers from the north to south.

It is also the only country in the world through which the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn run.

Brazil's territory covers four time zones.

The westernmost is equivalent to Eastern Standard Time in the United States.

Brazil has six major ecosystems.

- Amazon basin - a system of tropical rainforests

- Pantanal - the world's largest tropical wetlands and the world's largest flooded grasslands

- Cerrado - a vast tropical savanna ecoregion, covering much of the center of the country

- Caatinga - a region of subtropical vegetation, thorny scrubland in the northeast

- Mata Atlantica (Atlantic Forest) - stretching along the entire coast from northeast to south

- Pampas - the fertile lowland plains of the far south

Brazil has nearly 7500 kilometers of Atlantic Ocean coastline.

Ocean waters lap the country's territory from the northeast and southeast. The northern part of the coast is disjointed, and there are estuaries of rivers. There is the mouth of the Amazon River and the largest river island of this estuary - Marajo - which is also the largest island surrounded by fresh water.

In the northern part of the coast, in many places, there are coral reefs.

Brazil's topography is varied, with mountains, plains, highlands and scrubland.

Much of the terrain lies at elevations ranging from 2000 m to 800 m. The main highland area occupies most of the south of the country. The northwestern parts of the plateau consist of wide, undulating terrain with low rounded hills.

In the southeastern part of the country, there are mountain ranges reaching heights of up to 1200 meters. These ranges include the Mantiqueira, Espinhaco, and Serra do Mar mountains.

Brazil's highest peak is Pico da Neblina, 2995,3 meters above sea level, in Serra da Neblina, part of the Highlands of Guyana.

Brazil has a dense and complex river system, one of the most extensive in the world, with eight major drainage basins flowing into the Atlantic.

The main rivers are the Amazon River, the second longest (according to some, the longest in the world) and the largest in terms of water volume, Paraná and its main tributary, the Iguacu (including Iguazu Falls), Rio Negro, Sao Francisco, Xingu, Madeira, and Tapajos.

Iguazu Falls form the largest waterfall system in the world.

They are the waterfalls of the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. Only 20% of the waterfall area is located in Brazilian territory, and 80% lies in Argentine territory.

The waterfall is stair-stepped. Its width is about 2 km and it consists of 275 separate rockfalls. The largest cascade, called Devil's Throat, is located on the Argentine-Brazilian border. The water here falls from 82 meters - a height greater than Niagara Falls (50 meters).

Brazil has six main climatic subtypes: desert, equatorial, tropical, semiarid, oceanic and subtropical.

The different climatic conditions create different environments, ranging from equatorial rainforests in the north and deserts in the northeast to temperate coniferous forests in the south and tropical savannas in central Brazil.

It is considered the country with the greatest biodiversity of all countries in the world.

It has the most known species of plants (55.000), freshwater fish (3000), and mammals (more than 689). It ranks third on the list of countries with the most bird species (1832) and second with the most reptile species (744).

Brazil is the second country with the most endemic species after Indonesia.

The Amazon rainforest, along with the Atlantic and Corrado Forests, is considered to have and maintain the greatest biodiversity in the world.

Scientists estimate that the total number of plant and animal species in Brazil may approach four million, mostly invertebrates. Brazil has the largest number of both terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates of any country in the world. It has many thousands of species, many (if not most) of which are still undiscovered.

The larger mammals found there are carnivores: pumas, jaguars, ocelots, the rare bush dogs and foxes, and herbivores: peccaries, tapirs, anteaters, sloths, opossums, and armadillos.

Northern rainforests abound with many species of New World monkeys.

The country's relatively rapid economic and demographic growth over the past century has meant that Brazil's ability to protect its environmental habitats is increasingly under threat.

Extensive logging of national forests, especially the Amazon, both official and unofficial, is destroying areas the size of a small country every year, as well as a diversity of plant and animal species.

More than one-fifth of Brazil's Amazon rainforest has been destroyed, and more than 70 mammals are endangered (deforestation and poaching). In the Atlantic Forest, nearly 93% of the forest has been cleared. Of the 202 endangered animals in Brazil, 171 are in the Atlantic Forest.

Brazil is Latin America's largest national economy.

It is also the ninth-largest economy in the world and eighth in terms of purchasing power parity. It is characterized by many rich natural resources.

For 150 years, Brazil has been the world's largest producer of coffee.

It is a major exporter of soybeans, iron ore (the world's second-largest exporter), cellulose, corn, beef, poultry meat, soybean meal, sugar, coffee, tobacco, cotton, orange juice, shoes, airplanes, automobiles, auto parts, gold, ethanol, semi-finished iron, among others.

It is the largest producer of various agricultural commodities and has a large cooperative sector that supplies 50% of the country's food. The world's largest health cooperative, UNIMED, is located in Brazil and accounts for 32% of the country's health insurance market.

It is the world's largest producer of amethyst, topaz and agate.

It is one of the major producers of tourmaline, emerald, aquamarine, and garnet.

It is the world's tenth-largest energy consumer, and most of its energy comes from renewable sources, particularly hydroelectric and ethanol.

The Itaipu Dam (a dam on the Parana River, located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay) is the world's largest hydroelectric plant in terms of energy production.

The first car with an ethanol engine was produced there in 1978, and the first ethanol-powered aircraft engine in 2005.

In 2020, Brazil was the second largest country in the world in terms of biomass energy production (energy production from solid biofuels and renewable waste).

Brazil has the world's largest Catholic population - Catholicism is the dominant religion in the country.

The Brazilian Catholic Church is the largest national community of believers in the world. Catholics there currently make up about 63% of the population, but the number of regular practitioners is estimated at 19-25%.

Recently, there has been an outflow of the faithful to communities mainly from the US, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons (about 1 million) Adventists, and various evangelical churches (such as Pentecostals).

Brazil has more than 2000 airports.

This is the second largest number of airports in the world, after the United States. The largest are Sao Paulo- Guarulhos Airport, Rio de Janeiro-Galeao Airport, Brasilia Airport, and others.

There are more than 1.7 million kilometers of land roads in the country.

Of these, 215.000 kilometers are paved roads, and about 14.000 kilometers are highways and other dual carriageways. Brazil's rail network has a total length of about 30.000 kilometers. There are also busy water ports.

The area of present-day Brazil was inhabited by various Indian cultures for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.

Not much is known about these cultures, only that, unlike the Indians of the West Coast, they did not develop a material heritage. They were largely nomadic tribes.

In the 1500s, the area was discovered by Portuguese sailor Pedro Alvares Cabral, who named it Terra de Vera Cruz - Land of the True Cross, which was quickly renamed Santa Cruz - Holy Cross.

The place where the sailors went ashore is now called Porto Seguro (safe harbor) and is located in the state of Bahia. The first whites to be forcibly settled were two convicts left there by Cabral to assimilate with the natives.

The first Portuguese settlers arrived in Santa Cruz in 1501. They included poor people, but also nobles who were allotted vast tracts of land - many of these huge estates are the current Brazilian states.

Brazil was colonized by Portugal for 300 years.

The country's current name appeared around 1512.

At the time, the country was reaping huge profits from the exploitation of the pith of the Caesalpinia echinata and Caesalpinia brasiliensis trees, which contained a red dye called brazilin, used in weaving.

The labor needed was obtained from among the captured indigenous population. Sugar cane plantations brought to Brazil from Madeira and Cape Verde were also established. Indians who were unsuitable for hard physical labor died en masse, so black slaves from Africa began to be brought to Brazil.

Missionaries also began arriving in Brazil to conduct extensive evangelization.

An important missionary was Joseph Anchieta, who carried out his mission in Brazil for 44 years. He was proclaimed an Apostle of Brazil, in 1980 Pope John Paul II confirmed the title and beatified Anchiete, and in 2014 Pope Francis included him among the saints.

Since 1965, his evangelization work has been remembered in Brazil on June 9 (Anchiete Day).

In the 17th century, gold and diamond deposits were discovered in Brazil.

Bandeirantes - armed adventurers who also engaged in the Indian slave trade - then appeared. In the 18th century, cotton cultivation was introduced there.

The capital of the Portuguese colony until 1763 was Salvador, a city in eastern Brazil on the Atlantic Ocean.

The city was founded on the site where Amerigo Vespucci came ashore in 1501. Salvador was founded in 1549 by Tome de Sousa. By 1650 Salvador was the largest metropolis in the southern hemisphere. The city's boom ended when the capital was moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1763.

Brazil gained independence from Portugal in 1822.

Portugal officially recognized Brazil on August 29, 1825. The monarchy, on the other hand, was overthrown by a military coup on November 15, 1889, and the day is now a national holiday, Republic Day.

At the turn of the 20th century, more than five million immigrants from Europe and Asia arrived in Brazil.

From 1808 to 1821, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's second-largest city, was the capital of Portugal.

The royal family headed by John VI (King of Brazil and Portugal) took refuge there from invading Napoleonic troops.

The capital of Brazil is the city of Brasilia, located in the Brazilian Highlands, in the central-western part of the country.

It is the third (after Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) most populous city in the country. Brasilia became the capital on April 21, 1960. The city is built on a plan referring to a flying condor or airplane. 

Brasilia's architecture, characterized by futuristic buildings made of steel, glass, marble, and concrete, is considered an example of a masterpiece of 20th-century modernism and has been included in UNESCO's International Cultural Heritage List.

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