YOU CAN CHOOSE ONE OF THE 2000 OF THE BEST BEACHES IN THE WORLD. YOU CAN GO THE GREATEST PARTY EVER – THE RIO DE JANEIRO’S CARNIVAL. YOU CAN VISIT THE LARGEST RAINFOREST IN THE WORLD – THE AMAZON JUNGLE. YOU CAN WATCH FOOTBALL IN THE LARGEST STADIUM IN THE WORLD – THE MARACANÃ STADIUM. WHEN DESCRIBING BRAZIL, ONE FREQUENTLY HAS TO USE THE WORDS BEST AND LARGEST.

Read our list of 18 Interesting Facts about Brazil and see for yourself.

 Serra dos Órgãos National Park with God's Finger peak in the background.

Serra dos Órgãos National Park with God's Finger peak in the background.

1. The word “Brazil” comes from “pau brasil” (brazilwood), a tree that grows in Brazil. It was highly valued in Europe for its red dye that produces. Brazilwood is now almost completely extinct in Brazil.

2. Brazil occupies almost half of the South America continent (47%). It is the 5th largest country by area that covers and by population.

3. Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, was built in the shape of an airplane when viewed from above, with its axis from east to west that holds government buildings and monuments. It was built to bring progress to the inner Brazil as the new capital, instead of Rio de Janeiro.

4. Natives of Rio de Janeiro are called cariocas. Actually, the word “carioca” is a demonym which is used for almost everything related to Rio. The word comes from “kara’i oka” which means “house of carijó”, a native tribe of Rio de Janeiro.

5. According to Trip Advisor, the best beach in the world is Baia do Sancho, located in the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the world’s top diving destinations.

6. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of coffee. Coffee plantations cover over 27,000 sq km, mostly in the southeastern parts of the country where the climate is ideal for production of coffee.

7. São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, has the worst traffic jams in the world. A congestion record was set in 2013., when the queues around the city during the rush hour were 309 km (192 miles) long.

8. The statue of Christ the Redeemer, the symbol of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil, is the largest art deco statue in the world. It is 38 meters (125 ft) high (including the pedestal), and the arms stretch to 28 meters (92 ft) wide. It weights approximately 635 tonnes. In 2007., it was named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World”.

 Iguaçu Falls

Iguaçu Falls

9. Brazil has 21 UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the most famous ones is probably The Iguaçu National Park. The most impressive part of the park are the Iguaçu Falls, that form a 2.7 km (1.7 miles) wide semicircle, and has a total of 275 waterfalls that fall from the height of 72 m.

10. The largest rainforest in the world is The Amazon Jungle, and around 60% of it lies in Brazil. It produces about one third of the Earth’s oxygen. According to some reports, there may be at least 70 uncontacted tribes there. It is also the place of the greatest biodiversity on the planet.

11. The world’s largest river by volume is the Amazon River. During the wet season it can be almost 50 km (30 miles) wide.

12. Ilha da Queimada Grande, or Snake Island, located 150km off the coast of São Paulo, has up to 5 snakes per sq m, mostly of the species of pit viper that are very poisonous. No one except the researches is allowed on the island.

13. Brazil’s highest mountain is Pico da Neblina (Mist Peak), at 2,995 metres (9,827 ft) above sea level, located near the Brazil-Venezuela border. As its name suggests, it is almost always shrouded in clouds. It was first ascended in 1965. – that’s 12 years after the first summit of Everest!

14. Most of Brazil’s mountain ranges are of the average height of 2,000 meters (6,562 ft). The Serra do Espinhaço Mountain Range is the largest, and Tumucumaque, Imeri and Pacaraima mountain ranges are the highest.

15. Sugarloaf Mountain, in Rio de Janeiro, together with the other two mountains in the area, Morro da Babilônia and Morro da Urca, is one of the largest and most popular urban rock climbing destinations in the world. There are over 270 routes, from 1 to 10 pitches long. Sugarloaf Mountain is actually a volcanic plug.

16. The largest freshwater island in the world is The Ilha do Bananal (Island of the Banana Groves). It is located in the Araguaia River in southwestern Tocantins, Brazil.

17. Brazil has 72 national parks. One of the most interesting ones is The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. It is composed of large dunes that look like a desert, but in fact it’s not. The abundant rains cause a weird phenomenon – the fresh water that collect between the sand dunes is prevented from percolating down by the impermeable rock bellow. This results in green, blue and black “lagoons” that are surrounded by the “desert sand dunes”. These dunes can reach up to 40 meters in height.

18. The local fishermen in Laguna, Brazil, rely on dolphins to help them catch fish - they do this by herding fish towards the nets. Only one local group of around 20 dolphins is cooperating.

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