The Amazing Amazon, The River Sea

AmazonRiverPeru

AmazonRiverBrazil

“At first, I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees,
then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest.
Now I realize I am fighting for humanity.”
Chico Mendes, Brazilian Environmentalist

“Mother Earth” by Wuauquikuna (courtesy of Wuauquikuna Official):

AmazonRiver

“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like
burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.”
E. O. Wilson – American researcher, theorist, naturalist, and author 

“Dreams of the Winds” (courtesy of bardmyUTube):

AmazonRiver3

The Amazon River in South America is the largest river by discharge volume of water in the world. There is some dispute about whether the Amazon is actually longer than the Nile. Its length is at least 4000 miles from its source Mantaro River to its mouth in the Atlantic Ocean on the northeastern coast of Brazil; a length that is similar to the distance from New York City to Rome. The Amazon River runs through Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru.

Exploring in Peru (courtesy of Drink Tea & Travel):

AmazonRiverMap

A quick guide to the Amazon (courtesy of FactSpark):

 

The Amazon River was named after the fierce women of Greek mythology known as Amazons.  On Sunday 12th February 1542, a small party of Spaniards, led by Francisco de Orellana, a one-eyed conquistador, chanced upon the river while looking for cinnamon.

FranciscoDeOrellana

FranciscoDeOrellana2

Above is the bust of Francisco de Orellana in his birthplace of Trujillo, Extramadura, in Spain.

De Orellana gave the river its name after reporting pitched battles with tribes of female warriors, whom he likened to the Amazons of Greek mythology. His awe and amazement at the river in flood are registered in his writing: “It came on with such fury and with so great an onrush that it was enough to fill one with the dreadest fear to look at it, let alone to go through it… and it was so wide from bank to bank from here on that it seemed as though we were navigating launched out upon a vast sea.” Orellana’s discovery brought Europeans to descend on the river of the Amazons. It wasn’t a happy time for the natives.

Lost Cities of the Amazon (courtesy of National Geographic):

The image below shows the battle between the Greeks and the Amazons depicted on a marble sarcophagus on display in the Octagonal Court of the Pio Clementino Museum in Vatican City.

Battle of Greeks and Amazons

Later on, Europeans noticed a tree that the natives called ‘the wood that weeps’. A French polymath, who travelled down the river in 1736, sent a specimen to Paris. But for a century the West had no serious need of rubber. The Industrial Revolution, and Charles Goodyear’s vulcanisation process which ensured rubber’s constant consistency, changed all that. The Amazon became a second Klondike and rubber its black gold. Under the auspices of Kew Gardens, Henry Wickham smuggled 70,000 Brazilian rubber seeds to London. Only 2,000 germinated, but it was enough to start plantations in Malaya and Ceylon. The riches of the Amazon were no more.

Below is shown latex sap oozing from the rubber tree.

RubberTreeSap

The story of Chico Mendes (courtesy of Vox):

The Amazon river runs through the rainforest rather than alongside roads and for that reason it didn’t have bridges until one was built in 2011 in Manaus, the largest city on the border of the Amazon in Brazil.

Below is shown the Rio Negro bridge in Manaus.

RioNegroBridgeManaus

Flight over the Amazon and Manaus (courtesy of Georg Fietz):

 

In 2007 a Slovenian man named Martin Strel swam a record-breaking length of the Amazon River (3,273 miles), covering ten hours a day for 66 days. It was a great achievement, but all I can say, rather him than me. If I was tempted to attempt such a journey, I think my family would wait at the end of the my swim with the men in the white coats. You will understand why when you read about the animals that live in this river. To ensure that you are fully dissuaded from attempting his endeavour, you should note that the escort boats which were following Martin were prepared to pour blood into the river to distract meat-eating fish such as piranhas!

MartinStrelAmazonSwim

Above is Martin Strel undertaking his epic swim along the Amazon River.

Courtesy of UPROXX Studio:

The Amazon River is one of the natural wonders of the world, flowing through the remote Amazon rainforest. The river is made up of over 1,100 tributaries, seventeen of which are longer than 1,600 km. Marajo, the world’s largest river island with an area of 48,000 square km is located on the Amazon and is about the size of Switzerland.

Image below shows the mouth of the Pará River in Brazil, part of the greater Amazon River system. The river is separated from the larger part of the Amazon delta by Ilha de Marajó (Marajo Island).

MarajoIsland

“River Journey” by Wayra:

 

The Amazon River is 11 million years old. It originated as a transcontinental river, and it took its present shape approximately 2.4 million years ago.  Its great importance is the fact that the rivers connected with the Amazon flow directly into the ocean maintaining the ocean currents, and therefore controlling the region’s climate.

Animal life of the Amazon River is difficult to assess fully because of the great diversity of its flora, some still not identified. The river is vibrating with about 2,500 fish species, and the forest canopy above resonates with the cries of many birds, monkeys and chirruping insects. There is a notable paucity of the largest terrestrial mammal species, indeed many mammals are arboreal. Among the many animals are caimans, river turtles, and the largest semiaquatic capybara, the largest in the world rodent.

Below is Black Caiman (image courtesy of International Expeditions).

BlackCaimanAmazon

Below is South American River Turtle (image courtesy of International Expeditions).

RiverTurtleAmazon

Below is a family of Capybaras (image courtesy of International Expeditions).

CapybarasAmazon

In the river, the most important ones are the Pirarucu, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, and various giant catfish. The small flesh-eating piranha generally feeds on other fish but may attack any animal or human that foolishly enters the water.

Below is shown the benign countenance of the red-bellied Piranha.

RED BELLIED PIRANHA OR RED PIRANHA

PiranhaAmazon2

The Amazon River is the prime habitat of Boto, the largest species of river dolphins and which is also known as the Amazon River Dolphin. Another dolphin, the Tucuxi is also found in the Amazon basin and coastal waters. The largest freshwater fish in the world, the Pirarucu have been found to reach a length of 4 metres and can weigh close to 200 kilograms.

Below is Boto, the pink Amazon river dolphin (second image courtesy of International Expeditions).

BotoAmazonRiverDolphin

BotoAmazonRiverDolphin2

Courtesy of BBC Earth:

Below are Tucuxi river dolphins in the Amazon

TucuxiRiverDolphins

The Mighty Amazon and River Dolphins (courtesy of BBC Studios):

PirarucuAmazon

PirarucuAmazon2

Above are shown photos of Pirarucu (arapaima gigas).

And now try to read with your hands over your eyes, the way I am writing:  in the shallow waters of the Amazon Basin lurk Anacondas, the largest snakes in the world. They grow to 5 metres (17 feet), and weigh 550 pounds! They occasionally attack larger animals, like goats, that have got too close to the water, but they wouldn’t say no to a tasty human. Goodbye, Amazon! I am not, ever, coming to see you!

Below is Green Anaconda (image courtesy of International Expeditions).

GreenAnacondaAmazon

Perhaps more than you wish to know about these creatures (courtesy of Nat Geo WILD):

 

Some adventurers braver than me! (courtesy of BigAnimals Expeditions):

By the way, the Italian composer Ottorino Respighi faced his fear of coming face to face with snakes at Rio’s zoo in his “Brazilian Impressions.”

“Butantan” (In a snake-garden) from “Brazilian Impressions” (courtesy of Billy Stewart):

 

The forest fires in the Amazon rainforest happen naturally, but in the last year or so most were started by farmers and loggers clearing land for crops. Shame.

AmazonForestFire

AmazonForestFire4

AmazonForestFire2

AmazonForestFire3

Courtesy of Behind the News:

“Under The Canopy” (courtesy of Conservation International):

 

The man who grew his own rainforest (courtesy of BBC World Service):

 

And finally, I think that you may have noticed that the most frequently used words in this post are:

THE LARGEST IN THE WORLD!

AmazonRiver5

93 thoughts on “The Amazing Amazon, The River Sea

  1. Very interesting , Joanna. You always use such fabulous images and videos. Truly enjoyed.💕

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I loved the music too, very calming, thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you, Henrietta, for your kind comment, and for reading my post despite being on your Christmas break!
    I like flute music very much too!

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you very much!

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you, Grace, for your wonderful comments! I am so happy that you did not go away!

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you so much, Grace!!

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Thats so sweet of you to say, Joanna. You are very welcome.My pleasure.💕

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks a lot, for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you, Eunice, for your kind comment, and for reading the post.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What an incredibly fascinating, well-researched post! I always admire your knowledge and the amount of effort you put in to treat us with informative, enjoyable and factually accurate content. Hats off to your incredible efforts!
    Upon reading this post, I wished I could visit the Amazon and then I read “They wouldn’t say no to a tasty human.” Ha! I wonder how Martin Strek had the guts to swim across the entire stretch and his feat is truly remarkable! Swimming continuously for 66 days, 10 hours each day? Man, he would have been left with no flesh by the time the journey was completed! Commendable beyond words.

    But Ofcourse, rainforests being all open to tourism only spells disaster. Truly enjoyed the wonderful content. Had a lot to learn and thoroughly enjoyed the information provided. Thanks a lot for your efforts towards educating us. The Amazon, is after all, the lung of our planet.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Thank you, Sam, for your wonderful comments! With the rapid climate change, what is happening there is a disaster.
    Luckily more and more people are becoming vegetarian, and this insane production of meat will stop. The world is watching!!

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thank you again, Sam. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you, Saania, for your kind comment!

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  16. First Ganges, then Mississippi, and now Amazon. A beautiful trilogy. Coming to Amazon, it’s interesting to see and know about Martin Strel’s epic swim, dolphins and deadly anaconda. It’s also amazing to note that the Amazon had no bridges till 2011. As regards rubber plantation, I had seen it in Kerala, the largest rubber producing state in India.

    Forest fires are common. Once I had seen it in forests of Uttarakhand, and local people there told me that such fires are manmade most of the time. Anyway I loved the quote of E.O. Wilson- “burning a renaissance painting to cook a meal.” So real, and so pathetic.

    Your selection of video is really awesome and always a treat to watch them. But videos on Mother Earth and Dreams of the Winds I liked the most. Omar Tello’s video is also enriching. Thank you, Joanna for your time and effort in bringing out such an enlightening post. Greatly appreciated!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Thank you, Kaushal, for your wonderful, as always, comments! My apologies for the late reply. I had visitors. As you know I am waiting for your comments with bated breath. And I am never disappointed!!

    Please don’t miss the Christmas post on the 24 of December, as it is my very favorite story about the Good Maharaja who saved the lives of 5000 Polish orphans. One would have to have a heart of stone, not to have tears in eyes reading what he did for them. It is so spirit uplifting that I can only publish his story at Christmas.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Thank you, Kaushal, again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  19. You’re welcome, Joanna! Don’t bother for being late. It’s okay for me.
    I think you are talking about Maharaja Jam Saheb of Nawanagar. Once I had planned to write about him, as his story is truly inspiring one, but I couldn’t get sufficient information. I’m happy that you are going to cover this topic, as you will cover much more details with fascinating visuals and thus be doing more justice to him. Thank you for telling me in advance. I’ll look forward to your post with bated breath.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It’s my pleasure, Joanna.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I loved that quote from E.O. Wilson.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thank you for your kind comment. Didn’t you love anacondas?

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Thank you again. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Joanna, you have shared so much information to fascinate us, and I was mostly captivated by Martin Strel, watching the video about his numerous swimming adventures, one of them, the Amazon. Incredible and unbelievable! I’m still shaking my head with amazement. I wonder if he will swim around the planet or the Grand Canyon. I’ll have to spend some time on google! I wasn’t brave enough to watch the anaconda videos though. A little creepy, yet totally interesting. All the living creatures are captivating, their beauty and their danger. Thanks for another amazing post!

    Liked by 2 people

  25. You are a wonderfully creative writer, bringing together stories, quotes, images, videos, and music. I didn’t know the Amazon was named after the Warrior Women. But it makes sense, women are stronger than most people give us credit for. I loved learning all of this. Well, the snake part I didn’t really enjoy… Eek. I would not want to see that up close.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Thank you, Rose, for your most generous comments!! I could hardly look at them myself when writing about anaconda, and that is why I will never dream about going to see the Amazon.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Thank you again, Rose. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Thank you, Lauren, for your wonderful comments! Anacondas are part of nature and I had to acknowledge that
    but with eyes covered! Swimming in the Amazon is beyond my comprehension! You are right, nature is wonderful!

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Thank you again, Lauren. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  30. The words of Chico Mendes in the opening of this post say it all. We humans need to relearn that we are ALL connected to each other and connected to every plant, animal and every part of the EARTH. Thank you, Joanna, for a wonderfully researched and written post. 💖💝🌹🤗🥰😍💌🙋‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Thank you, Ashley, for your generous beyond words comments!! I am so happy that you read and wrote as I thought you might have gone away for Christmas. Yes, we are all connected but not everyone realises this truth. If possible, please don’t miss the Christmas post on the 24th of December! It is the most uplifting and spiritual story I could tell.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Thank you again, Ashley. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 1 person

  33. You’re very welcome, Joanna. I really enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. WOW Joanna,
    I know how much time it takes to make a post and this is unbelievable the time, energy, history and all that went into it’s beautiful creation!
    Your pictures are so clear and vivid.. so gorgeous.
    So that amazing Martin Strel.. I have NO idea how he did that and nor would I..
    Now see, doesn’t my video seem easy peezy after that!~!!! 🤣
    Loved this… great job and thanks for sharing it! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Thank you, Cindy, for your wonderful comment!! I admire your stamina that you can read my post after all that jumping!! I do some workouts
    to keep healthy but not to your professional standard! Yet, we do get on so well, don’t we?

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Thank you again, Cindy. Greatly appreciated.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

  37. It’s a pleasure Joana! hahahhaha.
    Well, I’m going to come back and really look over the videos and I learned some great things. Oh good I’m glad you do, that makes me happy to hear.
    Yes, we do… move it or loose it sadly! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  38. It was my pleasure! 💖💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Thank you! Please, do, there is a beautiful flute music…

    Liked by 2 people

  40. can’t wait and I’ll get mine out too!!! 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Is there no end to your talents, Cindy?!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close