Astonishing Facts About Rainforests

August 27, 2017 | Rachel Seigel

Astonishing Facts About Rainforests

"The forest is a peculiar organism of unlimited kindness and benevolence that makes no demands for its sustenance and extends generously the products of its life and activity; it affords protection to all beings." -Buddhist Sutra

Rainforests are dense forests of tall trees typically found in tropical and temperate areas. The trees are both evergreen and broad leaf. Vegetation grows in layers, with the tallest trees forming a canopy that actually blocks most of the light from reaching the forest floor. Below are 45 astonishing facts about Rainforests.

Rainforests Facts

42. Dense

50% of the world’s plants and animals live in rainforests, but rainforests only cover 2% of the Earth.

Global Warming FactsWikipedia

41. Found All Over the World

South America isn’t the only place where rainforests are found. Alaska, Canada, Asia, Africa, and Latin America all have rainforests.

Rainforests FactsPixabay

40. Not Too Dry and Not Too Cold

The only continent in the world that doesn’t have rainforests is Antarctica. This is because the temperature is too cold to sustain them. Rainforests also can’t exist in desert or tundra biomes as they are too dry.

Metallica factsPixabay

39. Two Kinds

There are two kinds of rainforests. Tropical rainforests are warm and moist and temperate rainforests are cooler. Tropical rainforests are the more abundant of the two, found closer to the equator.

Rainforests FactsPixabay

38. The Lion’s Share

The Amazon rainforest in Brazil is the largest rainforest on the planet.

Rainforests FactsWikimedia Commons

37. Underwater

A true rainforest has a minimum of 80 inches of rain annually.  The rainiest city in the US is Portland, Oregon which only receives an average of about 40 inches of rain a year.

Rich People Problems factsPexels

36. Global Temperature Control

Rainforests act like a global thermostat. They absorb and release so much heat that it regulates temperatures and weather patterns around the world.

Rainforests FactsPicryl

35. A Basin of Water

The Amazon Basin contains 1/5 of the world’s fresh water.


Rainforests FactsFlickr Jonathan Hood

34. Between the Tropics

A rainforest forest is not necessarily a tropical rainforest. To be a tropical rainforest, it must lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, receive rainfall regularly throughout the year (a minimum of 80 inches), and remain free of frost all year.

Rainforests FactsWikimedia Commons

33. That’s Really Wet!

The wettest rainforests can receive 304 inches of rain annually. With no seasonal changes to affect climate, the rain stays constant and heavy.

Rainforests FactsPxHere

32. World’s Largest Pharmacy

The tropical rainforest is an excellent source of natural medicines, and a quarter of all natural remedies have been discovered there.

Rainforests FactsPixabay

31. Healing Properties

70% of the plants used to treat cancer can only be found in rainforests. Over 2000 types of plants found in tropical rainforests have been determined to contain cancer fighting properties.

Rainforests FactsWikimedia Commons

30. They’re Shrinking

6 million square miles of the Earth were once covered by rainforests. That number has been cut in half by human intervention and deforestation.

Global Warming FactsWikipedia

29. Rapid Extinction

At their current rate of decline, 5-10% of the species found only in rainforests will go extinct every 10 years.

Rainforests FactsPixabay

28. Relied Upon by Man and Beast

Many of the different animals found in the rainforests can’t survive anywhere else because they depend on the rainforest environment for their basic needs. About 90% of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty near the rainforest also depend on it for their basic needs.

Rainforests FactsMax Pixel

27. 10 Minutes from Top to Bottom

The rainforest canopy is so dense and tall that it takes approximately 10 minutes to reach the ground if rappelling from the canopy.

Rainforests FactsPixnio

26. Unique Flowers

80% of the flowers found in rainforests are not found anywhere else in the world.

Rainforests FactsPixabay

25. Under Threat

Due to practices such as logging and mining, a slice of rainforest the size of a football field is destroyed each second. That’s equivalent to 31 million football fields a year.

Global Warming FactsWikipedia

24. Wrestling Frogs

Strawberry poison dart frogs which are found in Central American rainforests will wrestle for up to 20 minutes over territory.

Rainforests FactsPxHere

23. The Idiot Fruit

The Idiot Fruit, native to the Australian rainforest is the world’s most primitive species of flowering trees. The tree can grow up to 117 feet, and its seeds are toxic to animals and birds.

Rainforests FactsPixabay

22. Rhinoceros or Bird?

The Rhinoceros Hornbill bird has a prominent golden-yellow horn called a casque on top of its head, making it look like it has an extra beak. This unusual bird is one of the largest birds in the rainforests of Asia.

Rainforests FactsWikimedia Commons

21. Did You Hear that Howling?

Black howler monkeys, found in the rainforests of Latin America, have a call that can be heard nearly 5km away!

Rainforests FactsPxHere

20. Something Smells Rotten

Tropical rainforests contain a fungus called Veiled stinkhorn fungi. The smell is similar to rotting food. This keeps humans away but is irresistible to many animals and insects.

Rainforests FactsWikipedia

19. Can Live for Two Millenia

Some of the pine trees in Tasmania’s temperate rainforests are over 2000 years old.

Rainforests FactsShutterstock


18. All in a Single Hectare

One hectare of rainforest (the size of an average rugby field) can contain 42,000 species of insects, 807 trees of 317 different species, and 1500 species of higher plants.

Rainforests FactsPixnio

17. Dwindling Population

Before the year 1500, approximately 6 million indigenous people lived in the Brazilian Amazon. As the forests have disappeared, so have the people, and by the early 1900s, less than 250,000 people remained.

Rainforests FactsPixabay

16. Mating Season

The Blue Morpha Butterfly lives in the tropical rainforests of Latin America. When they are seeking a mate, they fly above the canopy of the forest, and can be visible to pilots flying overhead.

Rainforests FactsPixabay

15. People of the Forest

The Mbuti people of African rainforests only grow up to 5 feet tall. Their small size enables them to move more easily through the forest.


Billie Holiday FactsShutterstock

14. Red Soil

Rainforest soil contains high levels of aluminum and iron, giving it a red color.

Rainforests FactsPxHere

13. Elephant Dung Coffee

The most expensive Coffee in the world is made from coffee beans picked from the dung of elephants living in the rainforests of Thailand. The beans are fed to the elephants, and then collected and cleaned after they pass them. The coffee costs about $500 a pound, or $50.00 a cup.

Rainforests FactsShutterstock


12. Almost as Old as Time

Rainforests have been around for tens of millions of years. This makes them the Earth’s oldest land ecosystem.

Rainforests FactsPixnio

11. Almost Total Darkness

The floors of the rainforest are almost completely dark. Only 1% of sunlight makes it through the dense tree canopy.

Rainforests FactsPxHere

10. Carbon Sinks

A carbon sink is any region that absorbs more carbon than it releases. Rainforests are one of the Earth’s major carbon sinks.

Rainforests FactsShutterstock

9. Plenty ‘O Fish

Rainforest waterways contain more freshwater fish than anywhere else on Earth.

Ancient China factsPixabay

8. A Winter Home

Many songbirds and other migratory birds make their winter home in Latin American tropical rainforests. Some travel as much as 3000 miles to get there.

US Presidents factsPixabay

7. Limited Farming Potential

A cleared piece of rainforest land can only sustain crops for 1-2 years due to poor soil quality. After that, the land becomes starved of nutrients and is virtually useless.

Rainforests FactsPxHere

6. The Food We Eat

80% of the natural foods that humans eat originated in rainforests. Rice, potatoes, tomatoes, pineapple, bananas, corn, coffee and chocolate were first found there.

Rainforests FactsPxHere

5. Homes for Pollinators

Bats in Southeast Asia are a driving force in the forest ecosystem and pollinate more than 300 species of plants and forest fruits.

Animals FactsShutterstock


4. Untapped Potential

Less than 1% of the species found in tropical rainforests have been analyzed for their medicinal value.

Rainforests FactsPxHere

3. A Rare Sighting

The rare and mysterious white grizzly bear, known locally as a Spirit Bear, can only be found in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada. The bear is also the province’s official provincial mammal.

Rainforests FactsPxHere

2. The Lost City

In the 1920s, Henry Ford decided to build a city in the Amazon rainforest to harvest rubber for car tires. The city was called Fordlandia, and was one of Ford’s greatest failures. He fed the local workers American food which they did not enjoy and made them work through the hottest part of the day. The workers eventually revolted and chased all the managers and even the cook into the forest. The Brazilian army had to step in to end the revolt.  The city was eventually abandoned but is now home to about 2000 residents. The one size fits all approach that worked so well for Ford in the US just didn't work in the Amazon.

Rainforests FactsShutterstock

1. Contributing to Climate Change

The destruction of the Earth’s rainforests is contributing to climate change. A massive amount of carbon emissions come from burning rainforests to create farmland. This effect is compounded because the trees that were burned are no longer scrubbing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Rainforests FactsWikipedia


Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.