Brazil is the fifth-largest country by area and the sixth-most populous country in the world. Portuguese is the country's official language, and it is the only country in South America where Portuguese is the official language. The country is also one of the most multicultural and biodiverse countries in the world. If you are planning to visit Brazil, especially on a stopover flight, you'll need to know these facts about the country.
1. The name “Brazil” is a reference to a tree
The official name of Brazil is the Federative Republic of Brazil. The term Brazil is a reference to the Brazilwood tree. During the 16th century, one of Brazil's most lucrative resources was the Brazilwood tree. This tree produced a red dye that was popular in the European textile industry. Because of this, the Portuguese named the region Pau-brasil, which means ember-wood. The name Brazil became official when King Manuel I of Portugal appointed a "governor of the parts of Brazil" in 1516.
2. Brazil is bordered by every other South American country, except two
Brazil is South America's largest country. Stretching from the Atlantic coast and deep into the continent's interior, Brazil covers 47.3% of the land area of the South American continent. The country shares borders with every single South American country except Chile and Ecuador.
3. The stars in the Brazilian flag represent the constellations
Portuguese were the first to colonize the Brazilian land. So, the first flag they used was the flag of Portugal. The initial version of the modern flag came to use on the 19thof November 1889. The green represents the forests, the yellow represents Brazil's wealth, and the blue sphere represents the sky and Brazilian rivers. The 27 stars represent 27 states of Brazil and the constellations in the southern hemisphere and the way they were visible from Rio de Janeiro.
4. Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio is the 4th tallest statue of Jesus in the world
The Christ, the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro is perhaps the most popular icon in Brazil. Constructed between 1922 and 1931, the statue is 30 meters tall, and the arms stretch to 28 meters wide. The statue is at the peak of Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest national park. It is the 4th tallest statue of Jesus and one of the new seven wonders of the world.
5. Amazon rainforest generates about 20% of the world's oxygen
The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, with an area of about 5.5 km². The rainforest stretches over 9 countries, with the majority of that in Brazil. It is home to 10% of the world's known biodiversity. The Amazon is also referred to as the planet's lungs since it generates around 20% of the world's oxygen. The rainforest is facing a huge deforestation crisis because the Amazon lost 20% of its size recently.
6. Brazil is home to the world's most dangerous island
Ilha da Queimada Grande, also known as the snake island, is an island off Brazil's coast in the Atlantic Ocean. The island is the world's most dangerous because it is home to thousands of venomous Golden Lancehead Vipers. You can find at least 5 of these snakes for every square meter. As a result, the Brazilian government made it illegal for anyone to visit the island.
7. 24% of Rio’s population live in slums
There are two types of people living in Rio de Janeiro. People of the asphalt and the people of the hill. People of the hill are about 24% of Rio's total population. They are living in slums, known as Favelas. These Favelas originated as a result of people from the countryside moving towards cities. Today Favelas are home to many drug gangs and some of the most peaceful and creative people in Rio.
8. Brazil hosts the biggest carnival in the world
Carnaval do Rio de Janeiro or Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is an annual festival and the largest global festival, with over two million people per day on the streets. This festival is an amazing spectacle filled with performances of numerous Samba schools in Rio.
9. Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world
Brazil is by far the largest coffee producer in the world, with about a third of global production. Coffee is not native to the Americas, and the domestic plantations started in the late 18th century. The production kept growing, and Brazil was nearly monopolist of the international market in the 1920s with over 80% of the global production. However, those figures have continuously declined ever since.
10. Brazil is the most successful soccer nation in the world
Soccer is not just a sport in Brazil. It is a way of life. Brazilians are so passionate about their players, club teams, and the national team. With 5 FIFA world cups, Brazil is the most successful soccer nation in the world, and many consider Brazilian players to be more skilful than others. Pele, Ronaldinho, Garrincha, Rivaldo, Kaka, and Cafu are some of the greatest Brazilian Soccer players.