Facts You Should Know About Brazil

Brazil and going green

Brazil has made a huge commitment to going green. Since the major oil crisis in 1973, Brazil made a large push to ethanol as a fuel source. Up until then, 80% of all oil had to be imported into Brazil. Brazil has large tracks of land that can be cultivated to grow sugarcane; this sugar cane can then be used to make ethanol fuel, which 92% of Brazil’s cars now run on.



Brazil and its strange names

Do you know why Brazil is called Brazil? Contrary to what you may believe, Brazil is actually named after Brazilwood, not the other way around. This hard wood from the area is used to make dyes, or simply furniture, however, it also unwittingly gave the country its name. Rio de Janeiro in English actually means “River of January”. It is called that because the first explorers, who arrived in January, mistook the bay for the mouth of a river.



Snake Island

There is a strange and mysterious island off the coast of São Paulo. Ilha da Queimada Grande, nicknamed Snake Island, is the last bastion of the endangered Golden Lancehead viper. There are claims that there are 5 snakes for every square meter on the island, however the Discovery Channel found out it is actually a little less terrifying at 1 snake per square meter. The Brazilian navy now bans civilians from visiting the island in order to protect the snakes, but as these snakes are some of the most venomous in the world, who would want to go anyway!



Fishermen and their Dolphins

Usually the relationship between the fisherman and the dolphin is a strained one. In a small town called Laguna, south of São Paulo, the fishermen have learned to work together with their aquatic counterparts. The fishermen stand near the shore with their nets ready, while dolphins herd fish towards them. With the fish now trapped between the fishermen and the dolphins, the fishermen can cast their nets and catch the fish. How this all started is a mystery, but both parties benefit!



The 1932 Olympian team

1932 was not a great year for Brazil, or for the world for that matter. It was in the midst of the Great Depression, and Brazil like so many countries could not afford to send their athletes to the Olympic Games, held in Los Angeles. It would have been a shame too because one of the athletes, Maria Lenk, would have been the first South American woman to compete. However Brazil, with their incredible desire to stand tall among nations in the Olympic world came up with an ingenious solution of putting all 82 Brazilian delegates on the coffee trade ship, The Itaquice. With little to no money the athletes soldoffee along the way, but in the end with incredible perseverance and commitmen the athletes made it to the Olympics, and Maria Lenk managed to compete.



Amazonian Tribes

There are an estimated 77 uncontacted isolated native tribes still remaining in the Amazon. These tribes have been living in the rainforest for generations. We know about their ways, as there are similar tribes that have been contacted. One tribe, as a rite of passage, uses gloves with hundreds of stinging ants inside. The boy going through this rite has to wear these gloves and bear through the intense pain.