Some facts about (not) Brazil

– Brazil is in the same continent as the United States, in the South, though. While USA has 9,6 million km², Brazil has 8,5 million km². There are roughly 300 million North-Americans and 186 million Brazilians. In terms of population and extension, we are both in the largest countries’ side.

For historical reasons, the Spanish colonized portion of America was divided into 20 countries; the Portuguese part remained as one country: Brazil.

– The language spoken in Brazil is Portuguese, not Spanish. There are no major regional differences, nor dialects or other languages spoken here regularly, regardless of the CIA factbook . A good Spanish speaker might get along OK in Brazil (I’ve been told that a Portuguese-speaking person in Spanish-speaking countries doesn’t do so well).

– Brazil’s capital is Brasília, not Rio de Janeiro (was the capital from 1763 to 1960), not Salvador (was the first capital) and not Buenos Aires (actually capital of the neighbor country Argentina).

– With more than 11 million inhabitants, São Paulo is the largest Brazilian city, 4th in the world. Rio de Janeiro (6+ million) and Salvador (2+million) follow. Urban population responds to 81%; a Brazilian person most likely doesn’t live in the jungle, hasn’t seen a monkey or a snake outside a zoo.

– The Amazônia, aka the Amazonian Rain Forest represents more than half of the remaining rain forests of the world. With 5.5 million km², 60% of it is located in Brazil. The Amazonian region is within 9 countries (Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana). There’s not a single part of it that belongs to the United Nations or to “the world” or anything else (take a look at this text ). It is no longer regarded as “the lungs of world”, as if it were some sort of oxygen industry, but its value to climate balance and biodiversity is fundamental.

– Besides the Amazônia, Brazil has the Atlantic Rain forest and the Pantanal (world’s largest wetland area) as places of great biodiversity.

– Brazil has a huge coastline: 9000 km. Its tourist talent comes largely from the beaches.

– Brazil is NOT a place for child-prostitution tourism (as no other country is).

– The piranha is a carnivorous fish. They are rather small, compared to sharks (15 to 25 cm long) and doesn’t live in saltwater. There are few documented attacks of piranhas causing the death of humans. And they don’t fly. And they can’t be in good movies.

– Apart from the blue-whale, regarded as the biggest Brazilian animal, our fauna is of small animals. The biggest terrestrial animal is the anta, with 200kg and 2m (a big one). Gorilla, elephant, tiger, lion, giraffe, are examples of elsewhere fauna.

– Sucuri is the Brazilian name for the famed Anaconda, a large snake (3m). They have no poison, although they can bite, and they kill their preys by enrolling them, breaking their bones and asphyxiating them. The Sucuri is not likely to attack humans.

– Brazilian music is very rich and also differentiated from other Latin American countries. Its most known genres are the Samba and the MPB (acronym for Brazilian Popular Music). Rich lyrics are also a standout in Brazilian Music.

Salsa, Rumba, Mambo and Tango are not examples of Brazilian music. The Bossa Nova is a mix of samba beats with intricate jazz-descendant harmonies, performed in an intimist mood. There’s much more about about Brazilian music than elevators’ muzak. Hear a little from Radio USP (Real Audio) .