25 Amazing Rainforest Facts You’ve Never Heard

Published May 29, 2014
Updated November 7, 2023

Rainforests are disappearing from our planet at an alarming rate. Despite our knowledge of the relationship between deforestation and global warming, logging, agriculture, and urban sprawl claim trees and brush from landmasses as large as Panama every year.

Learn more about the amazing properties of this ancient ecosystem (and the dangers in store if totally destroyed) by reading these 25 rainforest facts:

Rainforest Facts Dung Coffee
The world's most expensive coffee is made from coffee beans picked from elephant dung. Coffee beans are fed to the elephants in the rainforests of Thailand, then collected and cleaned after the 15-30 hours it takes for them to pass through the elephant’s system. The Black Ivory Coffee costs about $500 per pound, which equals around $50 per cup. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

25 Rainforest Facts
20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply is located in the Amazon Basin.Mario Tama/Getty Images

Brazil Waterfall
Rainforests have been around for tens of millions of years, making them our planet’s oldest living ecosystem.Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

Monkey Stretch
It is estimated that more than 30 million plant and animal species live within the rainforests.Pablo Cozzaglio/AFP/Getty Images

Rainforest Facts
There are 225 species of amphibians found in Amazonia alone.Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Facts About Rain Forests
70 percent of all plant species deemed “useful” in cancer treatment are only found in rainforests. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

High Living
The forest floors are almost completely dark, with only about one percent of available sunlight making it through the tree canopy. Romeo Gacad/AFP/Getty Images

The Lungs Of The Earth
Rainforests have been called the lungs of the earth, but this is inaccurate. In reality, rainforests produce around 20 percent of the world’s oxygen, while ocean microorganisms produce the other 80 percent.Mario Tama/Getty Images

Guainia River
Rainforests help regulate weather patterns and temperature, keeping the world’s climate in check.Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

Pygmy Marmosets
Though rainforests only cover roughly 7 percent of the Earth’s dry land surface, they are home to more than 50 percent of all animal and plant species.Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Malaysian Rainbow
More than 25 percent of medications used worldwide today originated in rainforests. AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Interesting Rainforest Facts
Rainforest deforestation has led to the highest extinction rate in history: An average of 137 rainforest plant and animal species are exterminated every day. Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

People Who Live In The Rain Forests
50 million indigenous people call rainforests home, and deforestation is responsible for the depletion of much of their food. Mario Tama/Getty Images

White Tree
Rainforests are one of the Earth’s primary carbon sinks. A carbon sink is any region that absorbs more carbon than it releases. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Mountain Deforestation
If deforestation continues at its current rate, all the world’s rainforests will be lost within 40 years.Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

Interesting Facts About Rainforests
There are more freshwater fish in rainforest waterways than anywhere else on Earth. Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

Birds View
There are many bird species which migrate to rainforests for the winter; many travel 3,000 miles or more to get there.Pablo Cozzaglio/AFP/Getty Images

Pantanal Peak
Rainforest land is not good for farming. Once cleared, the poor soil quality can only sustain crops for 1-2 years, leaving a nutrient free and virtually useless piece of land.Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon Rain Forest Facts
The Amazon rain forest spans approximately 3.4 million square miles — about the same surface area as Western Europe. Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

Tree Climbing
Around 80 percent of the natural foods we eat originated in rainforests, including rice, tomatoes, potatoes, bananas, black pepper, pineapples, corn, coffee, and chocolate.Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

Smokey Forest
Annually, rainforests can get anywhere from 75-260 inches of rain. At the high end, that is more than 21 feet of rainfall.Raphael Alves/AFP/Getty Images

Belo Monte
Antarctica is the only continent devoid of rainforests.Mario Tama/Getty Images

If you enjoyed these rainforest facts, be sure to check out these unbelievable facts about the Sun and interesting facts about the world.

Kiri Picone
Kiri Picone holds a B.A. in English and creative writing from Pepperdine University and has been writing for various digital publishers for more than 10 years.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.