The Amazon Rainforest covers an area of five and a half million square kilometres. Most of it is situated in Brazil, while the rest lies in Peru and seven other countries. A large part of the forest remains unexplored.
Because of the quantity of trees in the forest (naturally) the rainforest provides more than 20% of the earth’s oxygen. However, the trees are cut down daily for lumber.
A few hundred thousand species of plant life have been discovered to date in the forest. The diversity of animal life is just as great. For example, 2000 species of fish have been discovered in the Amazon Basin. It is more than the number of species in the Atlantic Ocean.
More still, many cures for illnesses have been found in rainforest plants, and the rich diversity in the Amazon Rainforest makes it one of the largest store of medicinal plants in the world. Many indigenous tribes live in explored and unexplored areas of the forest and have years of experience using the plants as medicine.
Some of the tribes have yet to be approached. Unfortunately, most of them might never be safely contacted, for they don’t have the natural immunity for many of the illnesses that have devastated Europe and the rest of the world centuries ago and that any travellers would bring into their camps if contact should be made.
The Amazon is a place that can be used as a setting or simply to make a story of. There are many undiscovered areas in the rainforest that could be home to some frightening new species, or an undiscovered people who have had a breakthrough in dangerous technology. Furthermore, the forests are being destroyed, and a single character can make a stand to stop them. Or, your story could take place after the forest is gone entirely, creating massive global warming and resulting in an epic disaster. I’m sure you can think of more things to do with the Amazon rainforest as inspiration, but that’s all from me today.
(Most of my information comes from Wikipedia, as well as www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm. I can give you a link if you really need it.)