Brazil is one of the biggest countries in the world. Let’s see some facts and trivia about the country that is hosting the Summer Olympics 2016.
1.It is the world’s fifth-largest country by both area and population.
2. Brazil is the biggest country in both South and Latin America.
3. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language–and the only one in the Americas.
4. Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire.
5. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro.
6. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system.
7. Brazil’s economy is the world’s ninth-largest by nominal GDP and seventh-largest by GDP (PPP) as of 2015.
8. One of the world’s major breadbaskets, Brazil has been the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years.
9. It is likely that the word “Brazil” comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast. In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil commonly given the etymology “red like an ember”, formed from Latin brasa (“ember”) and the suffix -il (from -iculum or -ilium).
10. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was highly valued by the European cloth industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil.
11. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples (mostly Tupi) along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders (mostly Portuguese, but also French) in return for assorted European consumer goods.
12. The earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years.
13. The country’s motto is “Ordem e Progresso”, meaning “order and progress.
14. Brazilian prisoners can reduce their sentence by 4 days every month for every book they read and write a report about it.
15. Brasilia, the country’s capital, took just 41 months to build, from 1956 to 1960.
16. A number of Nazis fled to Brazil after the Second World War, including Josef Mengele (the “Angel of Death”), known for his cruel experiments and fascination with twins. The high rate of twin births in the town of Cândido Godói, near the Argentine border, has been attributed to him (but disproven).
17. If you were to buy an Apple iPhone in Brazil, you would have to pay almost twice the price for the phone as if you had bought it in the United States
18. The Amazon River is the world’s largest by volume of water discharged.
19. It occupies the ninth spot on the list of the most billionaires in the world.
20. The statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro weighs 635 tonnes, is 38 metres high including its pedestal and was named one of the “New Seven Wonders of the World” in 2007.
21. Brazil has more than 4,000 airports – more than any other country other than the US.
22. Due to financial crises in 1932, Brazilian athletes had to sell coffee on their way to the Los Angeles Olympics.
23. According to a 2007 report, there are at least 70 uncontacted tribes in the Brazilian Amazon.
24. Sao Paulo is known for traffic jams. A record was set in 2013 when a 309 km long traffic queue developed during evening rush hour.
25. Some 1.5 million-2.5 million Brazilians are of Japanese descent. Many immigrants brought with them seedlings of cherry trees and cherry blossoms can be viewed outside homes in Sao Paulo, and in public parks in Curitiba.
26. The world’s largest population of Catholics (73.6%) lives in Brazil. They make up 64% of its population.
27. Brazil is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, with a total of four million plant and animal species, according to estimates. It has more species of monkey than any other nation.
28. With 82 per cent of its population tracing their ancestry back to the days of slavery, Salvador is described as “the biggest African city outside Africa”.
29. At least 180 languages are spoken in Brazil.
30. Free sex-change operations are provided by the Brazilian public health system. They recognize this as a constitutional right.
31. Indoor tanning for anyone of any age was banned in 2003 in Brazil, making it the first country to impose such a ban.
32. It is the world’s largest market for “crack cocaine”.