World Rainforest Day falls on June 22 and celebrates, well, rainforests.
Rainforests span the continents of South America, Africa, Asia, and even North America. They are critical to the health of the biosphere - and humanity. They keep the skies clean, the climate cool, house thousands of people, provide our medicines, nurture the majority of land species on Earth, regulate the water cycle, and so much more. Some fun facts:
North America has rainforests, too! The forests in Olympic National Park are temperate rainforests.
The Sahara Desert, of all things, plays a crucial role in keeping the Amazon Rainforest healthy. Huge sandstorms pick up valuable nutrients such as phosphorus and sweep them all the way across the Atlantic Ocean, feeding the nutrient-poor soils of the forest.
Rainforests worldwide are in danger from climate change, drought, deforestation, and more. A thriving rainforest is a thriving planet and people, and today is a great day to start taking action to save the rainforests. You can check out our donate page to give a monetary gift to the rainforests, or you can help spread the word about the rainforests' beauty, benefits, plight, and/or plight. Or, if you're just looking for some peace and inspiration, then take a virtual tour through the rainforests of the world below. Happy Rainforest Day!
Wow, what a view!
Flying in on our helicopter - or giant eagle, or dragon...
Cruising down the river
Taking a hike
The rainforest hides many wonders.
The emergent layer of the rainforest, which lies above the canopy, can soar over 60 m (200 ft) high. Some of the tallest known tropical trees rival redwoods in size. This one is a Ceiba tree.
A baby could take a nap in one of these!
Don't touch the frogs, or you'll get sick! The bright colors are a warning.
He's so cute!
The rainforest is home to giants.
This is an epiphyte. Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants. Don't worry, they don't hurt their hosts - epiphytes get their sustenance from the surrounding air and rain.
Fungi are critical to the health of the forest. Some kinds form vast underground networks with the roots of trees and other plants through which species communicate and exchange nutrients, almost like a brain of sorts...
People live in the rainforest, too! The Penan of Borneo, the Pygmies of central Africa, and the Baniwa and Kuripako of the Amazon are just a few of the many, many rainforest tribes.