“Trees are always a relief, after people.”
No words can surpass the tranquility of those expressed in the above line by David Mitchell. Forests are indeed an important factor for human survival. It’s not just a poetic sentiment to be wanting to be close to nature but rather a proven fact that progress of humanity can not continue without the holistic approach, of which forests occupy a major part. This list comprises of world’s largest continuous forests. Thus, forests which are spread through a large area in isolated pockets have not been taken in account. Here are some amazing jungles, the sheer size of which will shock you out of your shoes!
- Tongass, North America
Photo by : Julie Durieux
Tongass is a temperate rainforest situated in the Southeastern side of Alaska. It’s the United States of America’s largest forest stretching up to a size of 68,062 square kilometers or 26278 square miles, i.e. more than the size of Sri Lanka. Made mostly of western Sitka spruce, western hemlock and red cedar, the forest is covered with Western Red Cedar. The Tongass has been divided into 19 designated Wilderness Areas. It houses one of the rarest flora and endangered fauna, because of its remote location. Tongass is truly a pride of the United States of America.
- Valdivian Temperate Rainforest, South America
With over 248,100 square kilometers or 95,800 square miles, the Valdivian Temperate Rain Forest is the third largest Forest in the world. To give you a sense of perception, that is even larger than the land mass of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It covers a humongous area on the west coast of South America, extending mainly into Chile but also covering parts of Argentina as well. Named after the city Valdivia, this temperate rain forest is full of under-bushes of ferns and bamboos. Both Coniferous, as well as Deciduous trees, can be found in this rain forest even though the most abundant of all is the Evergreen Angiosperm.
- Congo Rain Forest, Africa
Photo by : Roger and Pat de la Ha
Photo by : Roger and Pat de la Ha
Congo rainforest is part of the Congo Basin in the African Continent, which is about 2,023,428 square kilometers or 781,249 square miles, which is more than the size of Alaska or Saudi Arabia! Congo Rainforest is the second largest tropical forest in the world. Out of over 10,000 identified species of plants in the Congo Rain Forest, about twenty-nine percent of them are uniquely indigenous. Close to 1,000 species of birds and more than 500 species of fishes have been recorded in here. About 500 variety of mammals has been registered. Congo Rainforest is considered to be one of the most important ecological balancers.
- The Amazon Forests, South America
Photo by : Colin Barrows
Photo by : Goran Šafarek
Surprise! Surprise! The Amazon Forest, the most popular and well-known of all the forests in this list and the world, the Amazon Jungle or Amazonia is indeed a wonder to behold! It is a broadleaf forest and is spread through numerous countries such as Peru, Brazil Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Surinam, Guyana and Venezuela. About 7,000,000 square kilometers or 2,702,715 square miles large, this Rainforest is a mammoth in size. The Amazon is the biggest collection of biological diverse species. It is said that one out of every ten living species could be found in the Amazons. Thousands and thousands of mammals, birds, animals and insects have been scientifically registered here. The Amazons absorbs gigatons of Carbon dioxide gas. It is one of the most important factors of the World Climate.
- Taiga, Asia-Europe-North America
Photo by : Martin Huf
Photo by : Gilles Baechler
Taiga is technically not a forest, rather it is a Biome. It’s a biological and an ecological system in the form of a forest. Larches, spruces and pines are among the Coniferous trees dominant in this forest. Taiga covers most of the Northern Russia and North America below the Tundra belt. In Russia alone, the land mass occupied by the Taiga as Russian Boreal Forest is close to 12,000,000 square kilometers or 4,633,225 square miles, which is more than the size of China and India put together! Wow! And if we add the North American Taiga as well, then the size becomes even bigger. This is truly the largest forest covering the surface of the earth!
Photo by : Tatiana Borisova