Brazil is one of South America’s most diverse and fascinating countries. It is also the largest country on the South American continent (by both geographical area and population.) With these interesting facts about Brazil, let’s learn more about its history, economy, geography, rain forests, culture and more…
Interesting facts about Brazil
1. The country of Brazil occupies half of South America’s total landmass.
2. 4,600 miles of Brazil’s coastline lie on the Atlantic Ocean.
3. Brazil is void of deserts, high-mountain and arctic environments.
4. It contains a major portion of the Amazon River basin.
5. And it contains one third of Latin America’s population.
6. And it is among the world’s major economies.
7. Brazil was once ruled by the Portuguese.
8. The Portuguese established sugar plantations in Brazil during the 16th century.
9. Brazil’s first national parks were created in the late 1930s.
10. Brazil discovered gold for the first time in 1695, and furnished a large portion of the world’s gold reserve during the 18th century.
11. Brazilian prisoners can reduce their sentence by 4 days every month for every book they read and write a report about.
12. 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.
13. Brazil once listed an aircraft carrier for sale on eBay.
Facts about the Brazilian economy, history and tourism
14. On January 1, 1502 the first official tourist arrived in Brazil. The bay where they landed was named Ria de Janeiro (Bay of January).
15. According to a report, 6 million tourists visit Brazil every year.
16. ‘Rubber’ made Brazil a wealthy nation during the late 18th century.
17. It occupies the ninth spot on the list of the most billionaires in the world.
18. Brazil spent US $11 billion for infrastructure improvement in preparation for hosting the 2014 World Cup. However, the U.S. spent only $30 million for the same job in 1994.
19. Due to financial crises in 1932, Brazilian athletes had to sell coffee on their way to the Los Angeles Olympics. The country has been the world’s largest exporter of coffee for 150 years.
20. Did you know Brazil became the first South American country ever to host the Olympics in 2016?
21. Brazil has a replica of the Statue of Liberty.
22. In areas around Brazil and Argentina, the earth’s magnetic field has been found to be weakening, specifically for the last 180 years.
23. An island in Brazil called Snake Island has up to 5 snakes per square meter. Civilians are not allowed to visit the island.
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. Brazil has 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
26. There are more species of monkeys in Brazil than in any other nation.
27. The biggest African city outside Africa – Salvador – is in Brazil.
28. One of Henry Ford’s failed ventures (due to poor crop-disease control) was to create rubber plantations and factories in the middle of the Brazilian Amazon jungle.
29. Brazil has the tenth-largest railway and third-largest roadway network in the world.
30. Brazil became energy independent in 2006. Prior to this, it had imported oil as a primary energy source.
Brazilian culture facts
31. The world’s largest population of Catholics (73.6%) lives in Brazil. They make up 64% of its population.
32. The country containing the largest number of Japanese people outside Japan is Brazil.
33. Prisoners in Brazil could also pedal a stationary bicycle in the prison to provide electricity to a nearby town. This would help reduce their sentence by a few days.
34. Brazil has a high murder rate.
35. According to media reports, by mid 2007, there were 67 tribes within Brazil who have never had contact with modern man. These semi nomadic indigenous people have, however, made incredible strides in modern medicine thanks to our knowledge of their use of certain plant life as health-related elixirs.
36. At least 180 languages are spoken in Brazil.
37. Samba music from Brazil from the 18th century is still tremendously popular.
38. It is a ritual in Brazil for boys to bear the pain from Bullet Ants before they are declared adults. Their hands are put in gloves filled with these ants. Boys are required to withstand the pain for at least 10 minutes, and they have to pass this test 20 times before being declared adults.
39. Free sex-change operations are provided by the Brazilian public health system. They recognize this as a constitutional right.
40. The largest number of species of mammals, plants and fresh water fish are found in Brazil.
41. Pele is a Brazilian soccer player who is famous the world over. Brazil has won soccer’s FIFA World Cup five times.
42. Sand dunes in Brazil can reach a height of 40 meters.
43. Brazil has thirteen cities with a population of more than one million people.
44. The ‘Itaipu Dam’ in Brazil is the second-largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world. It is 7.7 kilometers long and 196 meters high. It is located on the border between Brazil and Paraguay.
45. Brazil attained independence from Portugal in 1822.
46. Brazil has only three time zones, while France has twelve.
47. The climate is tropical across the majority of Brazil.
Some lesser-known but significant facts
48. Would you believe that in Laguna, Brazil, dolphins help fishermen catch fish? Some fisherman in Brazil get a bit of help from a herd of well known bottle nose dolphins. In Laguna, a friendly pod of bottle nose dolphins herd fish toward local fishermen. The dolphins then use a series of tail slaps to signal for the fishermen to throw their nets in the water. This impressive collaboration dates back to at least 1847.
49. Indoor tanning for anyone of any age was banned in 2003 in Brazil, making it the first country to impose such a ban (Using a tanning bed, booth or sunlamp to get tan is called indoor tanning. Indoor tanning can cause skin cancers.)
50. The only national football team to have never lost to Brazil is Norway. They played four matches; two were played to a draw, while the other two were won by the Norwegian team.
51. A single cashew tree in Natal, Brazil covers an area of 7500 meters thanks to a rare genetic mutation.
52. Brazil lost the 1950 FIFA World Cup final to Uruguay. It is noteworthy here that Brazilians prepared 22 gold medals with the names of their players written on them. A victory song was also prepared to celebrate in the event of a win. The result was, however, unfortunate for Brazil.
53. Brazil exported more than half a million handguns to the U.S. in 2010; making it the largest exporter of guns during that period.
54. When Pele and Garrincha played together, Brazil never lost a game of soccer.
55. In every city in Brazil, there is at least one soccer stadium.
56. This fact, though not related to Brazil, brings to your attention that Lake Baikal is the world’s deepest lake.
57. In 2005, a Nike ad starring Ronaldinho achieved more than 1 million views on YouTube; making it the first YouTube video to reach that mark.
58. It is the world’s largest market for ‘crack cocaine.’
59. In the 1980s, Brazil became the first South American country to accept women in its armed forces.
60. Sugarcane liquor mixed with ice, sugar and crushed lime slices make the Brazilian national drink.
61. Brazil’s first printing press was set up in 1808.
62. The Brazilian Football Confederation was founded in 1914
63. At 86.4%, Brazil has the lowest literacy rate of all South American countries.
64. Corcovado is a mountain in central Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is known worldwide for the 38-metre (125 ft) statue of Jesus atop its peak, entitled Cristo Redentor or “Christ the Redeemer”.
65. São Vicente, the country’s oldest city, is the birthplace of footballer Robinho. The city was also Portugal’s first permanent settlement in the Americas.
Brazil facts for kids
66. The name Brazil comes from ‘Brazilwood’ – the name of a tree in Brazil.
68. Sau Paulo is Brazil’s economic and demographic heartland.
69. Brazil has more than 4000 airports, which is fewer than the U.S., which has the world’s highest number of airports.
70. Brasilia is the capital city of Brazil. It resembles the shape of an airplane when viewed from air.
71. ‘Silva’ is the most popular surname in Brazil.
72. Brazil has a 60% share of the Amazon’s rain forest.
73. Brazil declared itself a republic on November 15, 1889.
Fun facts about Brazil
74. Searching high and low for an odd themed bar you won’t be able to find elsewhere? Look no further than Brazil and its out-of-left-field trend of Osama Bin Laden themed pubs. Currently there are two locations–Bar do Bin Laden, located in Sao Paulo, which is run by an Osama lookalike, and Caverna do Bin Laden. Roughly translated, the latter means “Bin Laden’s Cave.” This pool bar and watering hole is located in Niteroi, about 30 miles north of bustling Rio de Janeiro.
75. Hungry for more of the most amazing facts about Brazil? According to various media reports, a customer at Bar do Bin Laden actually called authorities, indicating that the Al Queda founder was hiding out at the establishment.
76. According to a study, 35% of men from rural Brazil have had sex with an animal. Animals like mares, cows, pigs and chickens were involved in the acts. Moreover, it was also revealed in the study that the men involved in such an act were also likely to develop cancer of the penis.
77. Did you know that voting is mandatory in Brazil?
78. There is a group of people in Brazil called the Bororo who all have the same blood type: “O.”
79. Take note that Bolivia, not Brazil, is the main exporter of Brazil Nuts.
80. The country has a city called “Nao-Me-Toque.” It literally means “Don’t Touch Me.”
81. Outdoor advertising has been banned in Sao Paulo since 2006.
82. The largest free rock concert ever had 4.2 million attendees. It was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and featured a performance by Rod Stewart.
Quick/fast country facts Brazil
|Independence||7 September 1822 (from Portugal)|
|Largest City||São Paulo|
23.5505° S, 46.6333° W
|Total area||8,515,770 sq km|
|Borders||French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay|
|Currency||Real (R$) (BRL)|
|Life expectancy||73.81 Years (2016)|
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
|National symbol(s)||Southern Cross constellation; national colors: green, yellow, blue|
|Time Zone||BRT (UTC−2 to −5)|
Summer (DST) - BRST (UTC−2 to −5)
|GDP - per capita (PPP):||$15,600 (2015 est.)|
|Terrain||mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt|
|Natural resources||bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber|
|Birth rate||14.46 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)|
|Death rate||6.58 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)|
|Government type||federal presidential republic|
|Industries||textiles, shoes, chemicals, cement, lumber, iron ore, tin, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment|
|Exports||$189.1 billion (2015 est.)|
transport equipment, iron ore, soybeans, footwear, coffee, automobiles
|Imports||$174.2 billion (2015 est.)|
machinery, electrical and transport equipment, chemical products, oil, automotive parts, electronics
|Internet country code||.br|
|Internet users||120.676 million|
percent of population: 59.1% (July 2015 est.)
|Drives on the||Right|
|National anthem||"Hino Nacional Brasileiro" (Brazilian National Anthem)|
note: music adopted 1890, lyrics adopted 1922; the anthem's music, composed in 1822, was used unofficially for many years before it was adopted
Last update: 20th, May, 2016