Forests can be filled with folklore and mystery, especially when looking at the largest forests in the world. Forests are an important part of our survival. Mankind has relied on forests for protection from the elements and for resources. They are also an important part of the Earth’s atmosphere.
While forests can sometimes be threatened by logging or other industries, there remain vast sections of the Earth covered in forest. Here are the top 8 largest forests in the world.
#8 – Daintree Forest in Australia
Daintree Forest is a forest located along the Northeastern border of Queensland, Australia. It covers about 463 square miles of land. Over ninety percent of bats and butterfly population of Australia lives in this forest, along with more than ten thousand insect species. It is also home to many of the reptiles, birds, and animals that are indigenous to Australia.
The forest is named after Richard Daintree. He was an Australian photographer and professional footballer. Despite the amazing size of this forest, it only covers 0.1 percent of the land mass of Australia. It is considered one of the most complex ecosystems on Earth.
While it is typically referred to as Daintree forest, it is actually a rain forest. Millions of years ago, much of Australia was covered in rainforest. As the region become more arid and dry, the landscape shifted. The area that the Daintree forest covers remained the perfect climate for the rain forest to thrive. There is great diversity in the region, with mountain ranges, stream, waterfalls, gorges, which is all mixed through the dense rain forest.
#7 – Tropical Rainforest of Xishuangbanna in Southern China
The Tropic rainforest of Xishuangbanna is located in the Yunnan province in Southern China. It covers over 927 square miles of land, making it the seventh largest forest in the world. There are at least eight types of vegetation, with more than 3,500 types of flora. This is a very important spot for researchers interested in the study of plant life.
#6 – Sundarbans in Asia
Sundarbans spans an area of about 3,861 square miles and covers almost the entire country of Bangladesh. It also extends into India. It is considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and is home to the largest halophytic mangrove. It is also home to the famous White Bengal Tiger and the largest tiger reserve in the world.
#5 – Tongass in North America
The Tongass rainforest is located in Alaska and covers up to 68,000 square miles of space. It is the largest forest in the United States and is mostly comprised of western Sitka spruce trees, along with western hemlock and red cedar. There are 19 separate Wilderness areas in the Tongass.
#4 – Valdivian Temperate Rainforest in South America
The Valdivian temperate rainforest is located along the western coast of South America. The majority of the forest is located in Chili, but parts of it run into Argentina. The Valdivian forest covers 95,800 square miles, which makes it the fourth largest forest in the entire world. It contains both coniferous and deciduous trees, with an abundance of evergreen angiosperm trees.
#3 – The Congo RainForest in Africa
The Congo rain forest is the third largest forest in the world with a total size of 781,249 square miles. About 29 percent of the trees are uniquely indigenous to the forest. It is home to almost 1,000 species of birds and more than 500 different species of fish. There are also over 500 different mammal species that call the Congo rainforest their home.
The Congo rainforest is considered one of the most important forests in the world and is an important part of our global ecosystem. Due to the size of the Congo rain forest and the fact that it spans several countries, it is sometimes categorized as several different rain forests.
#2 – The Amazon Forests in South America
Coming in at number two on the list of the largest forests in the world is the Amazon forests in South America. With a total size of 2,702,715 square miles, the Amazon forest is also one of the most famous and well-known forests. It extends through several South American countries, including Brazil and Peru. There are so many different species of animals and critters in the forest that it is believed that one out of every ten living species calls the Amazon their home.
Along with containing a vast array of animal species, the Amazon also contains over 16,000 species of trees. Human inhabitants arrived about 11,200 years ago. The first European explorers arrived in the 1540’s. The land is so large and varied that it has not been fully explored. It is also home to several small indigenous tribes that have never had contact with the outside world.
#1 – Taiga
The largest forest in the entire world is not technically a forest; though, it is in the form of a forest. It extends over a vast section of the world and covers most of Northern Russia and North America. It is estimated to be about 4,633,225 square miles in size and this is only counting the section of the Taiga that sits in Russia. In Russia, this section is referred to as the Russian Boreal Forest.
The Taiga is so large and widespread that it even stretches all the way to the northern island of Hokkaido – which is a part of Japan. It covers almost all of inland Canada and stretches into parts of Scandinavia. In total, the Taiga forests make up 29 percent of the world’s forest cover.
Those are the top 8 largest forests in the world. If you ever get the opportunity, you should consider taking a trip to some of these spots. Rainforests, jungles, and coniferous forests dot the landscape of the Earth. The human race has depended on these forests throughout our entire existence. Without them, we would have faced many difficulties over the centuries. Thanks to these largest forests in the world, mankind was able to thrive and expand.