25 Fun Facts About Brazil: The Largest Country In South America

Posted by , Updated on December 27, 2015

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Brazil is a country studded with gorgeous beaches and even more gorgeous people. It boasts of some of the most amazingly beautiful landscapes, delicious foods, and impressive-looking (and powerful) cocktails. For coffee lovers, Brazil is what Italy is for pizza lovers, since the country is the greatest exporter of almost everyone’s favorite breakfast drink. But coffee, beautiful women, and drinks aside, Brazil has a wide gamut of experiences to offer the adventurous traveler. For hundreds of years Brazilian culture has been an exquisite mix of ethnic traditions and backgrounds fused with a glorious blend of artistry. This has generated some of the most recognizable feats of music and dances including the bossa nova, the samba, and capoeira and more. The country is also widely known for being a powerhouse in soccer; its national team has been victorious in the FIFA World Cup a record five times: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002. We’re pretty sure you want to know more about this most popular and visited South American country. So feel free to join us as we share with you these 25 Fun Facts About Brazil: The Largest Country In South America.

If you enjoyed learning about Brazil, you may also enjoy these 25 Unusual Facts About Hawaii That Might Take You By Surprise.


25

The word “Brazil,” meaning “red like an ember,” comes from pau brasil (brazilwood), a tree that once grew abundantly along the Brazilian coast that produced a deep red dye. Brazilwood was valued by European traders who came from the Portuguese coast in the sixteenth century to trade with the Tupí-Guaraní Indians.

25 commonsSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
24

The Portuguese officially named Brazil Terra do Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross), but traders simply called it Terra do Brasil.

24 wSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: Wikipedia
23

Brazil is the sixth-largest country in the world with a population of 200 million and the fifth-largest by landmass with 5.35 million square miles. It is also the largest country in South America.

23 pixabaySource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: pixabay.com
22

The Amazon rain forest is the world’s largest, containing one-fifth of the world’s freshwater reserves and producing one-third of the earth’s oxygen. About sixty percent of the Amazon lies in Brazil.

22 wSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: Wikipedia
21

Brazil is the largest Portuguese-speaking nation in the world and the only one in the Americas since the rest are Spanish speaking.

21 wSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: Wikipedia


20

Brazil is home to the most famous carnival in the world: the Rio de Janeiro carnival, which is often cited as “the world’s largest party.”

20 wSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: Wikipedia
19

Brazil’s national soccer team has been the most successful when it comes to FIFA World Cup championships. They have won the tournament five times: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002.

19 wSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: Wikipedia
18

Brazil has more than four thousand airports, which makes it the second country with the most airports in the world just behind the United States.

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17

Brazil’s flag is one of the most popular but not many know its meaning; the green represents the forests of Brazil, the yellow rhombus reflects its mineral wealth, and the blue circle and stars depict the sky over Rio de Janeiro on the morning of November 15, 1889, when Brazil declared itself a republic.

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16

It is estimated that about four million slaves were taken from Africa to Brazil during the slave trade, which was about forty-five percent of all slaves brought to the Americas. In other words, and contrary to popular belief, Brazil had more slaves than the United States.

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15

This year Rio de Janeiro in Brazil will make history as the first South American city to host the Summer Olympics and the second city in Latin America to host the event after Mexico City in 1968.

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14

Brazil was the first country to ban tanning salons, as well as buying or selling tanning equipment. This law was a result of the World Health Organization classifying tanning beds as a Level 1 carcinogen, the same as plutonium and cigarettes.

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13

Sex change surgeries are free under Brazil’s public health system since 2008.

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12

The country’s most famous motto is “Ordem e Progresso,” which means “order and progress.”

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11

Bossa nova is a genre of Brazilian music that developed and was popularized in the 1950s and ‘60s and is today one of the best-known Brazilian music genres abroad. “The Girl From Ipanema” is without a doubt the most famous bossa nova song; it became a worldwide hit in the mid-1960s, winning a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965.

11 flickr comunicom.esSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: flickr.com, Photo by comunicom.es
10

Brazil’s national drink, which has become one of the most famous exotic cocktails in most parts of the West in the last few years, is the caipirinha, which is a sugarcane liquor called cachaça mixed in a glass with sugar, ice, and crushed lime slices.

10 pixabaySource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: pixabay.com
9

In the 1980s Brazil became the first South American country to accept women into its armed forces.

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8

Brazil boasts the largest population of Catholics in the world at sixty-six percent of its population, about 130 million of the country’s total population.

8 commons.wikimedia.orgSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
7

Brazil has been the world’s largest exporter of coffee for 150 years. It supplied around eighty percent of the world’s coffee in the 1920s but that figure has currently fallen to around a third.

7 pixabaySource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: pixabay.com
6

Believe it or not but Osama Bin Laden–themed bars are quite popular in Brazil. For the record, there’s one named Bar do Bin Laden in São Paulo—run by an Osama look-alike—and Caverna do Bin Laden, or Bin Laden’s Cave, which can be found a few miles outside Rio de Janeiro.

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5

Back in 1959 the city council election in São Paulo had a surprise winner—Cacareco, a five-year-old female rhinoceros from the local zoo. Not only did she win but she did so by a landslide, garnering 100,000 votes (fifteen percent of the total). This was one of the highest totals for a local candidate in Brazil's history to date.

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4

On January 27, 1763, the colonial administration in Portuguese America was moved from Salvador to Rio de Janeiro. The city remained primarily a colonial capital until 1808 when the Portuguese royal family and most of the associated Lisbon nobles, fleeing from Napoleon’s invasion of Portugal, moved to Rio de Janeiro. This makes Rio de Janeiro the only European capital in history that was located outside Europe.

4 wSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: Wikipedia
3

Brazil was the only independent South American country to send ground troops to fight in World War II, with over 25,000 soldiers.

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2

Brazil distributes breast milk around the country to babies whose mothers can’t provide it for them.

2 commons.wikimedia.orgSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: commons.wikimedia.org
1

Brazilian prisoners can reduce their sentence by four days for every book they read and write a report on. In other words, Brazil’s penitentiary system is trying hard to educate its prisoners.

1 wSource: Brazil - The World Factbook, Image: Wikipedia

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