“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!
- Mindo-Nambillo Cloud Forest, South America
The first name on the list is of Mindo-Nambillo Cloud Forest. It is a cloud forest, which means it’s much cooler and moister than a tropical rainforest. It is found in Ecuador and covers about 192 square kilometers or 74 square miles. This Cloud Forest is in the neighbourhood of the great Amazonian Forest as well. With over 1,600 species of birds, frogs and other animals, Mindo-Nambillo Cloud Forest is extremely biologically diverse which maybe because of the geographical diversity of the region as well.
- Kinabalu National Park, Asia
Kinabalu National Park was Malaysia’s first National Park and the very first place to be named World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is about 754 square kilometers or 291 square miles big which means it is larger than Singapore. It surrounds the Mount Kinabalu in Malaysian Borneo, which is the world’s youngest non-volcanic mountain in the world. It contains more than four thousand five hundred species and is considered one of the most important biological sites in the world. Kinabalu Park is widely popular among the tourist for its relative convenience.
- Daintree Forest, Australia
Covering the Northeastern border of Queensland Australia, the Daintree is the largest continuous forest in Australia. About 1200 square kilometers or 463 square miles in size, and north of Cairns and Mossman, the Daintree Forest runs along the coastline of the Daintree river. Species wise, not only more than ninety percent of bats and butterflies live in this forest, but it is also home to more than ten thousand insect species. Many of the Australia’s indigenous reptiles and birds could be found here. Named after the famous geologist and photographer Richard Daintree, this forest is an ancient relic as well.
- Tropical Rainforest of Xishuangbanna, Asia
The Tropical Rain Forest of Xishuangbanna is situated in the Yunnan province in Southern China. It is one of the most well preserved tropical rainforests in the world. Roughly covering an area of about 2,402 square kilometers or 927 square miles, this tropical forest is divided into many subtypes and contains no less than eight types of vegetations. Under those eight types, fifty-eight are considered to be extremely rare. More than 3,500 types of flora have been scientifically recorded here. From the scientific point of view, this rainforest is extremely important due to it being a genetic gene bank, where tropical vegetations are abundant.
- Sundarbans, Asia
Sundarbans is about 10,000 square kilometers or 3861 square miles large and occupies almost the entire Bangladesh and about forty percent of it extends into India. Sundarban has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is the largest halophytic mangrove–excessive water and salt tolerant–rainforest in the world. In India, the Sundarbans is recognized as a National Park, Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve, while in Bangladesh they are classified as Protected Forests. The home of the famous White Bengal Tiger, it is the largest Tiger Reserve in the world.
- Tongass, North America
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
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
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
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!