Is the Amazon Rainforest man made?

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Report Thread starter 6 years ago
I had a talk with a Professor in this field yesterday and thought I'd share it. The Amazon rainforest is often seen as a shrine of the primeval world, perfectly preserved. It contains in excess of 10% of the worlds entire biodiversity, which seems loads until you remember it's 6.7Million km2 (Just shy of the size of the entire USA, or twice the size of India). It is home to roughly 3 Million indigenous people who live in tribal societies throughout.

As everyone knows, it's being heavily deforested, roughly 100'000 acres each day.


But... quite a bit of evidence now suggests something rather shocking. That the Amazon is actually an agricultural project on a gargantuan scale by humans of the ancient world.

It is borderline factual amongst specialists in the field that roughly 10-20% of the Amazon is man made. But more and more evidence is indicating it was perhaps entirely man made.

What could it mean if the rainforest was almost entirely anthropological? On one hand it could be a bit of Logging Company PR spinning, but on the other it could indicate a completely different perspective on the potential for modern humans to undertake a similar scaled project. Could we make another rainforest?
Badges: 19
Report 6 years ago
If it was almost entirely created by man I think we'd have a hard time explaining the rich biodiversity of the region, and the stupidly adapted organisms for that specific ecosystem.

Could we build another rainforest? Well we could expand existing ones through better management. But of course the land is more economically viable for agriculture and settlement. So long as we value the price of everything over the value of it I doubt such a large scale project will be attempted.

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