10 things you probably didn’t know about Brazil

While many people may know the capital of Brazil is Brasília, the national drink is the caipirinha, and that Rio de Janeiro is a great place to party and relax on the beach, there is a lot more to be learned about this beautiful country. To help enhance your knowledge, here are ten interesting facts you may not have known about Brazil along with a photo gallery.

1. Natal, which means Christmas in English and is the capital of Rio Grande do Norte, was given this name because it was founded on December 25.

2. Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world. The main feature of the coffee grown in Brazil is the great diversity due to differences in soils, climate, species and varieties, and cultivation techniques in each region.

3. The most common last name in Brazil is Silva. Along with being very common in Portugal, Silva was also given to thousands of slaves brought into the country during the colonial period.

4. São Luís, capital of Maranhão, is the only Brazilian city founded by the French. The city name is a tribute to Louis XIII of France. Before the arrival of the Europeans the land was inhabited by the Tupinambas Indians, who called the place Upaon-Acu (Big Island).

5. Brazil’s soccer team is the only team that has participated in every World Cup. Currently, Brazil won five World Cups: 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002.

6. Pizza is definitely the favorite food of many “paulistas” (people from São Paulo). According to a survey conducted by the Food Service EDC, about 1.5 million pizzas are consumed each day in Brazil and the state of São Paulo is responsible for devouring 800,000, or 53% of them.

7. One of the main attractions in Rio, Sugar Loaf, is 1,296 feet above sea level and there are speculations that it consists of a single block of 6 million-year-old gneiss-granite, which comes from the separation between South America and Africa.

8. Angra dos Reis is a Brazilian municipality located in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro and includes in its territory 365 offshore islands, one for every day of the year (except leap years).

9. With over 80 different species, Brazil has more species of monkeys than any other country in the world.

10. Brazil is home to the Amazon Rainforest, the world’s largest remaining rainforest, which encompasses an area of 2.3 million square miles. Native Indian tribes can still be found dwelling in these rainforests today.