The very word "swamp" already sounds repulsive. At the same time, the word “swamp” itself has a lot of meaning - these are both Russian roads during the thaw period and dangerous addictive hobbies.
Nevertheless, despite the negative associations, these places themselves, like any part of nature, are not devoid of their charm. Looking into the swamp, you can see how the two elements combine - water and earth.
A kind of harmony and self-sufficiency reign here. So what are they, the most beautiful swamps?
Great Gloomy Swamp in the USA. The name of this reservoir is quite simple and simple in Indian style. The swamp is located on the border of the states of North Carolina and Virginia. I must say that this is the largest wilderness area in the east of the country that is not affected by human economic activities. But the gloomy name does not correspond to this place in any way, it is not at all so dreary here. People exploited the swamp, mining wood. This could completely deprive the reservoir of all trees growing in it, but in 1974 a reserve was created here. It included the swamp itself and the adjacent lands, and the area of the protected area was 200 square kilometers. Near some of the backwaters of this Gloomy Swamp, you can even pitch a tent, go boating and hunt small animals.
The Okavango Swamp in Botswana. The Okavango River is interesting in that it does not flow into any of the seas. It gets lost in the swamps in the northwest of the Kalahari Desert, forming something with the poetic name of the Okavango Delta. In total, these colorful swamps occupy an area of 15 thousand square kilometers. This swamp attracts tourists who can get acquainted here with unique African safaris. The fact is that during the rainy season, many birds and animals accumulate in the Okavango Delta. 11 trillion liters of water enter the reservoir every year. At the same time, 60% of the liquid goes to plant growth, 36% evaporates, and only 2% of the water goes to Lake Ngami.
Bangweulu swamps in Zambia. The word "bangweulu" in translation from the language of the aborigines means "the place where water meets the sky." Local myths say that the unprecedented beast Emela-Ntouka is found in the wetlands. This mythological animal has the appearance of a rhinoceros and the size of an elephant. It is said that this beast is the only wild creature that can defeat the African elephant. The swamps are based on a large lake. But at the end of the rainy season in May, it overflows, multiplying.
The Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana. This area is the largest in the United States. The Atchafalaya Basin lies in the heart of the hot and humid state of Louisiana. This place is known for its unusual and somewhat fantastic views of sparse boggy forests. These places are mentioned in the recent horror film "Swamp Shark". It tells about a large fish that attacked people. In reality, of course, there are no sharks in the pool. And the main danger of Atchafalaya lies in the overflow of water during summer hurricanes and spring floods.
Okefenoki Swamp in Georgia and Florida. It would seem, how can wild nature roam in such a civilized North America? Meanwhile, there are quite a few, albeit swampy, but beautiful places here. Okefenoki is considered one of the largest peat bogs in the world. The name of this place, translated from the already forgotten dialect of Khitichi, is translated both as "trembling earth" and as "gurgling water". The beautiful swamp is home to predatory crocodiles and dangerous plants. Miners once worked here to develop titanium ores, but the mining company, in response to the protests of the “greens,” eventually transferred Okefenoki into the hands of the Conservation Fund.
Pantanal Swamp in South America. The area of this largest swamp is 195 thousand square kilometers, which is comparable to the size of the entire Sverdlovsk region. And this very humid lowland is located on the territory of three states at once - Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia. Almost 80% of the entire territory of the Pantanal National Park is filled with water from the sky during the rainy season. The rich area of the bog includes several local ecosystems at once. More than 10 thousand living creatures - animals, birds, fish, reptiles and invertebrates, as well as 3500 plant species live on the territory of the swamp. And according to some estimates, crocodiles live here up to 20 million, which, of course, is too much. Tourists from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are brought to the Pantanal swamp. The journey through these lands lasts 5-7 days, as much is worthy of attention.
Swamp on the island of La Digue (Seychelles). Among all the resort islands inhabited by the Seychelles, La Digue is the fourth largest. It is known only for its beautiful beaches, but also for its unusual swamp. Here, in the marshes, coconut trees grow straight from the water and mud. Also in the swamp lives the rarest miracle bird - the black paradise flycatcher. There are only 100 such individuals left in the world.
Historical and political swamps between the Tigris and the Euphrates. It is believed that the Eurasian civilization originated here, in Mesopotamia. Here, ancient people learned to tame domestic animals and domesticate plants. Bible scholars say that it was between the Tigris and the Euphrates that the Garden of Eden was located. The river valley is very fertile, as it is constantly supplied with moisture by lakes and swamps. Only now there is a desert around, where poverty reigns, despite the oil production. In 1994, the Iraqi government under the leadership of Saddam Hussein decided to reclaim part of the vacant land, for which it was decided to change the channels of the great rivers. The fact is that in those years, UN sanctions led to famine in the country. Then the Iraqis decided to artificially create new fertile lands. However, in the West it was decided that land reclamation was actually being carried out to eradicate the tribes hostile to the Hussein regime living in the marches. Drainage of swamps has led to the disappearance of 52 species of local fish. It is good that, under pressure from nature conservation organizations, the work stopped, which saved many chordates in Mesopotamia. And Saddam's regime fell, which finally buried the plans.
Everglades National Park in Florida. In the southern subtropics of the United States, there is the Everglades National Park. Its large swamps are one of the three that are protected by UNESCO. Surprisingly, man was able to preserve the national park in the middle of a highly urbanized area, which includes Miami and its suburbs. There are several ecosystems in the park at once, including marches. The Jamaican sword grass with sharp leaves is especially dangerous in them. Jagged sedge grows over time, forming impenetrable jungle. Only alligators can live there, because predators build nests for themselves from sword-grass, where they calmly reproduce. The Everglades has many wilderness areas with cypress and mangrove swamps. Orchids bloom there, and unusual sea cows live in the water. But in the park there are also non-swampy fresh lakes, and closer to the ocean coast there are even estuaries with sea water. It can be said that the whole aquatic world of the subtropics is represented in miniature in the park. But the reserve also has its own problems. After all, water from it is constantly diverted for the domestic and economic needs of people, of whom quite a lot live in the vicinity. Dams and canals literally squander the natural treasure, and it is difficult to do something about it - man needs water. Such an intervention of civilization in nature has led to the fact that in the Everglades rare birds have decreased by 90% over the past half century.
Swamp Kandaba in the Philippines. This reservoir is one of the most original on the planet in terms of the diversity of life forms. The swamp in the province of Kandaba on the island of Luzon covers 32 thousand hectares. It is home to up to 80 species of migratory birds. Local biologists somehow managed to count the feathered inhabitants of the swamp, finding out that up to 17 thousand of them arrive per day. During the rainy season, the area is completely hidden under water, but from November to April, Filipinos successfully grow rice and watermelons here. Peasants peacefully coexist with biologists and travelers who come from all over the world to observe the diversity of birds. And in early February, the exotic Ibon-Ebon festival is even held in the Kandaba swamps. In the local language, its name means "birds and eggs". Residents dress up as feathered and start dancing, as if about to fly into the sky.