The word “swamp” itself sounds repulsive. People were always drowning there, and today there is a great risk of catching malaria or some kind of fever. At the same time, the very word “swamp” has a lot of meaning – it’s Russian roads during the mudslides, and dangerous dragging habits.
Nevertheless, despite the negative associations, these places alone, like any part of nature, are not without their charm. Looking into the swamp, you can see how the two elements – water and earth – are combined.
Here there is a kind of harmony and self-sufficiency. And life in this gloomy place boils, albeit not so clearly. The biological role of the marshes is very important in nature, people realized it too late, having drained many such reservoirs. So what are they, the most beautiful swamps?
The Great Gloomy Marsh in the United States.
The name of this reservoir is quite simple and indian-simple. There is a swamp on the border of the states of North Carolina and Virginia. I must say that this is the largest wildlife site in the east of the country, not affected by human economic activity. But the gloomy name does not correspond to this place at all, it is not so melancholy here. The man exploited the swamp by mining wood. This could completely deprive the reservoir of all the trees growing in it, but in 1974 a reserve was established here. It included the marsh itself and the surrounding land, and the area of the protected area was 200 square kilometers. Near some of the creeks of this Gloomy Marsh you can even stretch out the tent, swim in a boat and hunt for small animals. The Okavango swamp in Botswana.
The Okavango River is interesting because it does not flow into any of the seas. It is 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 here familiarize themselves with unique African safaris. The fact is that during the rainy season in the Okavango Delta, many birds and animals accumulate. Every year in the pond comes 11 trillion liters of water. 60% of the liquid goes to the growth of plants, 36% evaporates and only 2% of the water enters the lake Ngami. Swamp Bangweulu in Zambia.
The word “Bangweulu” in translation from the aboriginal language means “the place where water meets the sky”. Local myths say that in the marshland there is an unprecedented beast Emela-Ntouka. 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. At the heart of the marshes is a large lake. But at the end of the rainy season in May, it spills, multiplying.
The Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana.
This is the largest in the United States. The Atchafalaya basin lies in the central part of the hot and humid state of Louisiana. This place is known for its unusual and somewhat fantastic views of boggy open woodlands. It is about these places in the recent horror film “The 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 flood of waters during the summer hurricanes and spring floods.
Okefenoka swamp in Georgia and Florida.
It would seem, how can wildlife wander in such a civilized North America? Meanwhile, there are quite a lot of boggy, but beautiful places. Okefenoki is considered almost the largest peat bog in the world. The name of this place in translation from the forgotten adverb of Chitichi is translated, and as “trembling earth”, and as “gurgling water”. In a beautiful swamp there are predatory crocodiles and dangerous plants. Miners once led the development of titanium ores, but the mining company, in response to the protests of the “green”, eventually transferred Okefenoki to the Reserve Fund. Swamp of the Pantanal in South America.
The area of this largest marsh is 195 thousand square kilometers, which is comparable with the size of the entire Sverdlovsk region. And there is this very humid lowland in the territory of just three states – Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia. Almost 80% of the entire territory of the Pantanal National Park during the rainy season is filled with water from the sky. The rich area of the marsh includes several local ecosystems. More than 10 thousand living creatures – animals, birds, fish, reptiles and invertebrates, as well as 3500 species of plants live on the territory of the swamp. A crocodile lives here by some estimates to 20 million, which, of course, too much. The swamp Pantanal brought tourists from Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. The journey through these lands lasts 5-7 days, since much is worthy of attention. Swamp on the island of La Digue (Seychelles).
Seychelles La Digue is the fourth largest among all the rest of the islands. It is known only for its beautiful beaches, but also an unusual swamp. Here, in the swamps, coconut palms grow out of the water and mud. Also on the swamp there is a rare miracle bird – a black paradise flycatcher. In the world there are only 100 such individuals.
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 how to domesticate domestic animals and cultivate plants. Bible researchers say that it was the Tigris and the Euphrates that housed the Garden of Eden. The river valley is very fertile, as it is constantly given the moisture of the lake and marsh. Only around the desert is there, where poverty prevails, despite oil production. In 1994, the Iraqi government, led by Saddam Hussein, decided to reclaim some of the vacant land, for which it was decided to change the channels of the great rivers. The fact is that in those years in the UN sanctions led to a famine in the country. Then the Iraqis decided to artificially create new fertile lands. However, in the West they decided that reclamation is actually being done to eradicate the tribes that are hostile to the Hussein regime. Drainage of the marshes led to the disappearance of 52 species of local fish. It’s good that under the pressure of environmental organizations, the work stopped, which saved many chordates in the Mesopotamia. Yes, and the regime of Saddam fell, that finally buried plans.
Everglades National Park in Florida.
In the southern subtropics of the United States there is the Everglades National Park. Its large marshes are among the three that are protected by UNESCO. Surprisingly, a man could save a national park in the middle of a very urbanized area, which includes Miami and the suburbs. In the park there are several ecosystems, including marches. They are especially dangerous Jamaican sword grass with sharp leaves. The serrated sedge grows over time, forming an impassable jungle. There can only live alligators, because predators build themselves a sword-grass nest, where they calmly and reproduce. The Everglades has many wild areas, where cypress and mangrove swamps are located. There are orchids bloom, and unusual sea cows live in the water. But there are also freshwater lakes in the park, and even litters with sea water are closer to the ocean coast. We can say that in the park in miniature is represented the whole water world of subtropics. But there are also problems in the reserve. After all, water from it is constantly diverted to household and household needs of people, who live in the vicinity quite a lot. The dams and canals literally squander the natural treasure, and it’s difficult to do anything with it – the water is needed by man. Such interference of civilization in nature has led to the fact that in the Everglades rare birds have become in the past half a century less by 90%.
The swamp of Kandab 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 occupies 32 thousand hectares.There live up to 80 species of migratory birds. Local biologists somehow managed to calculate the feathered dwellers of the swamp, having found out that in a day they arrive up to 17 thousand individuals. In 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, even on the marshes of Kandab, they even conduct an exotic festival “Ibon-Ebon”. In the local language its name means “birds and eggs”. Residents dress up as birds and begin to dance, as if about to fly up into the sky.