5.VASYUGAN SWAMP, RUSSIA
Most swamps are relatively small, but there are a few whose size will take your breath away. The biggest on the planet is the Vasyugan swamp in Russia. 20% wider than the whole of Switzerland and 53,000 square kilometres in total area. Within the bounds of the swamp there are more than 800 lakes, and many rivers and streams begin here. 2% of the world total supply of peat is to be found here.
This is an enormous area utterly devoid of people, and festooned with bushes bearing cranberries, cloudberries and bog bilberries. Animals and birds that live here have no fear of anybody. This Vasyugan swamp is a natural phenomenon that has no equal anywhere in the world. Not that other members of the large swamps family cannot compete. There are some respectable contenders.
4. PANATAL SWAMP, BRAZIL
In southern Brazil we find the Pantanal swamp. The name comes from the Portuguese ‘pântano’, meaning wetland, or marsh. Less well-known than the Amazon rain forest, this mighty wetland is at certain times of year larger than England, well over 100,000 sq km during the rainy season. From December to May, 80% of the area is flooded, and is almost 10 times the size of Florida’s Everglades.