Brazil's "Crab-Spider"

Being that we just celebrated Halloween, I thought it’d be a good time to introduce you to the Brazilian tarântula, known in Brazil as the caranguejeira (after caranguejo, or crab, due to its size and similarity). Out of 900 species of tarântulas on the planet, 300 of them are Brazilian. Of those 300 species come 11 families, 10 of which are native to the Amazon jungle.

The Brazilian Spice Trade

 
(exotic fruits, etc, from the Amazon)

In the 15th century, Europeans were trying to find a route to India in order to take part in the valuable spice trade. By the 16th century, though, the Americas had already been discovered and, with it, a way to secure other kinds of exotic items. The Portuguese exploration of the mighty Amazon region opened up a whole new area of trade with what became known as “drogas do sertão”, only they weren’t necessarily drugs and they weren’t exactly from the sertão (used today to refer to the semi-arid region of Northeastern Brazil).