In NOTED! we highlight a new city every week and share with you some facts that you didn’t know. Today, we’ll tell you why the most famous city in Brazil was named by mistake.
Rio de Janeiro means “January River”. But the truth is: there’s no river there. The explorer Gaspar de Lemos set sail from Portugal in 1501 and arrived at a huge bay in Brazil the following January. Being under the impression that the bay was the mouth of a river he named it after the month when he discovered it.
This bay is called Guanabara Bay and is still very popular in todays culture! The bay is actually known for being the deepest natural bay in the ENTIRE world, and the second largest bay in size in Brazil. It is quite impressive!
One of the most unfortunate things is that the bay used to be used as a dumping ground so when the Rio Olympics came around, the people of Rio were nervous about the water sports section! There have been quite large objects found at the bottom, like couches!
Despite the garbage, the bay is absolutely beautiful and definitely worth a visit!