Long referred to as the "lungs of the world", the latest study about the Amazon rainforest says that it is far younger than people believed and it came into existence through climate change. It had some help too - after 1492 when Columbus crossed the Atlantic and brought with him European diseases which killed the indigenous people farming the region.

The scientists involved in the study published their findings in the U.S. journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

"The dominant ecosystem was more like a savannah than the rainforest we see today," John Carson, lead author at the University of Reading in England, said of the findings about the southern Amazon.