"One day, the great mother of the universe gathered together her children, the thunders. She asked them to create water, the earth and people to populate it. And so it was done. Plants, animals and men were transported in the stomach of the great snake and left along the banks of the river, on the land and in the mountains. This is how the Amazon Rainforest was created." When talking about the Amazon Rainforest, the "Green Inferno" is always mentioned, a vivid image dating from when this vegetation fortress represented nothing else than hostility for explorers and settlers: sicknesses, wild animals, hostile indigenous people, some of them cannibals, were the dangers they faced when entering the jungle. The Amazon is now a welcoming area, particularly in the areas without mosquitoes. This immense area spreads over 4.8 million square kilometers (2.98 sq mi), sheltering five to ten million of different plant and animal species, with only a third of them registered. It is one of the most important reserves of biodiversity in the world and thus a very interesting resource seducing the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, chemical, bio-chemical and genetic industries. When the wealthiest countries understood this potential in the 50s, they tried - in vain - to declare the Amazon as "internationally protected", like the Antarctic.