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Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: República Federativa do Brasil), is the largest and most populous country in South America, and the fifth largest in the world in both area and population. Its territory covers 8,514,876.599 km² between central South America and the Atlantic Ocean and it is the easternmost country of the Americas. It borders Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana and the département of French Guiana to the north, Uruguay to the south, Argentina and Paraguay to the southwest, Bolivia and Peru to the west, and Colombia to the northwest. The only South American countries not bordered by Brazil are Ecuador and Chile.

The Brazilian coastline covers 7,367km (4,655 mi) along the Atlantic ocean. Numerous archipelagos are part of the Brazilian territory, such as Penedos de São Pedro e São Paulo, Fernando de Noronha, Trindade e Martim Vaz and Atol das Rocas. Tropical climate is predominant. In the south of the country, subtropical climate prevails. Brazil is traversed by the Equator and Tropic of Capricorn lines. It is home to varied fauna and flora and extensive natural resources.

The Brazilian population tends to concentrate along the coastline in large urban centers. While Brazil has one of the largest populations in the world, population density is low and the inner continental land has large demographical empty spaces. It is a multiracial country composed of European, Amerindian, African and Asian elements, more often combined in the same individual than separated into different communities. The official language is Portuguese, and it is the only Portuguese-speaking country in all the Americas. Catholicism is the predominant religion, though Protestant communities have experienced significant growth in the last decades. Brazil has the largest Roman Catholic population in the world.

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The battleship Minas Geraes in 1910
Credit: Brazilian Navy
The Minas Geraes class, spelled Minas Gerais in some sources, consisted of two battleships built for the Brazilian Navy by the British company Armstrong Whitworth. The ships were named Minas Geraes, after the Brazilian state, and São Paulo, which honored both the state and city. They were intended to be Brazil's first step towards becoming an international power.

In 1904, Brazil began a major naval building program that included three 11,800-long-ton (12,000 tonne) small battleships. Designing and ordering the ships took two years, but these plans were scrapped after the revolutionary dreadnought concept rendered the Brazilian design totally obsolete. Two of these dreadnoughts were ordered instead, making Brazil became the third country to have ships of this type under construction, before traditional powers like Germany, France or Russia. As such, the ships caused quite a stir among the major countries in the world, many of whom incorrectly speculated the ships were actually destined for a rival nation.

Soon after their delivery in 1910, both Minas Geraes and São Paulo were embroiled in the Revolt of the Lash (Revolta da Chibata), in which the crews of four Brazilian ships demanded the abolition of corporal punishment in the navy. The ships surrendered four days after it began, when a bill was passed granting amnesty to all involved. In 1922, the two battleships put down a revolt at Fort Copacabana. Two years later, lieutenants on São Paulo mutinied but found little support from other military units, so they sailed to Montevideo, Uruguay, and requested asylum. Minas Geraes was modernized in the 1930s, but both battleships were too old to actively participate in the Second World War, and instead were employed as harbor defense ships in Salvador and Recife. São Paulo was sold in 1951 to a British shipbreaker, but was lost in a storm north of the Azores while being towed to her final destination. Minas Geraes was sold to an Italian scrapper in 1953 and towed to Genoa the following year.

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Sugarloaf Mountain, Brazil
Credit: Paul Mannix

Sugarloaf Mountain is a peak situated in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from the mouth of Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rising 396 metres (1,299 ft) above sea-level, its name is said to refer to its resemblance to the traditional shape of concentrated refined loaf sugar.

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I'm like Sergeant Schultz, I know nothing. We are trying to share ideas around the world. We don't just come up with a great idea in Brazil and ignore it in the rest of the world.

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Ayrton Senna
Credit: Gabriele
Ayrton Senna da Silva (Portuguese pronunciation: [aˈiʁtõw̃ ˈsenɐ da ˈsiwvɐ] (About this soundlisten), March 21, 1960 – May 1, 1994) was a Brazilian racing driver and triple Formula One world champion. He remains the last Grand Prix driver killed while driving a Formula One car. A kart racer from an early age, Senna won the British Formula 3 championship in 1983 and made his Formula One debut with Toleman the next year. He moved to Lotus-Renault in 1985, and won six Grands Prix over the next three seasons.

In 1988 he joined Frenchman Alain Prost at McLaren-Honda, the top driver and team at the time, and won that year's championship. He and Prost developed a heated rivalry, which is regarded as the bitterest in F1 history. Senna also won the 1990 and 1991 F1 championships. In the next two years with McLaren, despite driving an inferior car, Senna won races and challenged for the 1993 world title, finishing runner-up to Prost. He switched to the then-dominant Williams Renault team for the 1994 season. At the third race of the year millions of fans witnessed his fatal crash live on global TV coverage during the San Marino Grand Prix.

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Luís Alves de Lima e Silva
Credit: Goupil

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Panorama of the falls from Brazil
Credit: S23678

Iguazu Falls, Iguassu Falls, or Iguaçu Falls are waterfalls of the Iguazu River located on the border of the Brazilian state of Paraná and the Argentine province of Misiones. The falls divide the river into the upper and lower Iguazu.

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