AskDefine | Define jungles

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

jungles
  1. Plural of jungle

Extensive Definition

Jungle usually refers to a dense forest in a hot climate, such as a tropical rainforest. About 6% of the Earth's land mass is classified as jungle. Jungles are vital to sustaining the ecosystems of the Earth as we know it. About 57% of all species live in jungle environments http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/programmes/tv/jungle/.
The word jungle originates from a Sanskrit word jangala, meaning "desert". In many languages of the Indian subcontinent, including Indian English, it is generally used to refer to any wild, untended or uncultivated land, including forest, scrub, or desert landscapes. Sometimes an urban environment can be called a jungle, as "concrete jungle".
The term may still be used in a technical context to describe the forest biome rainforest, a forest characterised by extensive biodiversity and densely tangled undergrowth including young trees, vines and lianas, and herbaceous plants. As a forest biome, "jungles" are present in both equatorial and tropical climatic zones, and are associated with preclimax stages of the rainforest. For this reason, jungle is to be distinguished from tropical rainforest in that the former is a profuse thicket of tropical shrubs, vines, and small trees growing in areas outside the light-blocking canopy of a tropical rainforest. Hence, 'jungle' is often found at the edges of climax rain-forests, where human activity may increase sunlight penetration.
Not all regions called "jungles" would qualify as "rain forests" because many would apply "jungle" to the forests of northern Thailand or southern Guangdong in China: but scientifically, these are "monsoon forests" or "tropical deciduous forests" but not "rain forests".

As a metaphor

Upton Sinclair gave the title The Jungle (1906) to his book about the life of workers at the Chicago Stockyards in order to imply that the workers were being mercilessly exploited and had no legal or other recourse.
In a highly controversial statement, Ehud Barak - former Israeli Prime Minster and currently Minster of Defence - compared Israel to "a villa in the jungle". Opponents from the Israeli Peace Now movement accused Barak of in effect comparing Israel's Arab neighbors, specifically the Palestinians, to "beasts or savages, with whom there is no need to communicate, approach, get to know and reconcile with"
The term "The Law of the Jungle" is also used in this kind of context, drawn from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book (1894) - though in the society of jungle animals portrayed in that book and obviously meant as a metaphor for human society, that phrase referred to an intricate code of laws which Kipling describes in detail, and not at all to a lawless chaos.
The "Cities in Flight Science" Fiction series by James Blish depicted spaceborne cities flying through the galaxy, which the writer compared to Hobos or Okies of space. The term "jungle", borrowed from the above Hobo term, is used for an area of space where such flying cities congregate.
jungles in Bosnian: Džungla
jungles in Catalan: Jungla
jungles in Danish: Jungle
jungles in German: Dschungel
jungles in Spanish: Jungla
jungles in Esperanto: Ĝangalo
jungles in French: Jungle
jungles in Korean: 밀림
jungles in Croatian: Džungla
jungles in Lithuanian: Džiunglės
jungles in Dutch: Oerwoud
jungles in Norwegian: Jungel
jungles in Polish: Dżungla
jungles in Portuguese: Selva
jungles in Russian: Джунгли
jungles in Simple English: Jungle
jungles in Swedish: Djungel
jungles in Ukrainian: Джунглі
jungles in Yiddish: דזשונגל
jungles in Chinese: 叢林
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