Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Picture the Amazon rainforest—while the images of this massive jungle are often beautiful and breathtaking, in reality it's a hostile and deadly place. Dark, steamy and wet, the rainforest is alive with more stinging, biting and swarming insects than any other place on earth. Scorpions, beetles, wasps, spiders and hundreds of different types of tarantulas flourish in the humidity. The threat of yellow fever, malaria and typhoid is ever present. Rivers teem with leeches, piranhas, electric eels, crocodiles and 20-foot anacondas. Jaguars, mountain lions, wild boars and more than 100 species of snakes thrive in the Amazon.
After being kidnapped at gunpoint by Colombian rebels and held as a hostage, Ingrid Betancourt spent an agonizing six and a half years in this jungle, not knowing if it would become her grave.
For the first time since her nail-biting rescue in 2008, Ingrid reveals the intimate details of her captivity in her memoir, Even Silence Has an End. "I have never heard a more incredible story of survival, of strength, of courage in my life," Oprah says.