Drone Helps Locate Uncontacted Tribe in the Amazon

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If anyone is still wondering why some of us get excited about the versatility and usefulness of drones, then look no further than this story from CNN. In it, we learn that a drone that was being used to survey parts of the Amazon Jungle in Brazil captured video footage of an unknown and uncontacted tribe that continues to exist deep in the heart of the rainforest with no knowledge of the outside world.

The footage, which you can view below, shows the indigenous Amazonians walking through a clearing in the forest with one carrying what looks to be a spear, while several others stand near thatch shelters. Unlike similar footage that we’ve seen in the past however, none of the tribesmen appear to take notice of the drone, which is flying quite high.

The footage comes our way courtesy of Funai, the national Indian foundation in Brazil. The organization is tasked with trying to protect the indigenous people that still live in the rainforest where at least eight contacted tribes and another 11 uncontacted groups are still known to reside.

Recently, Funai sent an expedition team into the Amazon to survey the area. They had to travel 180 kilometers (112 miles) by boat, truck and motorcycle just to get to the start of their journey. After that, they traveled another 120 kilometer (75 mile) on foot through the jungle. The drone was one of the tools they brought with them to help explore the region.

As I’ve said before on this blog, I’m incredibly fascinated by the fact that these tribes still exist in the 21st century. Our world is a big, amazing place and I’m glad there still regions that have yet to be fully charted. Hopefully all efforts to protect these people will continue in the future, as I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of culture shock they would have if they were brought into the modern world.

Beyond that, I love that we’re finding new and exciting ways to use drones as tools not just for filmmakers and photographers, but explorers too. Having just obtained my first model a short time ago, I can see so many ways that the can be used. It is technology being put to good use in exploring the world around us.

Kraig Becker