The world's largest swamp is the Pantanal, in the states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil. It is about 109,000 sq km (42,000 sq miles) in area. The word "Pantanal" is Portuguese for swamp. It is inundated by persistent floodwaters yearly and is an important fresh water reservoir for the neighboring countries. In dry periods, large areas are virtually waterless. This gigantic waterscape then turns into a savannah shimmering with heat. If it does not rain, green vegetation can be found only on low ground, or in any number of lakes, ponds, and rivers.