60 South America Geography Interesting Geographic Cool Facts
South America geography facts are full with jaw dropping interesting information. The name America comes from the Italian sailor Amerigo Vespucci, who was one of the first Europeans to discover the New World. Originally, the name America was exclusively used to refer to South America, but it was quickly expanded to include the entire continent. Because virtually all of South America has an Iberian origin with Mexico and Central America, the whole region is commonly referred to as Latin America. This article will feature 60 very interesting South America geography facts!
South America is the world’s fourth biggest continent. It is the southernmost part of the landmass known as the New World, Western Hemisphere, or simply the Americas. The continent is compact and generally triangular in form, wide in the north and narrowing to a point in the south (Cape Horn, Chile).
South America is bordered on the northwest and north by the Caribbean Sea, on the northeast, east, and southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The Isthmus of Panama connects it to North America in the northwest, a land bridge that narrows to around 50 miles (80 kilometers) at one point. South America and Antarctica are separated by the Drake Passage, which runs south of Cape Horn.
The arid desert habitat of South America’s coastal lowlands gives way to the rocky alpine biome of the Andes mountains in just a few hundred kilometers. One of the continent’s river basins (the Amazon) is characterized by dense tropical rain forest, whilst the other (Paraná) is characterized by wide grasslands.
Except in the south, the continent is ringed by a small number of islands. These include Argentina’s and Chile’s glaciated coastal archipelagos. The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) are located east of Argentina. Keep going for more South America geography facts The West Indies, which reach from Trinidad to Florida to the north, are commonly connected with North America. The majority of the remaining islands are small marine islands off the shores of South America, such as Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean.
South America covers approximately 6,878,000 square miles (17,814,000 square kilometers), or around one-eighth of the Earth’s land surface. From Point Gallinas, Colombia, to Cape Horn, its maximum north-south extent is around 4,700 miles, whereas its greatest east-west reach is roughly 3,300 miles, from Cape Branco, Brazil, to Point Parias, Peru. Mount Aconcagua in Argentina, near the Chilean border, is not only the continent’s highest peak, but also the highest height in the Western Hemisphere, at 22,831 feet (6,959 meters) above sea level. Enjoy these South America geography facts. The lowest point in Argentina is located on the Valdés Peninsula, which is 131 feet (40 meters) below sea level. The continent’s coastline, at 15,800 miles long, is very short in comparison to its size.
South America is bounded by the Caribbean Sea to the northwest and north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast, east, and southeast, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. In the northwest it is joined to North America by the Isthmus of Panama, a land bridge narrowing to about 50 miles (80 km) at one point.
South America geography facts
Lets enjoy these interesting South America geography facts!
1. Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador is the closest mountain to space.Chimborazo is farther from the earth’s center than Everest. Worth noting – by the criterion of elevation above sea level, Chimborazo is not even the highest peak of the Andes.
2. Brazil is the largest country in South America, covering approx. 47.3% of the continent’s land area and encompassing around half of the continent’s population. The remaining countries and territories are divided among four subregions: the Andean states, Caribbean South America, The Guianas, and the Southern Cone.
3. When thinking of South America, rainforests often come to mind. However, the Atacama desert is considered the driest non-polar region on earth. Some weather stations in the Atacama have never received rain.
4. Despite being over 4,000 miles long, no bridges cross the Amazon River. In 2010, the first bridge was built over one of the Amazon tributaries (Rio Negro) in the city of Manaus. This was the first bridge ever built in the entire Amazon River system.
5. The far-reaching Andes Mountains and the massive Amazon River system dominate South America’s physical geography.
6. The five-thousand-mile-long Andes Mountain chain extends along the entire western region of the continent from Venezuela to southern Chile.
7. The Andes are the longest mountain chain on Earth and the highest in the Americas, which is one of the jaw dropping South America geography facts.
8. The fourth-largest continent, South America, stretches from the Gulf of Darién in the northwest to the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the south.
9. Physical geography, environment and resources, and human geography may all be addressed independently in South America.
10. Mountains and highlands, river basins, and coastal plains are the three physical areas of South America. Mountains and coastal plains tend to run north-south, whereas highlands and river basins tend to flow east-west.
11. The immense geographic diversity of South America leads to the continent’s huge number of biomes. A biome is a group of animals and plants that live in a climate that is reasonably consistent.
12. The Andes Mountain range has more than thirty peaks that reach at least twenty thousand feet in elevation, many of which are active volcanoes.
13. The Andes has provided isolation to the Inca Empire, mineral wealth to those with the means for extraction, and a barrier to travelers crossing the continent.
14. The Andes’ minerals include gold, silver, tin, and other precious metals. Mining became a major industry in the colonial era and continues to the present.
15. The Andes form a continuous highland along the western edge of South America, stretching for 4,300 miles. They have an average height of about 13,000 feet.
16. Located in the Tierra del Fuego Province in Argentina, Ushuaia has a population of 71,000. The town of Puerto Williams in Chile is actually farther south, but with a population of only 2,874, Ushuaia usually gets the nod as southernmost city.
17. The Amazon’s extended tributaries—such as the Rio Negro, the Madeira, and the Xingu—move massive amounts of water through the Amazon Basin and are major rivers in their own right.
18. The Amazon has more than 1,100 tributaries; a dozen are more than one thousand miles long. Hydroelectric dams are located on the tributaries to produce electricity for the region’s fast-growing development.
19. South America has additional large rivers that drain the continent, including the Orinoco, which flows through Venezuela; the Sao Francisco, which flows through southeast Brazil; and the Paraguay and the Paraná Rivers, which flow south from Brazil into the Rio de la Plata between Argentina and Uruguay.
20. The climate of South America can be broadly divided into seven different climate types: Desert – Warm to high temperatures with very little rainfall. Grassland – Hot summers and cold winters with above average rainfall. Savanna – This region has very high temperatures all year and rain during the summer season only.
21. Brazil covers more than half of South America’s landmass, and is the largest country in the Southern Hemisphere and the 5th largest in the world. Argentina is the world’s 8th biggest, and is the largest Spanish-speaking country.
22. At the core of the continent is the mighty Amazon River, which is more than two thousand miles long and has an enormous drainage basin in the largest tropical rain forest in the world.
23. To the northern part of the continent in Venezuela and Colombia, sandwiched between the Andes Mountains and the Guiana Highlands, is a grassland region with scrub forests called the Llanos.
24. The human population in the Llanos is small because of the remoteness of the region along the Orinoco River basin, which is one of the amazing South America geography facts.
25. The Guiana Highlands of southeast Venezuela and the Guianas are an isolated set of mountainous plateaus mixed with rugged landscapes and tropical climates.
26. Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, with a free fall of more than 2,647 feet and a total drop of about 3,212 feet (more than half a mile), is located here.
27. To the northwest of the Llanos and the Guiana Highlands in Venezuela is Lake Maracaibo, a large inland lake open to the Caribbean Sea.
28. South America’s tremendous biodiversity is unrivaled among the world’s continents, with an unrivaled amount of plant and animal species.
29. A coastal lake, Maracaibo rests atop vast oil reserves that provide economic wealth for Venezuela.
30. The Amazon’s many tributaries are larger than many other world rivers. Flowing parallel to the equator, the Amazon is in contention with the Nile as the longest river in the world.
31. Lake Titicaca rests in the middle of the Altiplano Region of the Central Andes on the border between Peru and Bolivia.
32. The Altiplano Region is a wide basin between two main Andean mountain ranges. The word altiplano means “valley” in Spanish. There are a substantial number of altiplanos in South America. They provide for agricultural production and human habitation.
33. The Altiplano Region has been home to ancient civilizations that date back to early human settlements.
34. Lake Titicaca is a large freshwater lake about 120 miles long and 50 miles wide. The surface is at an elevation of about twelve thousand feet above sea level, and the lake is more than nine hundred feet deep in some areas.
35. Usually at such high elevations, the temperature of Titicaca would dip below freezing and restrict agriculture. However, the large lake acts as a solar energy collector by absorbing energy from the sun during the day and giving off that energy in the form of heat during the night.
36. South America has large agricultural plateaus east of the Andes, such as the Mato Grosso Plateau, which includes a portion of the great cerrado agricultural region of central Brazil.
37. The Cerrado is a vast plain that has been developed for agriculture and produces enormous harvests of soybeans and grain crops.
38. Bordering the Cerrado to the southeast are the Brazilian Highlands, an extensive coffee-growing region, which is one of the cool South America geography facts.
39. The Pampas in eastern Argentina, Uruguay, and southernmost Brazil is another excellent agricultural region with good soils and adequate rainfall.
40. Farming, cattle ranching, and even vineyards can be found here, making the Pampas the breadbasket of the Southern Cone.
41. To the south of the Pampas is the lengthy expanse of Patagonia, which covers the southern portion of Argentina east of the Andes.
42. Patagonia is a prairie grassland region that does not receive a very much rainfall because of the rain shadow effect of the Andes to the west.
43. The main activities in Patagonia are the raising of cattle and other livestock.
44. Patagonia region is starting to attract attention for the extraction of natural resources such as oil, natural gas, and valuable minerals.
45. The energy redistribution allows for a moderate temperature around the lake that is conducive to growing food crops.
46. With abundant fresh water and the ability to grow food and catch fish, the Altiplano Region has supported human habitation for thousands of years.
47. On the Bolivian side of the lake is the ancient stone site of Tiahuanaco, which has had some artifacts dated to 1500 BCE or earlier. People continue to live around and on Lake Titicaca and maintain a subsistence lifestyle.
48. Amazon River has the greatest discharge of any river in the world, and it is potentially also the longest river in the world.
49. At 2.7 million square miles, it covers 40% of South America. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil (60%).
50. The Andes are quite high at this latitude, and the winds blow in rain clouds from the east. When the clouds reach the mountains, they ascend in elevation, releasing their precipitation without ever reaching the western side of the Andes.
51. South America can be divided into three physical regions: mountains and highlands, river basins, and coastal plains, which is one of the interesting South America geography facts.
52. There is some debate over the longest river in the world, but when it comes to the volume rate of water flow, the Amazon river easily takes the cake. The Amazon has an average discharge of 209,000 cubic meters per second.
53. Located in Canaima National Park, Angels Falls is 3,212 feet high, and its water plunges for 2,648 feet uninterrupted. For obvious reasons, we wouldn’t recommend taking a trip down this waterfall in a barrel.
54. The Amazon carries about a fifth of all river water in the world. The Amazon and its many tributaries drain the entire interior region of the continent, covering 40 percent of South America.
55. Across the Andes Mountains from the Altiplano Region is the Atacama Desert. The Atacama is one of the driest places on Earth: in some parts, no rain has fallen in recorded history.
56. In normal circumstances, the Atacama would be a desolate region without human activity, but that is not the case. Some of the world’s largest copper reserves are found here. Nitrates, which are used in fertilizers, are also found in large quantities.
57. Mining the Atacama has brought enormous wealth to people fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of the profits.
58. The rain shadow effect is responsible for the extraordinary dryness of the Atacama, which is one of the fun South America geography facts.
59. During the rainy season, the Amazon River can be more than one hundred miles wide. No bridges span the Amazon River. Its source is a glacial stream located high in the Peruvian Andes, about 150 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
60. In the dry season, the salt plains are a completely flat expanse of dry salt, but in the wet season, it is covered with a thin sheet of water.
Hopefully, you have enjoyed the South America cool, fun amazing interesting geography facts!
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