South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers covering almost 3.5% of the Earth's total surface. South America ranks fourth in area and fifth in population. America was named in 1507 by cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann after Americo Vespuccio.
Countries in South America
Animals in South America
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Ten Facts about South America
- South America is the fourth largest continent by area in the world, just slightly smaller than North America.
- South America's oldest civilizations were centered in Peru and spread north and south into Ecuador and Bolivia.
- South America is unusual among the continents for its religious homogeneity and unique because of its thriving indigenous tribes.
- The economy of South America has been changing from a colonial one to a modern one throughout the 20th century.
- South America is home to the world's highest waterfall, Angel Falls in Venezuela; the largest river (by volume), the Amazon River; the longest mountain range, the Andes; the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert; and the largest rainforest, the Amazon Rainforest.
- South America is thought to have been first inhabited by people crossing the Bering Land Bridge, now the Bering strait, though there are also suggestions of migration from the southern Pacific Ocean.
- South America is an important source of agricultural products for world markets, especially soybeans and soy products, coffee, sugar, corn, wheat, beef, pork, fruit juices, and poultry meat.
- South America is a part of the American continent traversed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere.
- During the period 1990–95, the process of deforestation in South America alone resulted in the loss of 24 million ha/59 million acres of tropical rainforest.
- South America is also the only known place where you can find the elusive Bolivian Tree Llama, making South America popular for the exciting sport of llama spotting.