South America is the world’s fourth largest continent by area. It has the world’s largest rivers and rainforests and the continent offers a wide variety of deserts from the world’s wettest to the driest regions. The continent is situated at the south of Panama and Central America. It is often referred to as the subcontinent of America. The continent touches the Pacific Ocean on the west while on the north and east it shares borders with Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It is the world’s fifth largest continent by population.
South America Facts For Kids
- Number of Countries: 13
- Population: 385,742,554
- Area: 17,837,248 square kilometers
- Languages: Portuguese, Spanish, and others
- The history of South America goes back to 225 million years ago when it merged with Africa.
- Some 15,000 years ago, humans discovered South America while they were going through the Bering Land Bridge. This was believed to be the first place where humans had started living.
- Around 9000 B.C. humans used to cultivate beans, chili peppers, and squashes in South America.
- Around 3500 B.C. the South Americans had begun domesticating animals including alpacas, guanacos, and Llamas.
- Norte Chico is believed to be the earliest known civilizations of South America. Muisca (Present-day Columbia) was also one of the oldest civilizations in South America.
- Spanish and Portuguese had exploited the South American natural resources in the 1530s.
- Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin fought the war of independence of South America and liberated the nation.
- In the 20th century, South America had become a battlefield of the Cold War.
Geography and Size
- The total area of South America is 17,840,000 sq. kilometers.
- The population of South America is 385,742,554 as of 2011.
- Sao Paulo is the largest city of South America with the population of 11,316,149.
- Mount Aconcagua is the highest point of South America. It has an elevation of 22,834 ft (6,960 meters).
- Valdes Peninsula is the lowest point of South America. It has an elevation of 151 ft (46 meters).
- Amazon River is the longest river of South America. It is 4,080 miles (6,566 kilometers) long.
- The major islands of South America are; Bonaire, Tobago, Aruba, Trinidad, and Curacao.
- Angel Falls is the world’s largest waterfalls. It is located in Venezuela.
- Andes are the longest mountain ranges in the world. The highest mountain of Andes stands 6,962 meters.
- Amazon Rainforest is the world’s largest rainforest. It covers most of the part of Amazon Basin.
- Gold, iron ore, copper, silver, tin, and petroleum are the mineral resources of South America.
- Atacama Desert is the world’s driest place. It is a plateau and is located in the west of Andes Mountains.
- Brazil is the largest country of South America. It has a total population of 201,032,714. It covers a total area of 8,514,877 square kilometers.
- Medelin is economically the smallest country of South America. It has a GDP of $50.
Read More: Amazon Rainforest Facts For Kids
People and Climate | South America Facts For Kids
- The people of South America are generally known for their celebrations of Carnival.
- Scientists have made many medicines that come from South American plants. These plants are only found in this continent.
- The South America climate varies significantly; from hot dry climate of its deserts to the wet rainy climate of rainforests. These rainforests are surrounded by dry grasslands
- South America’s western coast is run by a hot desert. On mountains temperature seldom rises above freezing point.
- People from all over the world come to visit some of the most beautiful places and landscapes of South America. Thus the tourism industry becomes the major source of South America’s income.
- Around 200 million South American speak Spanish and Portuguese, thus making it the most spoken languages of the continent.