South America – 35 Facts You Should Know

Most of South America is in the Southern Hemisphere, whereas the Northern Hemisphere contains just a minor percentage. Alternatively, it may be thought of as a subregion of the continent known as the Americas. South America is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea in the north and east, whereas North America is to the west. On average, there are twelve independent nations on the continent of Africa. An estimated 17,840,000 square kilometers occupy South America (6,890,000 sq mi). More than 423 million people live there as of 2018.



South America is located in the southernmost part of the continent of the United States. There is a watershed called the Darién that runs along the Colombia-Panama border, which is commonly considered the western frontier of the continent. However, the Panama Canal may be considered the true western boundary. All of Panama, including the portion of the isthmus east of the Panama Canal, is considered part of North America and part of Central America. The South American Plate encompasses almost the whole continent of South America.

The Amazon River is the world’s largest river by volume, and it flows through South America, as does the Angel Falls in Venezuela, the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall; the Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, the world’s highest single-drop waterfall; the Andes, the world’s longest mountain range; the Atacama Desert, the world’s driest non-polar location; López de Micay in Colombia, the world’s wettest location; the Amazon rainforest, the

Gold, silver, iron ore, tin, copper, and petroleum are South America’s most important natural resources. When there was a war or significant economic expansion in other industrialized nations, these resources in South America contributed a lot of money to its governments. Concentrating production on a single main export good, on the other hand, often hinders the growth of more diverse economies. 

The South American economy has traditionally fluctuated greatly due to the change in commodity prices on the international market. This has frequently resulted in considerable political instability. In order to avoid becoming reliant on a single big export, nations are increasingly attempting to diversify their output. Almost half of South America’s surface area and approximately half of the continent’s people reside in Brazil, making it the continent’s most populous and biggest nation.


Brazil's Sao Paolo is a major city. Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city, is expected to have more than 25 million people by the year 2022.
Six thousand and forty-seven kilometers long, the Amazon River. The Amazon River transports more water than all 10 of the world's largest rivers put together when it comes to water volume!
This desert in Chile is thought to be the driest area on Earth, even though rainforests in South America are known for their rainfall. Here, you can learn more about deserts throughout the globe.
At least 10,000 years of human habitation have been documented in South America. Peru is home to one of the ancient civilizations in South America. Foreign conquistadors from Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France began colonizing South America in the late 15th century.
Until the arrival of Europeans in South America, the Incas were the greatest indigenous community in the region. From 1438 until 1533, the Incan Empire ruled South America. The number of indigenous tribes in South America is dwindling, although they still exist. Many indigenous groups still exist in Venezuela, including the Arawaks and Caribs.
San Alfonso del Mar in Chile has a swimming pool the size of 20 Olympic-sized pools, or 80,000 square meters (860,000 square feet). It sits on the border of the Pacific Ocean, with a maximum depth of 3.5 meters and a capacity of 250 million liters (66 million US gallons) (11.5 ft).
Despite its small size, the continent of South America is home to around 450 distinct languages, making it one of the world's most culturally varied regions.
Upon his arrival at the Galápagos Islands in 1835, 26-year-old Charles Darwin saw several parallels and variances between the island's native animal and plant species as well as those found on the mainland. On the Origin of Species was ultimately published in 1859, after his death.
Argentinians have a practice of eating oquis on the 29th of every month, which Italian immigrants brought to the country in the early 1900s. They use gnocchi to bring good fortune and luck by placing money beneath their plates. When you visit Argentina in the future, look for specials on gnocchi meals at various places.
More than 40% of all known plants and animals call the Amazon rainforest home, despite the fact that it is threatened by both legal and criminal deforestation, as well as the illicit pet trade. As a result of its incredible biodiversity, it must be preserved.
In certain portions of the Atamaca Desert, there has never been a drop of rain recorded since records began. There hasn't been raining in more than 40 years in some areas, making it very dry.
Brazil is the continent's most populous and biggest nation, with a land area of around 47.3% of the continent's total. More than 210 million people live in Brazil, making it the world's biggest country.
Forests comprise over a quarter of the continent, teeming with life. Other rainforests and cloud forests exist alongside the Amazon, the biggest of them all. They play a critical role in the planet's oxygen generation for people across the globe, with some estimates placing their importance at 20%.
The Amazon rainforest is a haven for the world's last remaining uncontaminated indigenous peoples. Some indigenous tribes globally have had little or no interaction with modern society, and it's interesting to learn about them. The Amazon rainforest is home to several of these indigenous groups. According to the researchers' findings, there are as many as 77 uncontacted tribes living deep inside the forest.
There is a snake in South America that is the biggest globally. The Rain forest has the most species in the world, with hundreds of animals, more than 40,000 plant species, as well as 2.5 million types of bugs. The world's biggest snake, the green anaconda, is a resident of the Amazon rainforest. Five-meter-long, 99-kilogram anaconda was the largest ever caught by humans. Unconfirmed allegations have been made of 8-meter-long, 200-pound gigantic anacondas.
The driest and wettest regions on Earth may be found in South America. Located in Chile, the Atacama Desert is the world's driest location. Since scientists started keeping records, certain portions of it have not received any rain. In certain parts of this desert, it is not uncommon to go for periods of up to four years without receiving any precipitation. Despite this, it employs over a million people each year. Buenaventura, a port city in Colombia, is the world's wettest inhabited town. An average of more than 20 feet of rain falls on the city every year.
McDonald's was first phased out in Bolivia. Combined, the states of Texas and California are smaller than the whole country of Bolivia. There isn't even a McDonald's! In 2002, all of the country's outlets of the world-famous fast-food brand were shuttered owing to local and government opposition. Bolivia, along with Cuba, is the only Latin American nation that does not have a McDonald's restaurant.
Pink dolphins may be seen throughout South America. Known variously as the pink river dolphin, boto, and Amazon river dolphin, this charismatic species is a must-see for nature lovers. It lives solely in freshwater. It may be found in Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins. It is said to be home to many tens of thousands of people. Dams and the pollution of rivers and lakes have made the pink dolphin endangered in certain locations.
In Uruguay, salt is banned from being sold or consumed. In the interest of public health, countries such as Uruguay take an active part in deciding what you may and can't consume. Salt shakers were removed from restaurants and schools in Uruguay in 2015 to reduce the country's obesity prevalence. In addition, there is no ketchup, mayonnaise, or any other high-sodium condiment in these establishments. You'll have to ask your server if you want a saltier dinner.
The lightning storms in Venezuela are out of this world. "Catatumbo lightning" is a unique meteorological phenomenon that happens in Venezuela. Lightning may hit the lake constantly for up to ten hours at the location where the River Catatumbo joins Lake Maracaibo. Approximately 160 days are required for the occurrence to occur.
The origin of the country's name is one of the most intriguing South American facts. People thought there was a lot of silver hidden in the mountains of Argentina, so they changed the name of the country to Argentina. The name is taken from the Latin Argentum & dates all the way back to the sixteenth century when Spanish and Portuguese explorers arrived in the nation in search of this treasure.
Samba, tango, and cumbia are all derived from these areas. One of Samba's most renowned exponents was singer and movie diva Carmen, who did more to mainstream the music in the twentieth century than anyone else. Perhaps the least recognized South American music genre is cumbia. It has its origins in Colombia, where the noises are used in traditional courting dances. It's a blend of African and indigenous cultures.
South America is home to some of the most diverse organisms. Llamas, anacondas, piranhas, jaguars, and tapirs are just a few creatures that call South America home. The Amazon rainforests are home to a significant percentage of the world's species because of their high richness levels.
In 1960, Chile was struck by the greatest earthquake ever recorded. That year, on May 22, a 9.5 earthquake decimated the rich port city of Valdivia, which had a sprawling fortification complex constructed during the Spanish colonial period. Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are common in Chile, located on the Ring of Fire.
Some well-known artists and actors were born in Colombia, among them Shakira, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and John Leguizamo.
There are several indigenous species on the Galapagos Islands, which Ecuador owns. Charles Darwin based his theory of evolution on these species.
Quinoa is a major export of Peruvian agriculture. A common ingredient in Peruvian cuisine, quinoa is a popular Western superfood. Popping quinoa seeds and drinking it hot with fruit as a morning beverage are regular occurrences in this nation.
This nation is home to the biggest lake in South America, Lake Maracaibo. 5100 square miles are covered by it. It is one of the oldest lakes on the planet, between 26 and 30 million years old.
Tierra del Fuego, the continent's biggest island, translates as "land of fire" in Spanish. South of Chile and Argentina, the island is situated. Football is the most popular sport in the region, which is not surprising given Argentina's and Brazil's prominence in international football.
In Argentina, Aconcagua is the continent's tallest peak. The Andes Mountains include this mountain, which is 22,837 feet long and 6,961 feet tall. Aconcagua is the second-highest of the seven peaks, after Everest.
When the Europeans arrived in South America, the Incas' largest indigenous group was already living there. From 1438 until 1533, the Inca Empire ruled South America. Despite the prospect of extinction, indigenous cultures in South America are nevertheless alive and well. The Carib and Arawak people may still be found in Venezuela and the Brazilian city of Guarani.
Spanish is the predominant language in South America. Surinam, a former Dutch colony, and Portuguese are Brazil's most commonly spoken languages. However, Dutch is still the official language of South America. In addition to their native tongue, English is widely spoken among the general population. Incas speak Quechua, which is one of the most widely spoken indigenous languages.
The Amazonian Green Anaconda is the world's biggest snake. The heaviest ever caught was 5 meters long and weighed 99 kg. Unconfirmed reports suggest that giant anacondas might reach a height of 8.8 meters and a weight of 227 kg.
More than a thousand varieties of orchids may be found in Ecuador and discovered in 2009, "the world's tiniest orchid" by Botanists. It is referred to as a "minuscule orchid" since it is barely 2.1mm broad.
One of the world's biggest uncontacted native communities may be found in the Brazilian Amazon. 70 indigenous groups are thought to be living in the forest without any interaction with the outside world.