North America is the third largest continent. It was discovered by Columbus in 1492 AD. Therefore, it is called as ‘The Continent of New World’. It is named after Amerigo Vespucci. The terminology of the Americas is complex, but "Anglo-America" can describe Canada and the U.S., while "Latin America" comprises Mexico and the countries of Central America and the Caribbean, as well as the entire continent of South America.
Important Geographical Facts about North America
1. It is surrounded by Arctic Ocean in the north, Atlantic Ocean in the east and Pacific Ocean in the west.
2. There are several groups of Islands in the southern part of the continent, known as ‘Western Island groups’ or ‘West Indies’.
3. It is connected with South America through the Isthmus of Panama.
4. It is separated from Asia by the Bering Strait.
5. The 49 N latitude forms the boundary between the two big countries- USA and Canada.
6. Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River also act boundary between the USA and Canada.
7. This continent is situated between five physiographic regions- Canadian Shield; Appalachian Mountains; Atlantic Coastal Plain; Interior Lowlands; and North American Cordillera.
8. Mt. Mackenzie is the highest peak of North America, situated in Alaska. It is an active volcano.
9. Major Rivers: River Frazer, River Mackenzie, River Churchill, River St. Lawrence, River Mississippi, River Missouri, River Red, River Rio Grande, River Colorado, River Columbia, River Yukon, River Ohio and River Arkansas.
10. Major Lakes: Great Bear Lake, Great Slave Lake, Athabasca Lake, Reindeer Lake, Winnipeg Lake, Superior Lake, Huron Lake, Michigan Lake, Erie Lake, and Ontario Lake.
11. Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world.
12. Major Waterfalls: Yosemite Falls, Multnomah Falls, Havasu Falls, McWay Falls, Snoqualmine Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls, Palouse Falls, Burney Falls, Kaaterskill Falls, American Falls, Upper White-water Falls, Shoshone Falls, Bridalveil Falls, Crabtree Falls, Vernal Falls, Alamere Falls, Yellowstone Falls, Cumberland Falls, Tahquamenon Falls, Nevada Falls, Ruby Falls, Latourell Falls, Union Falls, Turner Falls, Miners Falls, Triple Falls, Bash Bish Falls, Ribbon Falls, Sliding Falls, and Takakkaw Falls.
13. The world famous Niagara Falls is located between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. It is comprises of three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.
14. Colorado plateau is the largest plateau located in North America. It bisected by the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.
15. Straits of Florida is the famous strait in North America. It connects the Gulf of Mexico with the Atlantic Ocean.
16. Climate: It embraces every climatic zone. The lowlands of Central America have a tropical rain forest and savanna whereas the areas of central Greenland have a permanent ice cap. In northern Canada, north Alaska and desert are experiencing subarctic and tundra climates. The semiarid conditions are found in the interior regions cut off by high mountains from rain-bearing westerly winds.
17. Grand Bank near Newfoundland and Georges Bank near Nova Scotia are extensive fishing grounds in North America.
18. Major Food Crops: Wheat and Maize
19. Major Cash Crops: Cotton
20. The temperate grassland in North America is called ‘prairies’. Maize is called corn here. It is also called ‘Corn Belt’.
21. Cuba is the major producer of Sugarcane and hence called the ‘Sugar Bowl of the World’.
22. Jamaica is famous for Banana production.
23. Ethnic Groups and Language: Red Indians, Eskimos and Inuits are the original inhabitant of this continent.
24. United States of America is the fourth largest country in the world, after Russia, Canada and China. It comprises of 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaiian Islands.
25. The largest industrial region of USA is spread over the region from the River Mississippi to the Atlantic Ocean. It is considered as the world’s largest industrial region.
26. Detroit is famous for manufacturing of Motor Cars.
27. Akron is the biggest centre of the world in the manufacturing of synthetic rubber and tyres.
28. The famous ‘Silicon Valley’ is in San Francisco which is famous for software and computer industry.
29. The American Museum of Natural History, in New York, is the biggest museum of the world.
30. Canada is the second largest country of the world, after Russia. It extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west.
31. The Wood Buffalo National Park is world largest national park located in Alberta province of Canada.
It is situated in the Western Hemisphere. It is also a portion of the second largest supercontinent if North and South America are combined into the Americas and Africa, Europe, and Asia are considered to be part of one supercontinent called Afro-Eurasia.