Important Geographical Facts about South America

South America is a continent located in the western hemisphere. It is the fourth largest continent. About 2/3 part of this continent lies in the tropical region, south of the equator. In this article, we are given important geographical facts about South America, which are very useful for the preparation of competitive examinations like UPSC-prelims, SSC, State Services, NDA, CDS, and Railways etc.
Created On: Apr 16, 2018 15:23 IST
Important Geographical Facts about South America
Important Geographical Facts about South America

South America is a continent located in the western hemisphere. It is the fourth largest continent. About 2/3 part of this continent lies in the tropical region, south of the equator. Its northern part is broad and it gradually tapers towards the south making peninsula.

Important Geographical Facts about South America

1. It 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.

2. It is situated between the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

3. It is connected to the North America through the Isthmus of Panama.

4. The island of Tierra del Fuego lies in the extreme south of this continent and the southernmost tip of this island is called the ‘Cape Horn’.

5. Andes Mountain Range (Fold Mountain) lies in this continent which is the second highest mountain range of the world, after Himalayas.

6. Mt. Aconcagua is the highest peak of this continent.

7. The Bolivian plateau is situated between Andes Mountain Range.

8. Mt. Cotopaxy lies in this continent which is the highest active volcano of the world.

9. The capital of Ecuador i.e. Quito is the highest capitals city of the world.

10. Easter Island of this continent is an isolated Polynesian island famous for its mysterious history and giant stone statues.

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11. Brazil is the largest country in South America.

12. Major Rivers: Amazon River, Rio Sao Francisco, Madeira River, Magdalena River, Negro River, River Paraguay, Rio Tocantins, Ucayali River, Xingu River, Orinoco River, and Parana River.

13. Amazon is the most voluminous and the second longest river of the world. It originates in the Andes and after passing through Brazil, drain into the Atlantic Ocean.

14. Anaconda, a variety of python found in the Amazon basin, is 10-12m long.

15. Major Lakes: Lake Titicaca, Qunuqqucha, Brokopondo Reservoir, Guri (man-made), Lake Maracaibo, and Lake Valencia.

16. The highest navigable lake i.e. Lake Titicaca (on the border of Bolivia and Peru) is situated on the Bolivian plateau.

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17. Major Waterfalls: Iguazu Falls (Argentina), Guaira Falls (Brazil & Paraguay), Smoke Falls(Brazil), Waterfall Park (Brazil), Huilo-Huilo Falls (Chile), Laja Falls (Chile), Petrohue Falls (Chile), Tequendamita Falls (Colombia), Kaieeur Falls (Guyana), King Edward VIII Falls (Guyana), Monday Falls (Paraguay), Gocta Falls (Peru), Three Sisters Falls (Peru), Yumbilla Falls (Peru), Angel Falls (Venezuela), Cuquennan Falls (Venezuela), Llovizna Falls (Venezuela), and Yutaje Falls (Venezuela).

18. The Angels Fall is the highest waterfall in the world is situated on the plateau of Guyana.

19. Climate: There are seven types of climate are found in this continent- Equatorial Climate, Savana type of climate, Prairie Climate, Tropical Climate, Desert Climate, Mediterranean Climate, and Temperate Maritime Climate.

20. Unique Animals: Candor (largest bird of prey); Rhea (Flightless bird that can run very fast); Anaconda (group of large snakes of the genus Eunectes), Armadillo; Ant-eater; Puma (Ferocious animal of lion family); and Llama (animal from camel family).

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21. The ‘Galapagos’ island of Ecuador is the natural fertility centre of Olive Ridley Turtle.

22. Major Food Crops: Maize and Wheat

23. Major Cash Crops: Coffee

24. Brazil, Columbia and Ecuador are one of the largest producers of coffee in the world.

25. In the Pampas region of South America, highly nutritious alfalfa grass is grown.

26. Chile is the largest producer of Nitrate in the world.

27. Chuquicamata plateau of Chile is famous for the production of copper. It is known as the ‘Copper Capital of the world’.

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28. Region of Mediterranean climate in the western coast, Plain region regions of Argentina, and Eastern coast of Brazil are the densely populated areas of South America.

29. Ethnic Groups and Language: Natives are called ‘Red Indians’. Several mixed races are also found here like, Mestizo (Indian +European), Mulatto (Black +European), Zambo (Black + Indian), and Cholo (Mestizo + Indians).

30. Time Zone: There are four different time zones: UTC -5, UTC -4, UTC -3, and UTC -2.

South America, Central America, Mexico and West Indies are together called the ‘Latin America’. Latin is considered the mother language which gave birth to such European languages as Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. It is home to a range of climate classifications, from equatorial to tundra. Hence, it is extremely biodiverse, with numerous unique species of flora and fauna.

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