83 South America History Facts That Will Astonish Everyone | Kidadl


83 South America History Facts That Will Astonish Everyone

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If you know where to look, you'll find that the world is a place that is more fascinating than most pieces of fiction you could read.

It is made up of vivid lands that are home to many different groups of people. One of these pieces of land is known as South America.

South America is a continent. A continent is essentially a massive piece of land that contains several different countries. During the Mesozoic Era, there existed a landmass that was so large that it is what we call a supercontinent now.

This supercontinent was Pangea. It was made up of almost all of the land present in the world. Over time, due to the tectonic movement of the Earth, this supercontinent started to break up.

The separated pieces then drifted and eventually went on to form the different continents of the world that we know today. It is theorized that the world will see the formation of another supercontinent in the next 200-250 million years, long after we're all extinct, of course.

South America: Geography And Landscape

South America is one of the seven continents of the world. The landscape that makes up the continent is very interesting. Here are some South America facts that will give you the lay of the land.

  • South America is that continent which is the fourth-largest continent in the world.
  • The North American continent and South America together are called the Americas.
  • It is divided into the South American nations that together form the South American continent.
  • South American countries are about 14 in number.
  • The 14 listed countries are actually 12 countries and two dependencies.
  • The largest country on the continent is Brazil.
  • The continent is in the part of the world known as the New World since that's what the Europeans started calling the Americas after they 'discovered' it; South America is located in the southern part of the New World.
  • The very shape of South America is fascinating. It can be seen as a crude form of a triangle.
  • The border to the west of South America meets the Pacific Ocean, while the border to the east of South America meets the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Towards the north of South America lies the Caribbean Sea.
  • The cities and countries of South America, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, are some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
  • Rio de Janeiro is, in fact, home to one of the wonders of the world and is located in the largest country in South America—Brazil.
  • Brazil includes what was the area under the former Dutch Colony; it is still known as New Holland.
  • There are three different categories of physical features that make up the land of South America: highlands and mountains, river basins, and coastal plains.
  • The highest mountain of the continent is the Aconcagua.
  • At more than 22,000 ft (6,706 m) high, Aconcagua is actually the highest point in all of the Western Hemisphere.
  • It is not only the highest in the Western Hemisphere, but it is also the highest in the Southern Hemisphere, even with the exact height of its tallest point being subject to some debate.
  • The highest mountain in South America is part of the Andes Mountain Chain.
  • The Andes Mountain Chain is the longest mountain range (above-water) in the world. The Andes mountains span several different South American countries.
  • The Andes Mountain Range, being around 4,000 mi (7,000 km) long, stretches through seven different countries.
  • There are also several different plateaus that are seen across the South American continent.
  • The river basins are some of the most prominent geographical features of South America. For example, the Amazon basin.
  • The longest river in the world is the Amazon River.
  • The Amazon basin is the largest watershed in the world.
  • South America boasts of having the highest navigable lake on Earth. It is called Lake Titicaca.
  • Lake Titicaca is in the Andes, located at the border of Bolivia and Peru.
  • Lake Titicaca is a large freshwater lake with a surface elevation of an unbelievable 12,507 ft (3812 m).
  • The South American continent is home to the Amazon rainforest.
  • It is the largest rainforest in the world.
  • The Amazon rainforest is larger than the next two largest rainforests combined!
  • There is also the desert environment that makes up the land. The Atacama Desert is one of the famous deserts.
  • The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on the planet.
  • The Atacama Desert is located in the country of Chile.
  • There is the driest place in South America, the Atacama Desert, but there are also waterfalls in South America.
  • The tallest waterfall in South America is the Angel Falls. It has a height of 3,212 ft (979 m).
  • While there are not many islands off the coast of South America, one of the most popular is the Falkland Islands.
  • The Falkland Islands have been the subject of many conflicts, with territorial disputes taking place for a long time.
  • These territorial disputes have also escalated into full-scale battles between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
  • After much loss of life and mediation from different countries, the Falklands were placed firmly in the hands of the British, even though they were fighting a battle thousands of miles away.

South America's Wildlife And Nature

The South American region is home to some of the most diverse forms of flora and fauna in the world.

  • The Amazon rainforest is home to the most varied species of plants and animals in the world.
  • As South America is not a nation but a continent, it does not have an animal as a symbol. Some of the animals native to the continent have become widely recognized, such as the llama.
  • The rainforest is home to the greatest number of wildlife species and plant life on the continent.
  • The rainforest is a preferred living habitat for animals due to the cover of leaves that protect them from the sunlight.
  • Some of the most commonly seen animals on the continent are jaguars, the tapir, the llama, and the sloth.
  • South America is home to some of the most dangerous animals that can be found anywhere in the world.
  • One of these predators is the green anaconda. Even though they are not venomous, they are capable of killing humans, even if they are very young.
  • The bullet ant is also widely found around the Amazon rainforest. While a bite is not fatal, it is excruciatingly painful. Its effects can last up to a period of 24 hours.
  • There are several reasons why the Amazon rainforest is crucial to the world's ecosystem.
  • The Amazon River is a food source for the different communities based around the river.
  • The Amazon River also provides habitat and a source of water for so much of the animal life in the forest.
  • The rainforest is also crucial in regulating the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere of the Earth.
  • The Amazon rainforest is responsible for producing about 8% of the oxygen in the world.
Llamas are some of the animals that are primarily representative of the continent of South America.

Famous South American Figures

South America has been home to some of the most famous figures in all of the world. Here are some of the most famous figures from South America.

  • The first of these famous figures is Simon Bolivar. Simon Bolivar was the legendary military leader who led the war of freedom from the oppressive Spanish empire in the 1800s.
  • He was a figure who stood against the horrors of conquest and became responsible for the liberation of the regions that later became Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, and Bolivia.
  • The sword of Simon Bolivar has been immortalized as an ode to his military intellect and stands as a beacon of freedom to the people of South America.
  • He has been idolized for the ideals he promoted—courage and freedom.
  • He was the embodiment of the emotions of the South American people and their struggle to free themselves from foreign rule. It became a symbol of freedom not only for South Americans but also for people worldwide.
  • Bolivar was described as the George Washington of South America because of his contribution to his people's freedom.
  • Another famous figure is Pablo Escobar. Pablo Emilio Escobar was the leader of the Medellin cartel that was responsible for the large number of illicit drugs that came out of Colombia.
  • At the height of his power, Pablo was one of the wealthiest people not only in South America but in the entire world.
  • While a large proportion of his activities were illicit, Pablo Escobar was lauded by the locals of Columbia for making significant improvements to their neighborhoods and dubbed him the Paisa Robin Hood, meaning a hero to the poor.
  • His reign as a kingpin was brought to an end after he turned violent, as the War on Drugs escalated all over the world.
  • Another one of the most famous people to come from South America is Pele. Pele is a Brazilian footballer and is heralded as one of the greatest footballers to ever walk the planet!
  • Pele began playing for Brazil at the age of 15 and went on to win three World Cups with his national team during his career.
  • Speaking of football, another one of the famous personalities from South America is Lionel Messi. The Argentine marvel is a genius with a ball at his feet.
  • The incredible evidence of how popular he is with fans all over the world was seen in 2020 when he moved from FC Barcelona to the next stage of his career.
  • He is known to have battled some serious health issues in his early years. He had a hormone deficiency that hindered his growth.
  • Messi also came from a very humble background; his father was a steelworker and a coach for the local football team.

South American Culture

The people of South America have interesting backgrounds and origins. Here are some South America facts about its people and its rich culture.

  • The present population of South America is generally placed in four broad categories.
  • The four of these categories are the American Indians, the Iberians, the Africans, and the settlers from Europe.
  • The American Indians, also known as the Amerindians, were the pre-Colombian settlers in the region. They were known to be masters of agriculture.
  • The Iberians are made up of settlers of Portuguese and Spanish descent. They began to come over as the continent was discovered.
  • The Africans in South America reached there as slaves. Their brutal treatment was solely due to the foreign settlers.
  • All of the slaves were freed during the 19th century as the newly formed republics understood the evils of slavery.
  • The population of South America today is made up of mixes of these different categories, and there are hints of European ancestry among South Americans because of the foreign settlers.
  • While Spanish is primarily adopted in the continent, there are several indigenous languages coming from indigenous cultures of the region.
  • People generally share the traditional beliefs of the different South American cultures that they belong to.
  • The large majority of the population in South America are followers of Christianity, specifically Roman Catholics.
  • While most countries have declared themselves secular, meaning any religion can be practiced in the country, there are a few exceptions to secularism.
  • Peru and the Dominican Republic have Roman Catholicism as their official religion, making it mandatory for everyone to receive Catholic religious education.
  • Before Roman Catholicism, the prevailing form of religion in South America was known as Shamanism.

South American Economy

The South American economy is interesting as it has come a long way from what was thought to be primitive.

  • The economies of the countries in South America are much different than the ones that you would have seen during the '70s.
  • The majority of countries have opted to push policies that reduce every country's dependence on foreign imports.
  • Their policies now encourage the export of products that are manufactured in their own countries.
  • These policies were enforced through the introduction of regulating policies such as import tariffs and quotas.
  • One problematic way of boosting production within these countries is the growing debt crisis.
  • Many countries in South America borrow money from international banks in order to fund their manufacturing.
  • This encouragement to borrow in order to produce has, in a way, allowed some of these countries to live beyond their means. It creates a vicious cycle where they must borrow more in order to pay off their existing debts.
  • A large proportion of the output of the countries in South America is from the natural resources that they possess.
  • These natural resources make up for a lot of the exports of the countries in South America.
  • There are a significant number of oil and natural gas deposits that are found here.
  • In fact, Venezuela has the highest amount of oil reserves anywhere in the world, even more than the Middle East.
  • The minerals are not only limited to oil but also include deposits of precious metals.
  • The presence of metals such as gold is what attracted the Spanish and the Portuguese in the first place.
  • The search for riches in the world drove the Spanish to the west, and while the gold from South America is not as much as other deposits in the world, it certainly makes a noteworthy contribution.

<p>Siddharth is a talented content writer with over a year of experience in content writing, based in Mumbai. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia and Mass Communication from Mithibai College of Arts. With a passion for reading and music, Siddharth has demonstrated his ability to create engaging content that resonates with his audience.</p>

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