• Ronit Tal Shaltiel

20 interesting facts about South America

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

1. South America is the fourth largest continent in size and the fifth largest in population. It is located primarily in the southern hemisphere.

2. The largest South American country in both size and population is Brazil. The largest city is Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is also one of the ten largest cities in the world. 

3. North and South America were named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. 

4. Two of the four remaining areas of pristine tropical forest in the world are located in South America, and while most people are familiar with the Amazon rainforest, the Iwokrama Forest is located in Guyana and is one of the few remaining habitats of the Giant Anteater.

5. There are 16 countries and Islands in South America. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela.

6. South America is home to many species of animals including llama, anaconda, pirana, jaguar, vicuna, and tapir

7. Ecuador was the first country in the world to give nature constitutional rights and can be defended in court.

8. The main languages in South America are Spanish and Portuguese.

9. The largest remaining natural resource is the Amazon forest.

10. South America major resources are gold, silver, copper, iron ore, tin and petroleum. Colombia produces more than 90% of the world’s emeralds.

11. The carnival of Rio de Janeiro is the world’s largest street festival.

12. There are 77 uncontacted tribes living in the Amazon Jungle.

13. The potato originated in Peru.

14. Argentina was the first country to use fingerprinting in criminal investigations.

15. The world's first two UNESCO heritage sites the Galapagos Islands and the city of Quito.

Are from Ecuador.

16. The highest waterfall in the world is the Angel Falls in Venezuela.

17.  It's considered rude to say ‘no’ in Paraguay - instead, they'll say 'thank you' or 'another day'.

18.  In Bolivia La Paz, people dressed as zebras help pedestrians to cross the road.

19. The Green Anaconda, a native of the Amazon, is the largest snake in the world. The largest ever captured was 5 meters long, and weighed 99 kg.

20. Chile is home to the world's driest non-polar desert, the Atacama Desert.

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