Social Studies: South America Review

Let’s review South America:

How many countries are in South America?
■French Guiana (France)
■Falkland Islands (Britain, but Argentina still claims it)
■South Sandwich   (Britain)
■South Georgia Islands (Britain)

Without the dependencies it’s only 12, but altogether, there are 16 countries and islands that make up South America.
■South America is the 4th largest continent by size and the 5th largest by population.
■It is located primarily in the southern hemisphere and covers approximately 12% of the Earth’s land.
■It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.
■The geography of South America is dominated by the Andes Mountain Range and the Amazon River.
The second-longest river in the World, the Amazon flows across the top of the continent.
South America was colonized by European explorers mainly from Spain and Portugal.
  • South America has a total population of around 387 million people.
  • The countries with the highest populations (to the nearest million) are:
1. Brazil – 188 million
2. Colombia – 43 million
3. Argentina – 40 million
4. Peru – 28 million
5. Venezuela – 26 million
  • In South America, Brazil is the most economically developed country.
  • The Iguazu Falls are a magnificent spectacle of 275 individual drops. They originate from the Iguazu River and are located on the border of Brazil and Argentina.
  • Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, located in Bolivia. In the dry season, the salt plains are a completely flat expanse of dry salt, but in the wet season, it is covered with a thin sheet of water that is still drivable.
  • The Ruins of Machu Picchu are found in Peru. The Incan built structure has been deemed the “Lost Cities”.
  • Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. It is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai.

Some interesting facts:

  • The largest city is Sao Paulo, Brazil, which is also one of the ten largest cities in the world.
  • The Amazon River is the world’s largest river.
  • The Atacama Desert in Chile is considered to be one of the driest places on Earth.
  • The highest waterfall in the world is Santo del Angel (alsocalled Angel Falls). It is almost 1000 meters high!
  • The highest point in South America is Cerro Aconcagua in the Andes Mountains in the country of Argentina.

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