Top 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About South America
The continent South America is known as the fourth largest and the fifth most populated continent in the world with about 422.5 million people living in it. There are 12 countries in South America namely: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. There are facts you may not have known about this amazing continent and the following are the top 10 captivating facts you didn’t know about South America:-
- South America was discovered by an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer by name “Amerigo Vespucci”, and at the end of the 15th century and the start of the 16th century, he spent a long time exploring the eastern coast of the continent.
- There is a notable difference in terms of the abundance of the population in different countries on the continent, with Chile’s population generating the highest Gross Domestic Product per capita, at $23,969, while Bolivia’s population is the lowest, at just $7,190 per capita. (2016 numbers, according to the IMF.)
- Religion is one of the most important part of the culture in South America, and across the continent, about 92% of people identify themselves as Christians. 80% of the continent’s population consider themselves to be Roman Catholic.
- Chile is home to the world’s driest non-polar desert, the Atacama Desert, and parts of the central desert area are known to regularly go without rain for up to four years at a time.
- The Amazon rainforest is considered to have the best/greatest biodiversity in the world, with hundreds of different animals species, around 40,000 plant species and a stunning 2.5 million different species of insects.
- Colombia is not only the least peaceful country in South America, but it also spends the greatest proportion of its gross domestic product on its armed forces, with 3.4%of its GDP spent on the military in 2016.
- Brazil was first discovered on April 22,1500 by Pedro Álvares Cabral (1467-1520) a Portuguese nobleman, explorer, military commander and navigator. Also, Brazil is not only the largest country on the continent, but it also has the highest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, with 21 in total, with Peru in second place with 12 such sites.
- Simón Bolívar, a Venezuelan military and political leader is one of the greatest military and diplomatic figures in the history of the continent, having led five countries, namely Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia (as well as Panama, in Central America) to independence from the colonial powers.
- While most of South America was liberated from the colonial powers of Spain and Portugal, two small areas of the continent are still administered by European countries, and in terms of per capita income are the wealthiest areas of the continent. French Guiana is located on the north coast of the continent, while off the east coast of Argentina, the Falkland Islands, known as the Malvinas by Argentinians, is a British Overseas Territory.
- 5 of the top 50 largest cities in the world are located in South America, and descending from the highest of these cities we have – Sao Paulo(Municipality in Brazil), Lima(Capital of Peru), Bogota(Capital of Colombia), Rio de Janeiro(Municipality in Brazil), and Santiago(Capital of Chile).