The Americas or America, also famously known as the New World, consists of the totality of territories in the North. The name of America was first applied to South America and scholars believe that the name America was procured from the name of Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci. Americas consists of two separate continents North America and South America. It has 35 countries with approximately 1 billion population. More than 65% of the total population of the Americas belong to only three countries, the United States, Brazil, and Mexico. Next in the article, we are going to share with you the most pertinent information about both, North America and South America under separate sections.
Geography of North America
North America is the third largest continent in the world. It covers a huge area starting from the Isthmus of Panama in the South to the small Aleutian Islands in the Northwest. The big island of Greenland in the Northeast and small territories and islands of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean are part of this continent.
North America is surrounded by South America and the Caribbean Sea in the Southeast, the Pacific Ocean in the South and West, the Atlantic Ocean in the East, and the Arctic Ocean in the North. It covers 24,709,000 square kilometers surface area that is almost 17% of the surface area of the planet. It consists of twenty-three countries with Canada as the largest country.
North America is sub-divided into five following distinct regions:
- The mountainous west
- The Great Plains
- The Canadian Shield
- The eastern region
- The Caribbean
Almost all main types of biomes exist in all those regions including desert, grasslands, tundra, and coral reefs.
Culture and Cuisine of North America
Before the arrival of colonizers in North America, the indigenous native North Americans were natives whose ancestors were living there even before when nobody knew about this New World in the Western Hemisphere. North America is home to indigenous people, several colonizing European nations, and immigrants from all across the world. So, its culture is also as diverse as its communities. People of North America like to sort themselves into like-minded communities. There are several culturally distinct groups such as Yankeedom, New Netherland, the Midlands, New France, First Nation, etc. with very distinctive traditions. However, there are certain traditions that can be observed at regional levels such as Presidential Turkey Pardons, Nenana Ice Classic, Groundhog Day, Cherry Pit Spitting, and many other cultural traditions.
North American cuisine is also diverse because it includes food popular in individual countries like the USA, Canada, Mexico, etc. However, North American cuisine is greatly influenced by many international cuisines such as Asian and European cuisines. Biscuits and Gravy, buffalo chicken wings, beaver tails, poutine, and the famous hamburger are among the must-taste dishes for you if you are fanaticizing to visit North America.
Some interesting facts about North America
- Canada is the largest country in North America and Mexico City is the largest city
- Greenland is the world’s largest island
- Missouri River is the longest river of North America with 3,767 km length
- McKinley Mount in Alaska is the tallest point on the continent and the lowest place is known as Death Valley, located in California
- Lake Superior is the biggest lake in North America and it is also considered the biggest freshwater lake in the world
- Canada and USA share 8893 kilometers long border that is the longest border shared by any two countries in the whole world
Geography of South America
South America is located in South-Western Hemisphere. It shares boundaries with North America on the North, Caribbean Sea on the Northwest, the Atlantic Ocean on the East, and Pacific Ocean on the West. There are twelve sovereign states in South America and two non-sovereign territories. South America has 17,840,000 square kilometers of total surface area. Brazil is the largest and most populous city and Suriname is the smallest country.
South America is home to a variety of landscapes from lush rainforests and verdant plains to the marvelous pristine white-sand beaches of Brazil, from active volcanos to the sky-high snow-capped summits of Andes. It can be sub-divided into five regions:
- The Patagonia region
- Andes Mountains
- Brazilian Coastline
- The Amazon
- The Pantanal
All these regions have something extraordinary to enjoy including gorgeous landscapes, grasslands, lakes, and much more.
Culture and Cuisine of South America
Stemming from a diverse set of cultural traditions that date back to pre-Columbian civilization and indigenous tribes, the South American culture is as diverse as one can imagine. African slaves, Asian, and European immigrants have also made South American culture more rich and diverse. This is a unique and vibrant cultural mix that is evident from not only the culture but also from cuisine, religion, music, and architecture all across the continent. South America is a fascinating continent to visit for culture lovers.
Indigenous tribes and civilizations were established here long before the arrival of Spanish and Portuguese colonialists. Remnants of these primitive cultures are still evident even from today’s modern culture of South America. Geoglyphs and petroglyphs of Chille, Inca ruins’ networks in Peru, and several folklores are some examples of that culture. Descendants of these ancient civilizations and indigenous tribes have still strong bonds to the traditional style of living, hence, making South America a mysterious but fascinating place to visit.
South Americans are fond of the traditional cuisine with ingredients from local products such as corn, lima beans, potatoes, chili peppers, peanuts, avocados, chocolate, etc. Even European colonialists started to make their dishes using local ingredients. However, most of the native foods were not mingled with European style cuisine but recently, the trend is changing rapidly. Now modern chefs are seen showcasing Andean products such as quinoa and kiwicha grains, corn, alpaca meat, and yucca in new innovative ways to make European food more delicious and interesting for the locals. South America is the continent for you where you can eat food that is mostly based on natural and healthy ingredients such as corn and yucca.
Some Fascinating Features of South America
- Five of the top fifty largest cities are situated in South America: Sao Paulo, Lima, Bogota, Rio, and Santiago
- South America’s Amazon rainforest is one of the most mysterious places on Earth and is home to approximately 40,000 plant species and about 2.5 million species of insects
- The Atacama Desert of Chile is considered to be the world’s driest desert
- The longest mountain range in the world, the Andes, is located towards the western coast of South America
- Simon Bolivar is the most important military as well as diplomatic figure in the history of the continent who led five countries to independence: Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia