South America Continent, South America Facts

  • No. of Countries: 12
  • Area: 17.84 million km²
  • Population: 428,240,515
  • Longest River: Amazon River
  • Largest Desert: Atacama Desert
  • Most Popular Sport: Association football
  • Largest Forest: Amazon Basin
  • Biggest Canal: Panama Canal
  • Richest Man: Carlos Slim

With most of its area being in Southern Hemisphere, the continent of South America is situated between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. The continent comprises of 12 independent states including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Colombia, Venezuela and the overseas department of French Guiana.South America is ranked fourth in area and fifth in population.

Its geographical location has often been subjected to controversies. A good amount of people from various non-English speaking countries doesn't accept the idea of it being a continent in true sense of the term. They regard North, Central and South America as subcontinents. The great Amazon River that surrounds a vast area of Amazon forests is located in South America. Being extensively deep, the river is also termed as The River Sea. Before the construction of roads and other means of transport, the Amazon waterways used to be the prime routes to access the interior areas of Brazil and some Northern areas of South America.Andes, the second largest mountain range in the world after Himalayas also run down the western edge of South America. Andes also have active and dormant volcanic peaks. The largest salt lake in the world is located in Bolivia that is one of the independent South American countries.

Portuguese and Spanish are the major languages of South America while Christianity, Islam and Hinduism remain the most practiced religion in South American land. High interest rates, unemployment and low investment are the significant features of its economy. A considerable gap between rich and poor is quite evident in South America. The richest countries like Venezuela, Brazil and Paraguay might own 60 % of the total nation's wealth while the poorest may own just less than 5 %.

The continent is rich in music and literature. The famous musician Gabriel GraciaMarquezis a Nobel Prize winner from South America. The mainly Portuguese speaking country is largely known for its Great Amazon forests, large mountain ranges and tropical forests.

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The Economically Dominant Countries in South America

Talking in economic terms, the country has shown rapid development over the years. Countries like Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Colombia have made valuable contributions in boasting its economy. Initially, the scarcity of coal was a major impediment to its economic and industrial development which was overcome by using the petroleum reservoirs present in the continent.

Brazil's economy remained stable despite recession and it continues to expand its presence in the global market. Brazil's economy is largely characterized by its well-developed agriculture, mining and manufacturing sectors. It's GDP in terms of purchasing power parity is $2.362 trillion.

Argentina stands right next to Brazil in terms of economy. Argentina derives extensive benefit from its rich natural resources and highly developed agricultural sector. Its major exports include soybeans, petroleum, gas, vehicles and corn. Its GDP in terms of PPP is calculated to be $ 746.9 billion.

Countries undergoing massive economic growth are Venezuela and Peru. Major industries in South America include agriculture, fishing, and mining. Trade is also a crucial feature in its economy.

Famous Landmarks of South America

Landmarks are what earn countries global recognition. It is primarily due to the noticeable physical and historical features they carry. They play an essential role in attracting tourists from all around the world. Like various other continents, South America is rich in landmarks. Undoubtedly, South America is one of the most spectacular continents in the world. Let's bring into consideration some of the major landmarks in South American region.

Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro is one of the most phenomenal landmarks in the world. It is a statue of Jesus that stands 130 feet tall. It is known to be the fifth largest statue of Jesus in the world. The statue holds the symbol of Brazilian Christianity and earns the place of an icon for Rio de Janeiro. This enormous structure is mainly composed of concrete and soapstone.

Machu Pichu popularity is more warranted than most of the other land marks as it is one of the most beautiful, mystical and adventurous places in the world. It's one of the must-see natural wonders in the world.

Wealthiest people in South America

Joseph & MoiseSafra brothers lead the list of the richest people in South America with a net worth of $ 7.4 billion.They are the natives of Brazil and their prime income source is banking.

Gustavo Cisneros & family are among the second richest family in South America.They possess a net worth of $ 5.0 billion. The family runs one of the world's largest privately held media and entertainment companies. The family is among the most powerful families in Venezuela.