North America is enriched with natural heritages and various landscapes that attract lots of tourists. There are many biomes and volcanic and earthquake-prone regions. One of the amazing facts about North America includes its age which is 1.5 billion years old.

The powerful country in the world U.S.A., lies on this continent. The geographical landmarks and terrain add flavor to the vast ecosystem consisting of millions of animals and flowers.

North America

North America is the third largest continent in the world. Columbus discovered it in 1492 AD. It is, thus, named ‘The Continent of New World.’ It takes its name from Amerigo Vespucci. 

For the most part, it lies between the Arctic Circle and the Cancer Tropic. It stretches from the North Pole and the Equator for more than 5,000 miles (8,000 km) to within 500 miles (800 km) and has an east-west distance of 5,000 miles. An area of 9,355,000 square miles is covered (24,230,000 square km) by it.

North America’s language is complicated, but Canada and the U.S. can be defined by “Anglo-America” while “Latin America” includes Mexico and Central America and Caribbean countries and the entire South American continent.

English is the most spoken language in North America, followed by Spanish and French. These languages were introduced in North America during the time of colonization as the settlers from Europe invaded.

North America Facts

Moving on to the facts about North America, you will find large biomes on the planet in North America! Tropical rainforests, grasslands, deserts, tundra, and coral reefs are among them. 

Most of the native languages and cultures were destroyed during colonization. Yet this continent is filled with beautiful geography, exciting places, and amazing fats.

facts about north america

Here are some of the interesting facts about North America. Have a look: 

1. 3rd largest continent 

The most fundamental fact about North America is that it is the third-largest continent after Asia and Africa. A region of nearly 9.5 million square miles encompasses North America, 16.5 percent of the earth’s total land area.

Several oceans surround the continent: The Arctic Ocean to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south and west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east and South America, and the Caribbean Sea to the southeast. 

2. Named after an Italian explorer 

Between 1497 and 1502, a group of Europeans, including the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci and two German cartographers, Matthias Ringmann and Martin Waldseemüller, explored South America. 

Vespucci was the first European who felt that, as was previously believed, the Americas were not the East Indies but a different landmass.

His German companions agreed to name the continent after him in honor of this; Waldseemüller wrote “America” on the South American continent on a map in 1507. 

He took the Latin version of Americus Vespucius initially but then preferred to use the American feminine form.

3. North America has 23 countries 

When we speak of the North American continent, we tend to think of its largest and most strong nation, the U.S.A. 

Therefore, one of the most interesting facts about North America is that there are only 23 countries on the continent and hundreds more territories and possessions.  

These include Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Greenland, and Central America, and the Caribbean countries. 

The U.S.A., which had a population of approximately 32.8 million in 2019, is the most populous of these countries. 

With 12.5 million people, Mexico is the second most populated nation, the third most populated nation is Canada, with 37.5 million people. At 15.9 million, Guatemala is in fourth place.

4. 1.5 billion years old 

One of the most remarkable facts about North America concerns how old the land is. 

Cratons, the oldest and most stable pieces, typically located in the center of tectonic plates, are at the geological core of all continents. 

The craton is called Laurentia at the center of North America and was formed during the Proterozoic period. 

North America was linked to other continents during many geological periods, including ancient Pangaea and Eurasia. Pangaea was a supercontinent situated in the Southern Hemisphere, covering much of the landmass of the earth. 

North America started to split into its own continent about 200 million years ago when Pangaea drifted apart.

When the Isthmus of Panama formed about 3 million years ago, North and South America were linked. 

On the other hand, the Great Lakes is a relatively recent feature resulting from receding glacial activity around 10,000 years ago.

5. Europe colonized North America 

In North America, Spain, France, and Britain formed territories, and these territories hosted independence revolutions in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, most notably the American War of Independence. 

Thirteen British colonies established the United States of America, while Canada merged between the British and French territories. North America was colonized by Europe.

These protests have led to the formation of many countries. The invasion of the New World had devastating consequences for the local people. 

One of the most tragic facts about North America is that this period saw the arrival of European diseases, murdering huge portions of the native people. 

Moreover, brutal crashes and conflicts have led to the collapse of numerous aboriginal cultures. The disappearance of cultural information and folklore increased after the conflicts, and many people lost their lives.

6. North Americans formed empires

North America has many fascinating facts about how native cultures evolved before European colonization. 

The continent was divided into informal areas depending on the culture. The way people lived was defined by the environment and geography of each region. 

This includes the Maya Civilization, which was founded in 2000 B.C.E. In the south of Mexico and Guatemala, the Mayans constructed temples and pyramids and developed a complex calendar and writing system. 

Later, the Aztec Empire also flourished, the capital of which was situated in the Mexico Valley. The alliance of three Nahua town states in 1428 formed this empire. These facts about North America glorify its rich history and advanced civilization.

7. Populated for more than 15000 years 

If you asked people for information about North America, many would note that in 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas. 

Some may also point out that some time ago, in the 11th century, Norse settlers arrived. However, scientists claim that the first indigenous peoples came to the continent about 15,000 years ago. 

8. Geography covers all large biomes 

One of the most astonishing facts about North America shows us how remarkably complex the continent’s geography is. 

A biome is characterized as a plant and animal life population scattered over a large area of uniform climate. 

facts about north america

Unsurprisingly, with this diversity, the North American continent has many prominent and impressive geological features. 

These include the Appalachian Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls, the Mississippi River, etc.

9. 965 species of mammals 

It is important to note the abundant and thrilling wildlife when it comes to North America. There is an immense number of ecosystems that numerous mammals.

 They feel like home in swampy wetlands to dry mountain ranges and scorching deserts to lush farmlands on this vast continent.

That is why about 965 out of 5416 recognized mammal species on the globe reside in North America. 

Tiny animals such as rodents, hares, squirrels, possums, and raccoons, and bigger ones such as deer, coyote, and beaver, are popular examples of such mammals. 

Then, the most iconic mammals on the continent are the major cats like the bear, the wolf, and the cougar. An extraordinarily diverse number of inhabitants, including whales, dolphins, and sharks, live in North America’s oceans.

10. Hosted twelve Olympic events

In 1904, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A., was the first time a North American country hosted the games. Since then, the U.S. has been home to seven other games more than any other country globally. 

In total, the continent has hosted contemporary games 12 times. The big events include the Lake Placid, Squaw Valley, Salt Lake City winter games, and the Los Angeles and Atlanta summer games. 

The Olympics were also hosted several times by Canada, in Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver, while the summer games of 1968 took place in Mexico City.

11. World’s largest lake 

There are astonishing facts about North America regarding geographical features, but a special mention must go to Lake Superior, on the United States and Canada border.

Along with the U.S.A.’s Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, Lake Superior spreads to Canada’s Ontario.

Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes in North America, and by surface size, it is considered the largest freshwater lake globally, with a surface area of 31,700 square miles. 

12. Death Valley 

In North America, there is a substantial disparity between the wettest and driest climates of the continent. 

In the Mojave Desert, California, Death Valley is the area that receives the least rainfall each year. It is so dry that it can scarcely fill a cup with the normal annual rainfall, around 2.36 inches. 

And not only is Death Valley the driest region of the continent of North America, but it is also the hottest and the lowest, creating an exceptional atmosphere.

It includes the geographical, demographic, and cultural aspects of the continent and its history.

13. Mexico banned shaving while driving

Many accidents have been reported on the roads of Mexico caused by irresponsible driving. The driver used to shave using an electric razor or put on makeup while driving. So the government banned people from using makeup to shave in 2008. 

14. The oldest clock

The oldest clock exists in Honduras at Comayagua, built by Arab while ruling Spain in 1100. King Phillip II of Spain gifted this clock to Jeronimo de Corella, the new Bishop of Comayagua, in 1620. 

The clock was moved to the newly built Cathedral of Comayagua in 1711, where it remains today. The clock was assembled in the Alhambra, Islamic capital in Granada, Spain.

15. Birthplace of presidents

In the United States, “Virginia” is considered the birthplace of future presidents. Out of 45 presidents till the day, eight were born in this state.

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and John Tyler are among the presidents born in Virginia.

16. Las Vegas was not built as a casino city

Las Vegas had abundant water resources in the middle of the Nevada desert and was used as a stop on trade routes for several hundred years after its discovery in 1829.

Las Vegas was not settled as a casino city. The first hotel casino opened in 1941 for travelers and settled workers. The city moved on to be the most visited casino city in the world.

17. Conflict kitchen 

Art professors Jon Rubin and Dawn Weleski from Carnegie Mellon University came up with the idea and opened “Conflict Kitchen” at 124 South Highland Avenue in East Liberty.

There is a restaurant called “Conflict Kitchen,” which only serves dishes from the countries having conflict with the U.S.A. After serving the dishes from Palestine, the owner received death threats.

E.g., Iranian cuisine was served by the name “Kubideh Kitchen,” during the war with Afgan, they named the restaurant “Bolani Pazi” and served bolani.

In May 2012, they served 30-60customer, and by 2013 the number reached 100-300 daily. This project was admired worldwide and was nominated in International Award for Public Art by The Institute for Public Art in Hong Kong.

18. Volcano Paricutin

Paricutin is a cinder cone volcano located in Michoacan, about 320 kilometers west of Mexico City. The volcano arose abruptly from the cornfield of local farmer Dionisio Pulido in 1943.

It was a cornfield until 20 February 1943. According to the witness, they heard a sound that day. The next day the volcano was 33 feet high, then reached 164 the very next day. 

The volcano reached a height of 1,102 after a year and remains 1,391 feet tall today. This is also one of the surprising volcanic facts about North America.

19. Biggest Island 

The biggest island of the earth is in North America, known as Greenland. Many land mammals, as well as sea animals and plant species, are seen in Greenland.  

It is the third-largest area in North America after Canada and the U.S. It is located between 59 degrees and 83 degrees North and 11 degrees 74 degrees west.

Ice sheets cover three-quarters of Greenland except for Antarctica. The area of Greenland is 2,166,086 km2 (836,330 sq mi), and 52,058 people live in this region.

20. People of North America 

The endemic people of North America are the indigenous and native Americans before the European invasion. Today only 2% of the citizens consider themselves native Americans.

The indigenous people in Canada are the Inuit and the Metis. Mayan people are the indigenous minority groups in Mexico. 

In Mexico, they are known as the Yucatan or Campeche people who live in Yucatan Peninsula. The descendants of the Maya people live in Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras.

21. Mexico City is the largest city  

Mexico City is Mexico’s capital and a significant global city. It is one of North America’s most important financial markets, with the region boasting a gross domestic product (G.D.P.) of $411 billion in 2011. 

Mexico City’s economy is so massive that the city itself produces the same wealth as Peru as a whole! An estimated 8.85 million residents in the city proper and over 20 million in the wider metropolitan area.

However, Mexico City has the largest population of all the urban centers on the North American continent. 

Many popular places like Toronto and Montreal in Canada to New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago in the U.S.A. might come to mind while thinking about big cities.

22. “Mexico” most earthquake-prone region

One of the best-known facts about North America is that many seismic activities are located on the west coast, making it a high-risk earthquake region. 

Mexico has suffered some of the most damaging consequences since buildings have been less well-designed as a poorer nation and spent less capital on earthquake planning schemes. 

The 8.0 magnitude earthquake swept through Mexico City in 1985, killing at least 10,000 people. An earthquake of 7.2 magnitudes struck the city of Guerrero in 2014, causing many casualties.

23. Town under one roof

Imagine living with the whole town under one roof and having access to a post office, grocery, laundry, hospitals, hotels, etc. There is a place called Whittier, Alaska, with a beautiful picturesque mountain view.

The 14-story building, a former Army barracks, now called Begich Towers, is the building where the town’s 200 people stay. These people work in commercial fishing, recreation, tourism, and railroad.

These facts about North America are interesting, the police station, hospital, court, church, everything town needs, is available here.

24. Second largest hotel in the world

The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas is the second largest hotel in the world. KlingStubbins designed it, and the tower is 32 storey and 145 m tall. Venetian is owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands.

Venetian consists of 7,128 rooms and comes after First World Hotel in Pahang, Malaysia, with 7,351 rooms. The design and architecture of the hotel are influenced by the various landmarks from Venice, Italy.

North America has abundant natural sources, cultural heritages and consists of the powerful country in the world. There are many popular nature-made and man-made landmarks.

There are many amazing facts about North America that we still need to explore. The largest freshwater lakes, millions of species, and natural biomes are the attraction of this continent and is home to the largest island in the world, “Greenland.”

(Last Updated On: June 1, 2022)