Let’s discuss the facts about North America gifted with diverse geographic landmarks and history. 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. Before going to the facts about North America we will have a look at the basic information.
Where is North America located?
For the most part, it lies between the Arctic Circle and the Cancer Tropic. It stretches from both 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.
What languages are used in North America?
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.
Facts About North America
Moving on to the facts about North America you will find every single one of the big 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 have been destroyed during colonization.
Here are some of the interesting facts about North America. Have a look:
1. North America is the 3rd largest continent in the world
The most fundamental fact about North America is that it is a continent, the third-largest after Asia and Africa in the world. The Northern Hemisphere is in North America, and much of it is in the Western Hemisphere.
Several oceans surround the continent: The Arctic Ocean to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south and west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east and South America and the Caribbean Sea to the southeast. A region of nearly 9.5 million square miles encompasses North America, and this is 16.5 percent of the total land area of the earth.
2. North America is 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 the name, 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 USA. Therefore, one of the most interesting facts about North America is that there are only 23 countries on the continent, along with hundreds more territories and possessions.
These include Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Greenland, and all of Central America and the Caribbean countries. The USA, which had a population of approximately 319.4 million in 2014, is the most populous of these countries. With 35.5 million people, the second most populated nation is Canada. At 15.8 million, Guatemala is in third place.
4. The early 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 of culture in which the way people lived was defined by the environment and geography of each region.
For example, tribes of bison hunters were established in the Great Plains, while agrarian communities were created in Central America. But as well as tiny tribal cultures, in this period, they built vast and impressive empires.
This includes the Maya Civilization, which was founded in 2000 BCE. 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.
5. The continent is 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 Ithmus 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, as they result from glacial activity receding, which occurred around 10,000 years ago.
6. Europe colonized North America In the Period of Exploration
Returning to our most common facts of North America, it is accurate that in 1492 Columbus found the Americas for Spain. This initiated a period of imperialism in which European nation-states took over great swaths of the Americas.
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. These protests have led to the formation of many countries.
Thirteen British colonies established the United States of America, while Canada resulted from a merger between the British and French territories. 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 to the Americas of European diseases, murdering huge portions of the native people. Moreover, brutal clashes and conflicts have led to the collapse of numerous aboriginal cultures.
This has culminated, along with direct human costs, in many language groups’ disappearance and the depletion of cultural information and folklore.
7. Mexico City is the largest city in North America
Many popular places could be discussed when it comes to North American city-related facts, from Toronto and Montreal in Canada to New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago in the USA, to name just a handful. However, Mexico City is the largest by the population of all the urban centers on the North American continent.
There are an estimated 8.85 million residents in the city proper and over 20 million in the wider metropolitan area. 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 (GDP) 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!
8. North America has been 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. Yet, scientists claim that the first indigenous peoples came to the continent about 15,000 years ago.
9. North America’s 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.
Unsurprisingly, with this diversity, the North American continent has many prominent and impressive geological features. These include the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, Niagara Falls, the Mississippi River, and many others.
10. North America has 965 species of mammals
When it comes to facts about North America, it is important to note the abundant and thrilling wildlife. There is an immense number of ecosystems that numerous mammals will feel at home in, from swampy wetlands to dry mountain ranges, and scorching deserts to lush farmlands, because there are so many biomes found on this vast continent.
That is why about 965 out of 5416 recognized mammal species on the globe can be found 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 there are, of course, the most iconic mammals on the continent, the major cats like the bear, the wolf, and the cougar. An extraordinarily diverse number of inhabitants, including whales, dolphins, and sharks, even live in North America’s oceans.
11. North America has conducted the Olympics twelve times
There are also interesting facts about the North American Olympics. In total, the continent has hosted contemporary games 12 times. In 1904, in St. Louis Missouri, USA, was the first time a North American country hosted the games. Since then, more than any other country globally, the U.S. has been home to seven other games.
The big events include the Lake Placid, Squaw Valley, and 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.
12. Lake Superior is the world’s largest Fresh Water Lake
There are endless facts about astonishing geographical features in North America, but a special mention must go to Lake Superior, on the United States and Canada border. This is the largest of the Great Lakes in North America, and by surface size, it is considered the largest freshwater lake in the world with a surface area of 31,700 square miles. Along with the USA’s Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, Lake Superior is bordered by Canada’s Ontario.
13. Mexico is one of the most earthquake-prone regions of North America
One of the best-known facts about North America is that a lot of seismic activity is located on the west coast, making it a high-risk earthquake region. Mexico has suffered from some of the most damaging consequences of this since buildings have been less well-designed as a poorer nation than its neighbor the United States, less capital has been spent in earthquake planning schemes, and so on.
This has contributed to some horrific realities in North America: an 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.
14. Death Valley experiences less than a cup of rainfall annually
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.
(Last Updated On: February 15, 2021)