"I like geography. I could tell you the capital of any country you want.” – Bam Margera
Earth, the third rock from the sun, is an amazing place. It is the only planet, that we know of right now, which is able to support life as we know it. And, for many of us, it still has, despite man’s devastation of it, many exquisitely beautiful, pristine environments which are simply awe-inspiring.
Some of the most interesting and unusual facts about planet Earth are visited in this article. Without any hesitation, let’s get to them!
“If I have ever seen magic, it has been in Africa.” – John Hemingway
The world’s second largest continent in terms of population and surface area, Africa has 54 countries. People from around the world believe that it is worth their while to explore its breath-taking landscapes and extensive range of wildlife … experience its spectacular sunsets and listen to its night sounds. Africa offers the traveller an experience they can get nowhere else. It’s people, cultures and geographic features are absolutely captivating!
Let’s consider some fascinating data about Africa.
Africa is a place like other and here are some interesting geography facts about it to make your mouth water:
- Africa is truly unique in terms of its position in the word – it’s the only continent which is locate in all four hemispheres (northern, southern, eastern and western).
- The drainage basin of the Nile River, the second largest and longest river in the world, covers 11 countries.
- Covering an area of 9 200 000 square kilometres, the Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world and takes the number 3 spot, after the Arctic and Antarctica, as the world’s largest desert overall.
- The highest peak in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro at a height of 5 895 metres. As it forms part of the Seven Summits, it is a very popular climbing destination.
- Christianity is the second largest religion in Africa, closely following Islam.
The above information makes available very interesting geography facts to whet the palate of any reader or geography buff and highlights what makes the African continent unique to all others.
In terms of recorded history, Antarctica is the last region to be discovered. It is truly a geographic environment like no other.
“The thing that is most beautiful about Antarctica for me is the light. It’s like no other light on Earth, because the air is so free of impurities. You get drugged by it, like when you listen to one of your favourite songs. The light there is a mood-enhancing substance.” – Jon Krakauer
While Antarctica has stark geographic features and really challenging weather conditions, it is still a continent that inspires many explorers, thrill-seekers and even tourists (on cruise ships) annually. Around 1 100 people, mainly scientific researchers, call it home for about 12 months, after which they return to their countries of origin. The population can swell to 5 000 during the summer months. The continent has no permanent residents, but has organisms such as bacteria, algae, fungi, Protista, plants and animals such as penguins, seals, mites, nematodes and tardigrades.
Some geographic facts about Antarctica are:
- The continent which is home to the Earth’s South Pole has a name which is Greek for ‘opposite to north’.
- It is the world’s windiest, coldest and driest continent. The Earth’s lowest temperature, -89,2ºC, was recorded here in 1983.
- Around 90% of the Earth’s ice is found on Antarctica and 70% of its fresh water.
- If all the ice in Antarctica were to melt, sea-levels would rise about 60 metres.
- Antarctica is almost twice the size of the country Australia and is larger than Europe. Further, during its winter, Antarctica grows almost double in size as sea ice accumulates around it.
A geographic environment like no other, Antarctica is a continent with many undiscovered mysteries and is a crucial barometer of the Earth’s health.
It is said the boundless steppes of Asia gave flight to tales of heroes and heroines because the conditions there are so harsh. – Adrienne Mayor
The largest of all the continents, Asia covers an area of 44 579 000 square kilometres and has more than 4,462 million inhabitants. This continent is a feast for the senses, given its thriving economies, very densely populated cities and spectacular landscapes.
Here are some geography facts that make Asia uber special:
It is home to the Earth’s highest and lowest points. Located on the continent are the tallest mountain, Mount Everest (8 848 metres) found between China and Nepal and the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth, -430 metres below sea-level, between Israel, Palestine and Jordan.
- Asia has more inhabitants than all the other continents combined, 4,4 Billion. China and India are the only two countries with populations of more than 1 billion. Seven out of 10 of the world’s most populated cities are found in Asia.
- China shares a border with 14 countries, and while it is one of the world’s largest countries, it utilises only one national time zone.
- The largest archipelagic country on Earth, Indonesia, consisting of 17 000 islands is situated in Southeast Asia.
- With a surface area of 1 564 116 square kilometres, Mongolia is the country with the world’s lowest population density, having around 3 million inhabitants.
This vast continent, with its varied geographic features and mix of people, is a very interesting destination and worthy of closer inspection.
The third most populated continent, Europe has 741 million inhabitants in an area of 10 180 000 square kilometres. It is immensely popular with travellers who fall in love with its food, history, art and people of its 50 states. Many tourists/visitors love the different peoples and cuisine of Europe, as well as the sunshine and the beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean countries.
- Europe has two nations that are landlocked by Italy. The Vatican City and San Marino are independent states which are blocked-in by Italy. The Vatican City, the seat of the Roman Catholic Church, is regarded as the world’s smallest country.
- Rome, the first European city to exceed a million inhabitants, had a marked impact on world history, to the extent that there is a town or city named Roma on every continent, except Antarctica.
- Istanbul is the world’s largest city which resides in two continents: Asia and Europe. The European side is separated from the Asian side by the Bosphorus River.
- Greece has the longest national anthem in the world, 158 stanzas. It is not known whether any Greek national has managed to commit it to memory.
- The 38 400 residents of Monaco, one of the smallest countries in the world, only have 2,02 square kilometres to share.
These interesting geography facts make Europe all the more appealing to many travellers.
“Mass transportation is doomed to failure in North America because a person’s car is the only place where he can be alone and think.” – Marshall McLuhan
With a land-mass of 24 709 000 square kilometres, North America is the world’s third largest continent. The continent is home to around 580 million people, a veritable melting pot of cultures, traditions and backgrounds. North America is well worth a visit with its awe-inspiring geographic features (think the Grand Canyon, prairies, the Great Lakes and Rocky Mountains), frenetic life-style and interesting history.
Here follow some fascinating facts about North America:
- North America is bounded by three oceans: the Pacific in the west, the Arctic in the north and the Atlantic in the east.
- In Central America, no place is more than 201 kilometres from an ocean; Pacific or Atlantic.
- 9% of Canada is covered in water and it has more than 50% of all the natural lakes in the world.
- The boroughs of densely populated New York City hold many intriguing snippets of information. For instance, no fewer than 43 buildings have their own zip (postal) code.
Discovered relatively late by western countries, it was called the New World. So, young in comparison to others, it is very definitely a location worthy of a visit.
“Even in Africa, I had never seen such a profusion of stars as I saw on these clear nights on the Pacific Isles – not only beaming planets and small pinpricks... but also glittering clouds of them - ... they made night in Oceania as vast and dramatic as day.” – Paul Theroux
The 6th continent in terms of population and total area, Australia, or Australasia, is made up of New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the country Australia.
The continent of Australia is often confused with the region of Oceania. Oceania is not a continent, but, in fact, a region made up of the Australasian continent and the islands of Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia.
Australasia is famous for its easy-going lifestyle and beautiful beaches; for many it is a dream come true.
Some facts facts about the Australian continent:
- There are more sheep than people on the continent. Also, the state of Texas in the USA has more people than the country Australia.
- Australia is home to a number of unique animals, such as the kangaroo, emu and the koala.
A trip down under is well worth taking!
“I’ve had a great time in South America and South Africa. Indeed, it now seems that on this pair of wild hot continents I’ve enjoyed the most fruitful year of my life”. – John Muir
A continent with a vast range of geographic features, South America is a magnet for many avid and intrepid travellers from around the globe. South America, at 17 840 000 square kilometres, is the planet’s fourth largest continent and with 420 million people, the fifth most populated. Known for the Iguazu Falls, the Salar de Uyuni and Machu Picchu, South America is an awe-inspiring cultural experience that will never fail to satisfy.
Here are some geography facts about the continent, South America:
- South America is home to the world’s longest mountain range, the Andes, which stretch like a spine down the western length of the continent for 7 000 kilometres.
- Two of the largest countries in the world are found in South America: Argentina and Brazil. No other country has more Spanish-speakers than Argentina; Brazil is so large than it comprises more than 50% of the continent’s landmass.
- The Amazon River is regarded as the biggest river in the world, because of the volume of water that it carries to the ocean.
- Several weather stations in the Atacama Desert have never recorded any rainfall, making the desert the driest place on Earth.
- The point on earth, that is closest to the moon, is Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador.
So, there you have folks, a veritable feast of geography facts to relish and savour! Surely, this must awaken the wanderlust in you!
It is time, dust off that passport and get packing!
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