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SOUTH AMERICA

PHYSICAL FEATURES AND RESOURCES

Which is farther east, Santiago, Chile, or Miami, Florida?

Even though it lies on the west coast of South America, Santiago, Chile, is actually farther east than Miami, Florida. Though it is common to envision South America as directly south of North America, South America actually lies southeast of North America.

Which river carries more water than any other in the world?

Though the Amazon River is the second longest in the world (4,000 miles [over 6,400 kilometers]), it carries more water to the ocean than does any other river in the world.

What are the Andes?

The Andes are a mountain chain that runs along the entire west coast of South America, from Panama (at the southern tip of Central America) to the Strait of Magellan (at the southern tip of South America). This chain is about 4,500 miles (7,240 kilometers) long and contains high plateaus and one of the driest deserts on the planet, the Atacampa. The tallest mountain in South America, Aconcagua (22,834 feet [6,960 meters]), is located in the southern Andes, on the border between Chile and Argentina. The ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu is located in the Andes of Peru.

What are the four climatic regions of the Andes?

The Andes are known for their four defined climatic zones, which are based on elevation. The lowest zone, tierra caliente (hot lands), is ascribed to the area from the

Incan terraces on Isla Del Sol by Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.

Incan terraces on Isla Del Sol by Lake Titicaca in Bolivia.

plains to 2,500 feet (762 meters) and is where most of the population resides. The second zone is tierra templada (temperate land), which is from 2,500 to 6,000 feet (762 to 1,829 meters). The third zone is tierra fria (cold land), which is from 6,000 to 12,000 feet (1,829 to 3,658 meters). Above 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) is the fourth zone, tierra helada (frozen land).

What is the highest navigable lake in the world?

Lake Titicaca, located on the border between Peru and Bolivia, is the highest navigable lake in the world, with an elevation of 12,500 feet (3,810 meters). Though there are higher lakes in the world, Lake Titicaca is the highest one in which boats can sail. Lake Titicaca was the center of Incan civilization.

Where is the world's tallest waterfall?

Angel Falls, in Venezuela, is the world's tallest waterfall at 3,212 feet (979 meters). American pilot Jimmy Angel discovered the waterfall and named it after himself in 1935. At the time of the discovery, the falls were known to indigenous peoples such as the Pemon for thousands of years. They called the falls Kerepakupai meru, which means "waterfall of the deepest place."

What are the Cordillas of Colombia?

In Colombia, the Andes are split into three separate mountain ranges. They are the Cordilla Occidental (western range), the Cordilla Central (central range), and the Cordilla Oriental (eastern range). The city of Cali is located in the valley between the Occidental and Central ranges, while Bogotá is located between the Central and Oriental.

What is the Atacama desert?

One of the world's driest deserts, the Atacama is located in northern Chile. It is completely barren of plant life. The town of Calama, which is located in the Atacama, has never received rain. The Atacama is a source for nitrates and borax.

Who owns Easter Island?

Easter Island, which is located 2,237 miles west of Chile, is owned by Chile. On this island, there are over 100 large rocks carved into the shape of heads, complete with facial features. These large heads vary in size from 10 to 40 feet (3 to 12 meters) and were made out of a soft, volcanic rock.

Is the Strait of Magellan crooked?

Yes, it is! The Strait of Magellan is a winding waterway between South America and the islands of Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of South America. This strait was discovered by the explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1520 and has been used as a shortcut to avoid having to sail around Cape Horn, the southern tip of South America.

What is the world's largest tropical rain forest?

The Amazon forest is the world's largest tropical rain forest. It occupies one-third of Brazil's land area and receives over 80 inches (200 centimeters) of rain a year. The rain forest loses 15,000 square miles (38,850 square kilometers) of forest each year because of clear-cutting. The Amazon rain forest is home to about 90 percent of the Earth's animal and plant species and is a major producer of the world's oxygen.

Which country is the world's leading copper producer?

Chile produces an astounding 20 percent of the world's copper annually and contains approximately one-fourth of the world's copper reserves. The world's total copper production is 9.2 million metric tons; thus Chile's production is 1.8 million metric tons.

Which South American countries are members of OPEC?

Ecuador (500,000 barrels/day) and Venezuela (2.3 million barrels/day) are both members of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). Bolivia and Brazil may be members in the near future.

Which country is the world's leading coffee producer?

Brazil produces more than 32.6 million bags of coffee beans each year, followed by Colombia, which produces 11.5 million bags.

Where does cocaine come from?

Cocaine is produced from the coca plant, which was originally domesticated by the Incas. Coca paste from the coca plant is refined to make cocaine. Illegal cartels and individuals in Colombia and other South American countries are major exporters of cocaine, especially to the United States.

What percentage of Americans have used cocaine?

Approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population uses or has used cocaine.

 
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