South America is rich in natural resources of all kinds. Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru produce petroleum products. Brazil has tin, iron ore, and manganese mines. Tin is also mined in Bolivia. Bauxite, an ore used to make aluminum, comes from mines in Brazil, Guyana, and Suriname. Chile is the world’s top producer […]
About two-thirds of the land in the Middle East is desert. A desert is an area that receives less than 10 inches (25 cm) of precipitation a year. The world’s largest sand desert is the Sahara, in northern Africa. The largest continuous area of sand in the world, about the size of Texas, is a […]
There are plants and animals species that live in Antarctica. Those that can survive the cold, dry climate, such as mosses, lichens, and algae. Only a few small insects can live there, and then only in the coastal areas. Many more animals spend summers in the waters that surround the continent, including penguins, seals, whales, […]
Two distinct groups of people live in Belgium. The northern part of the country, closer to the Netherlands, is called Flanders. The people who live there are Flemings, and they speak a language similar to Dutch called Flemish. The southern part of Belgium, closer to France, is called Walloonia. The people who live there are […]
Just six countries account for all the world’s annual population growth of about 77 million people each year: India, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, in that order. Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, and has the world’s largest population of Muslims. The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region […]
Where Is Transylvania Located and Is There Really a Place Called Transylvania Where Count Dracula Lives?
Transylvania is a province of Romania that sits atop a plateau in the central part of the country. Transylvania is often associated with the legendary Count Dracula, Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler. Vlad the Impaler was a real Wallachian prince, and carried out his atrocities in this region in the 1400s. Transylvania […]
How Many of the 5 Great Lakes Are Located in Canada and Which Great Lake Is Located In the United States?
Lake Michigan is the only Great Lake that lies completely within the United States. The United States and Canada each have boundaries on the other four Great Lakes: Superior, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. The province of Ontario Is the only province to touch all four of the Great Lakes that border Canada. The Saint Lawrence […]
About one fifth of electricity generated in the United States comes from nuclear power plants. But most of the electricity we use, about one half, is made by burning coal. It’s no coincidence that the United States is the world’s leading coal producer. Natural gas and petroleum generate another one fifth of U.S. electricity, and […]
The United States is the fourth largest country in the world in land area, with 3,678,900 square miles (9,565,140 sq km). The largest country in the world, with 6,592,812 square miles (17,141,311 sq km), is Russia; it is almost twice as big as the United States. Canada ranks number two in size (3,831,000 sq mi/9,960,600 […]
Wind turbines that are used to generate electricity come in many shapes and sizes. The largest turbine, in Hawaii, is 20 stories high and has propellers with a span longer than a football field. It can produce enough electricity to power 1,400 homes. Smaller machines have blades between 8 and 25 feet (2.4 and 7.6 […]
Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama are located in Central America. About 37 million people live in those seven countries south of Mexico. Belize has the second-longest coral barrier reef in the world, after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. El Salvador, like much of Central America, lies in a geologically active region. […]
The United States is a country located on the North American continent in the Western Hemisphere. It is also located in the Northern Hemisphere. The United States is one of 191 independent countries in the world. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The United States also has several territories in the […]
Nevada receives less rain than any other state, and is the driest. Rainfall in the southeastern part of the state averages only about 4 inches (10 cm) a year. But Nevada has plenty of water in Lake Mead, which stretches for about 115 miles (185 km), one of the largest artificially created lakes in the […]
The largest waterfall in the world is the Victoria Falls. The Victoria Falls are on the Zambezi River, which forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa. The falls form the world’s largest sheet of falling water. They are 1 mile (1.6 km) wide and drop 420 feet (128 m) into a narrow […]
Yes, it can snow in the desert, in fact, snow has fallen in almost every part of the United States at one time or another. The most snow ever reported in Phoenix, Arizona, was 1 inch (2.5 cm), an event that has happened there twice, the first time on January 20, 1933, and the second […]
What Is the Tallest Building In the United States and Is the Empire State Building the Tallest Building?
The Empire State Building in New York City is not the tallest building in the United States. The Sears Tower, in Chicago, Illinois, is the tallest, at 1,450 feet (442 m), with 110 floors. At the time of its completion in 1974, the Sears Tower was the tallest building in the world, and it held […]
Why Are the Galapagos Islands So Unique and How Did Charles Darwin Help Make the Galapagos Islands Famous?
Located in the Pacific Ocean about 620 miles (1,000 km) off the western South American coast, the Galapagos Islands became famous after Charles Darwin published his Origin of Species, describing a theory of evolution, in 1859. His ideas were based in part on the unique animal species he observed on these isolated islands several years […]
What Kinds of Fish Are Raised In Fish Farms In the United States and Which State Has Large Catfish Farms?
The United States has lots of fish farms, in fact, every state in the nation has at least a few fish farms. Salmon is raised in the waters off Maine and Alaska. Arkansas and Mississippi, in particular, have many large catfish farms. Idaho’s trout farms produce 80 percent of the world’s farm raised trout. Louisiana, […]
Are the People Who Live In Mexico of Spanish or Indian Descent and What Does the Word Mestizo Mean In Latin?
Most of the people who live in Mexico today are descendants of both Indian and Spanish people, a combination called mestizo. The Spanish word Mestizo, which originated around 1582, came from the Latin word “mixticius”, which means mixed. For nearly 300 years, between 1521 and 1810, people from Spain ruled Mexico, claiming it as a […]
The 2000 Census showed that about 281 million people lived in the United States, excluding Puerto Rico and the U.S. island territories. It is estimated that the population of the United States in 2010 is about 310 million. The U.S. Census Bureau’s Web page features a population clock that shows the estimated U.S. population as […]
Volcanoes can and do form underwater, and in fact most volcanoes are on the ocean floors, not on land. A chain of volcanoes below the sea circles the earth for more than 30,000 miles (48,300 km), standing, on average, about 18,000 feet (5,486 m) above the sea floor. This chain is called the Mid-Ocean Ridge. […]
What Is the Chunnel and When Was the Channel Tunnel Project That Links England and France Completed?
The Chunnel, short for Channel Tunnel, is actually three tunnels, two train tunnels and a central service tunnel, that connect England and France. It was completed in 1994 and extends for 31 miles (28 km), most of which run under the English Channel. Trains that run 100 miles per hour (161 km/hr) take just 20 […]
Why Is San Francisco California On the West Coast Warmer In Winter Than Washington D.C. On East Cost?
Latitude is only one factor of several that determine climate in any particular region. San Francisco’s position between 30° and 40° latitude and its location on the western side of the North American continent place it in the climate subcategory called Mediterranean. People living there experience warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Washington, D.C.’s, […]
Where Are the World’s Tallest Buildings and How Tall Is the Burj Khalifa In Dubai, United Arab Emirates?
In 2000, the tallest buildings in the world were the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The towers are each 88 stories and 1,483 feet (452 m) tall. But at least two other buildings that are taller. The World Financial Center in Shanghai, China, has 94 stories and rises to 1,509 feet (460 m). […]
There are very few tall buildings in between Lower Manhattan and Midtown because of the geology of Manhattan Island. Very tall buildings need a very solid foundation, and Manhattan Island’s bedrock of schist, which is a granite-like rock, is particularly solid and stable. In lower Manhattan the schist is about 80 feet (24 m) below […]
What Is the Highest Mountain In Canada and How Tall Is Mount Logan In the Southwestern Yukon Near Alaska?
Mount Logan, in the southwestern Yukon Territory near Alaska, is the highest mountain in Canada. It is 19,525 feet (5,951 m) above sea level, and is the second-highest peak in North America, after Mount McKinley. Mount Logan is located within Kluane National Park and Reserve and is the source of the Hubbard and Logan Glaciers. […]
Nearly 50 million people visit the United States from other countries every year. Most of them are tourists or businesspeople, and most come from Canada and Europe. Interestingly, in recent years more Europeans visited the United States than the number of Americans who visited Europe. As of 2008, the most visited tourist attraction in the […]
The Indian name for Lake Webster in Massachusetts is Lake Chaubunagungamaug. And that’s the short form. The long form is Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaug. Translated, it means “You fish your side of the lake. I fish my side. Nobody fishes the middle.” About half the cranberries grown in the United States come from southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and […]
No one knows for sure exactly how many different languages are spoken in the world today, but the number is probably between 6,000 and 7,000 languages. And there are many more dialects, which are regional versions of a language with different pronunciations, accents, and words. Most of these languages have relatively few speakers. Every year, […]
The earth’s crust is not one continuous shell, but instead is broken up into many pieces, which scientists call tectonic plates. No one is sure how many plates there are, but the number is probably between 20 and 40. The continents rest on top of these plates, and over millions of years the plates bearing […]
Some people who work in Massachusetts like to live across the border in New Hampshire because New Hampshire does not have a general sales tax or a state income tax on individual earned income. The state does levy other kinds of taxes, but even so, it has the third lowest overall taxes of all the […]
The Dead Sea is really a lake, not a sea, because it is surrounded by land. It is six times as salty as ocean water, and only a few forms of plant and animal life, mainly brine shrimp, can survive in the lake. It is salty because water never leaves the lake except by evaporation, […]
Less than one fifth of the African continent is forested, primarily tropical rain forests. Savannas, or grasslands, cover two-fifths of Africa, the Serengeti Plain is one example. Deserts cover the remaining two fifths of the continent. Deforestation affects Africa at twice the global rate, and some scientists claim that most of West Africa’s original forests […]
The Galapagos Islands are part of Ecuador, a small country in northwestern South America on the Equator between Colombia and Peru. Ecuador’s name comes from the Spanish word for “Equator.” The Galápagos islands and the waters around it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and features a national park, and a biological marine reserve. The […]
California leads the list of states that use the most water, using almost 11 percent of the freshwater in the United States. Most of this water is used to irrigate crops. Next are Texas, Illinois, and Idaho, which together use about 28 percent. Water is necessary for most life on Earth. Humans can survive for […]
More than 4 million babies, about 11,000 a day, are born each year in the United States. That seems like a lot, until you learn that more than 137 million babies are born in the world each year. Only 1 of every 20 people in the world today lives in the United States, even though […]