North America Facts



  • North America broke away from Europe about 100 million years ago. It is still moving 2.5 cm farther every year.
  • North America is the world’s third largest continent. It has an area of 24,230,000 sq km.
  • North America is a triangle, with its long side bounded by the icy Arctic Ocean and its short side by the tropical Caribbean Sea.
  • The north of North America lies inside the Arctic Circle and is icebound for much of the year. Death Valley, in the southwestern desert in California and Nevada, is one of the hottest places on the Earth.
  • Mountain ranges run down each side of North America – the ancient, worn down Appalachians in the east and the younger, higher Rockies in the west.
  • In between the mountains lie vast interior plains. These plains are based on very old rocks, the oldest of which are in the Canadian Shield in the north. World geography
  • North America is the oldest continent on the Earth. It has rocks that are almost 4000 million years old.
  • The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most spectacular gorges. It is 440 km long, and 1800 m deep in places.
  • The longest river in North America is the Mississippi–Missouri, at 6019 km long.
  • The highest mountain is Mt McKinley in Alaska, 6194 m high.
  • The Great Lakes contain one-fifth of the world’s fresh water.
  • The Grand Canyon covers almost 500,000 hectares. It is one of North America’s most popular tourist attractions.