100 interesting facts about Africa
Africa is one of the most amazing continents in the world. Some scientists believe that Africa is where the first life on Earth originated. Africa is both the poorest and richest in the world. After all, it is here where there is almost the lowest standard of living. At the same time, it is possible to identify lands rich in plant and animal life, which is fascinating in its improbability. Next we suggest reading more interesting and fascinating facts about Africa.
One of the most amazing continents in the world is Africa. Some scientists believe that it was in Africa that the first life on Earth originated. Africa is simultaneously the poorest and richest in the world. After all, it is here where there is almost the lowest standard of living. At the same time, it is possible to identify lands rich in plant and animal life, which is fascinating in its improbability. Next we propose to read more interesting and fascinating facts about Africa.
1. Africa is the cradle of civilization. It is the first continent where human culture and community emerged.
2. Africa is the only continent on which there are places where no man has ever set foot.
3. Africa has an area of 29 million square kilometers. But four-fifths of the territory is occupied by deserts and tropical forests.
4. At the beginning of the 20th century, almost all of Africa was colonized by France, Germany, England, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium. Only Ethiopia, Egypt, South Africa, and Liberia were independent.
5. The mass decolonization of Africa did not occur until after World War II.
6. Africa is home to the most rare animals not found anywhere else: e.g., hippos, giraffes, okapi, and others.
7. Hippos used to live all over Africa; today they are only found south of the Sahara Desert.
8. Africa has the largest desert in the world, the Sahara Desert. Its area is larger than that of the United States.
9. The second longest river in the world, the Nile, flows on the continent. Its length is 6850 kilometers.
10. Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake in the world.
11. “The Smashing Smoke” is the name given to the Victoria Falls, on the Zambezi River by the local tribes.
12. Victoria Falls are more than a kilometer long and over 100 meters high.
13. The noise from the falling water from the Victoria Falls spreads for 40 kilometers around.
14. At the edge of Victoria Falls there is a natural pool called the Devil’s Pool. You can swim along the edge of the waterfall only during the dry season, when the current is not as strong.
15. Some African tribes hunt hippos and use their meat for food, even though hippos have rapidly declining species status.
16. Africa is the second largest continent on the planet. It has 54 nations.
17. Africa has the lowest life expectancy. Women, on average, live 48 years, men – 50.
18. Africa is crossed by the equator and the zero meridian. Therefore the continent can be called the most symmetrical of all existing continents.
19. Africa is home to the only surviving wonder of the world, the Cheops pyramids.
20. There are more than 2000 languages in Africa, but Arabic is the most widely spoken.
21. For many years now, the African government has been raising the question of renaming all the place names from the time of colonization to the traditional names used in the language of the tribes.
22. There is a unique lake in Algeria. Instead of water there is real ink.
23. In the Sahara Desert there is a unique place called the eye of the Sahara. This is a huge crater, with a circular structure and a diameter of 50 kilometers.
24. Africa has its own Venice. The houses of the inhabitants of the village of Ganvier are built on the water, and they travel exclusively by boat.
25. Hovik Falls and the reservoir into which it falls is considered by local tribes as the sacred home of an ancient monster similar to the Loch Ness. Livestock are regularly sacrificed to it.
26. Not far from Egypt in the Mediterranean Sea, is the sunken city of Heraklion. It was discovered only recently.
27. In the middle of the great desert there are lakes of Ubari, but the water in them is several times saltier than in the sea, so they will not save from thirst.
28. Africa is home to the coldest volcano in the world, Oi Doinio Legai. The temperature of the lava that erupts from the crater is several times lower than normal volcanoes.
29. Africa has its own Colosseum, built in the Roman era. It is located in El Djem.
30. There is a ghost town in Africa, Colmanskop, which is slowly being swallowed up by the sands of the great desert, although 50 years ago, it was densely populated by inhabitants.
31. The planet Tatooine from the movie Star Wars is not a made-up name at all. Such a city exists in Africa. It was here that the shooting of the legendary film took place.
32. In Tanzania there is a unique red lake, the depth of which varies depending on the season, and together with the depth the color of the lake changes from pink to deep red.
33. On the island of Madagascar there is a unique natural monument – the stone forest. The tall thin rocks resemble a dense forest.
34. Ghana has a large landfill site where household appliances from all over the world are dumped.
35. Morocco is home to unique goats that climb trees and feed on leaves and branches.
36. Africa produces half of all the gold sold in the world.
37. Africa has the richest deposits of gold and diamonds.
38. Lake Malawi in Africa has the most varieties of fish. More than in the sea and the ocean.
39. Lake Chad has become smaller by almost 95% in the last 40 years. It used to be the third or fourth largest lake in the world.
40. The first sewage system in the world appeared in Africa, on the territory of Egypt.
41. Africa is home to tribes that are considered the tallest in the world, as well as tribes that are the smallest in the world.
42. Africa still has a poorly developed health care system and medicine in general.
43. More than 25 million people in Africa are considered to be HIV-positive.
44. Africa is home to an unusual rodent, the naked mole rat. Its cells do not age, it lives up to 70 years and feels no pain at all from cuts or burns.
45. In many African tribes, the secretary bird is a house bird and serves as a guard against snakes and rats.
46. Some bivalves that live in Africa can burrow into dry land and thus survive drought.
47. Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, is a volcano. Only it has never erupted in its life.
48. Africa is home to the hottest place in Dallol, with temperatures rarely dropping below 34 degrees.
49. 60-80% of Africa’s GDP is made up of agricultural products. Africa produces cocoa, coffee, peanuts, dates, rubber.
50. In Africa, most countries are considered third world countries, that is, poorly developed.
51. The largest country in Africa is Sudan and the smallest is the Seychelles.
52. The top of Table Mountain, located in Africa, has a peak that is not sharp, but flat, like the surface of a table.
53. The Afar Basin is a geographic area in eastern Africa. Here you can observe an active volcano. About 160 strong earthquakes occur here per year.
54. The Cape of Good Hope is a mythical place. Many legends and lore are associated with it, such as the legend of the Flying Dutchman.
55. The pyramids are not only in Egypt. There are more than 200 pyramids in Sudan. They are not as tall and famous as those in Egypt.
56. The name of the continent comes from one of the tribes “Afri.”
57. In 1979, the oldest human footprints were found in Africa.
58. Cairo is the most populous city in Africa.
59. The most populous country is Nigeria, the second most populous is Egypt.
60. A wall was built in Africa that was twice as long as the Great Wall of China.
61. The first person to notice that hot water freezes faster in the freezer than cold water was an African boy. The phenomenon was named after him.
62. There are penguins in Africa.
63. South Africa is home to the second largest hospital in the world.
64. The Sahara Desert grows larger every month.
65. South Africa has three capitals at once: Cape Town, Pretoria, and Bloemfontein.
66. The island of Madagascar is home to animals that are found nowhere else.
67. There’s an ancient custom in Togo: a man who’s complimented a girl, should certainly take her as his wife.
68. Somalia is the name of both country and language at the same time.
69. Some African aboriginal tribes still don’t know what fire is.
70. The Matabi tribe of West Africa loves to play soccer. Only instead of a ball they use a human skull.
71. In some African tribes matriarchy reigns. Women may maintain male harems.
72. On August 27, 1897, Africa had its shortest war, which lasted 38 minutes. The government of Zanzibar declared war on England, but was promptly defeated.
73. Graça Machel is the only African woman to have been “First Lady” twice. The first time she was the wife of the president of Mozambique, and the second time she was the wife of the president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
74. Libya’s official name is the world’s longest-serving country name.
75. African Lake Tanganyika is the longest lake in the world, with a length of 1,435 meters.
76. The Baobab tree, which grows in Africa, can live from five to ten thousand years. It stores up to 120 liters of water, so it does not burn in a fire.
77. The sports brand Reebok chose its name after the small but very fast African antelope.
78. The trunk of the Baobab, can reach 25 meters in volume.
79. The trunk of the baobab is hollow inside, so some Africans make houses inside the tree. Enterprising residents open restaurants inside the tree. In Zimbabwe, they opened a train station in the trunk, and in Botswana they opened a prison.
80. There are some very interesting trees growing in Africa: bread, dairy, sausage, soap, and candle trees.
81. Only in Africa grows the insect-eating plant Hydnora. It can rather be called a parasitic fungus. The fruits of the hydnora are consumed as food by the natives.
82. The African Mursi tribe is considered the most aggressive tribe. Any conflicts are solved by force and weapons.
83. The largest diamond in the world was found in South Africa.
84. South Africa has the cheapest electricity in the world.
85. Only off the coast of South Africa more than 2000 sunken ships, which are more than 500 years old.
86. In South Africa, three Nobel Prize winners lived on the same street.
87. South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique are tearing down some national park boundaries to create one large reserve.
88. The first heart transplant was performed in Africa in 1967.
89. There are about 3,000 ethnic groups living in Africa.
90. The highest percentage of cases of malaria is in Africa – 90% of cases.
91. The snow cap of Kilimanjaro is rapidly melting. In the last 100 years the glacier has melted by 80%.
92. Many African tribes prefer to wear a minimum of clothing, wearing only a belt to which weapons are attached.
93. Fez is home to the oldest active university in the world, founded as early as 859.
94. The Sahara Desert encompasses the entire 10 countries of Africa.
95. Under the Sahara Desert there is an underground lake with a total area of 375 square kilometers. This is why there are oases in the desert.
96. Much of the desert is occupied not by sands, but by fossilized earth and gravelly-sandy soil.
97. There is a map of the desert with markings of the places where people most often observe mirages.
98. The sand dunes of the Sahara Desert can be taller than the Eiffel Tower.
99. The thickness of loose sand equals 150 meters.
100. Sand in the desert can heat up to 80°C.
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Interesting facts about the Savannah
Greetings, dear readers. A savanna is a space in the subequatorial belt covered with grassy vegetation, with trees and shrubs that are sparse. They occur where there is not enough rain to sustain a rainforest, but enough to keep the area from becoming a desert.
Two seasons, dry and rainy, are usually found throughout the savanna.
They are found in almost every corner of our planet. There are a total of five different types of savannahs:
- Tropical and subtropical. They are located away from the equator and bordered by tropical forests and deserts. An example of such a savanna is the Serengeti ecoregion in East Africa.
- Temperate. Located in mid-latitudes. Examples of temperate savannas are the savannas and woodlands of southeastern Australia.
- Mediterranean. Like temperate, found in mid-latitude regions, but in the Mediterranean.
- Submerged. Occurs in the tropics. An example of a flooded savanna is the Pantanal Reserve in Brazil.
- Mountainous. Accordingly, found in high mountainous regions, such as Angola (Africa).
If you were to climb a tree in the middle of the savannah, you would see miles of plain, covered with tall and low grass, with sparse shrubs and sparse, single-type trees.
Scientists speculate that they began to form about 25 million years ago, when the world’s climate began to change. They appeared in the place of tropical plains which faced a lack of rainfall.
Most of the plants found here are xeromorphic, that is, those that have adapted well to the lack of water. As a rule, this adaptation is aimed at minimizing water loss through evaporation.
Another form of adaptation to water scarcity is the presence of very deep roots.
Typical savanna trees are the umbrella acacia, baobab, and brachyhiton.
All animals living in savannahs are adapted to survive in difficult conditions. For example, gauras (the largest representative of the genus of true bulls) can migrate hundreds of kilometers with the onset of dry seasons to reach more humid areas.
Almost all newborn savanna herbivores are highly developed. The same gnu can walk within a few minutes after birth.
The bioclimatic climate of the savanna is not suitable for a full human life. Nevertheless, there are settlements formed by indigenous people. A group of kindred Nilotic peoples (Dinka, Kalenjin, Luo, Shilluk, Nuer, Bari, Maasai, Samburu, Datoga, Karamojong, etc.) can be found in the savannas.
There is no division into winter, spring, summer, and autumn, as we are used to. There are only two seasons, dry and rainy. The dry season begins in November and lasts until April. During this time, there is almost no rainfall in the area. With the onset of the dry season, there is a mass migration of animals (particularly wildebeest), which go in search of water. This migration is a spectacular spectacle that cannot be seen anywhere else.
May is the start of the rainy season, which lasts until October. It rains a lot during this time. The rainy season provokes the mass reproduction of animals, because at this time the survival rate of newborns is several times higher due to the availability of water and fresh nutritious vegetation.
The largest savannah is in Africa. Almost half of the African continent is covered by savanna grasslands. It also boasts the largest land animals (elephant) and the tallest (giraffe).
Fires, unfortunately, are an inherent part of the savannas. However, despite the enormous destruction, they also bring benefits. During fires, dead grass burns and new sprouts emerge. Most plants survive fires because they have well-developed root systems. Trees have thick bark that allows them to protect themselves from critical fire damage. Some animals burrow deep into the ground to survive fires, while others quickly leave the danger zone.
Unfortunately, many animals living in these areas are threatened with extinction due to overhunting (poaching) and habitat loss.
For many, savanna regions are major agricultural regions. For example, the African Fulani and Maasai tribes graze their herds of cattle there. They also grow peanuts, cotton, sorghum, etc.
The most important inhabitants of this area are insects such as termites. They destroy dead plants and aerate the soil. Large mounds can be seen all over the plains. These are mounds of termites, erected from the soil and held together by their saliva. In addition to everything else, these insects are the most important food for many savanna animals.
Unfortunately, with each passing year, more and more deserts are encroaching on savannahs. This is most pronounced in Africa. The main reason for this phenomenon is human activity. Man takes a lot of water from water bodies for his needs, which makes the vegetation, already surviving in difficult conditions, face an even more difficult environment.
Also, global warming and grazing by cattle, which actively eats the grass and does not allow it to successfully recover, affect the spread of deserts.
The soils here usually have a reddish hue due to the high iron content. The soils are also not very fertile. Regular weathering and a lack of constant rainfall has resulted in these soils having almost no organic matter in their composition and being poor in nutrients.
That’s all, dear readers. We hope that our efforts were not in vain, and that the collection of interesting facts about savannahs was enjoyed not only by children, but also by an adult audience.
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