Africa is the Earth’s oldest inhabited continent, with human life first appearing 7 million years ago and is also named as “Mother Continent.” It is also the world’s second most populous continent after Asia, contributing to over 17% of the global population in 2022. It is the world’s second-largest continent, with over 3,000 ethnic groupings and more than 2,000 languages spoken. Other than the standard aspects of Africa, get to know more interesting and amazing facts about the continent.
Interesting Facts About Africa
According to common belief, the term ‘Africa’ is derived from the name of a local African tribe named ‘Afrigami’ who lived on the continent’s northern side. Despite its incredible natural resources, Africa remains the world’s poorest continent, with numerous nations struggling with issues like poverty, sickness, and political instability. It is home to rainforests, grasslands, deserts, and mountain ranges, including the Atlas Mountains. Africa’s impressive array of geographical features and climates adds to its unique and interesting facts.
1. Almost 1/4 Of Africa Is A Big Lush Forest.
The Congo Basin is an absolute goldmine of life, filled with a huge variety of flora and fauna, some of which you won’t find anywhere on this Earth. Not only these facts, but Africa is also home to one of the largest tropical rainforests on Earth, surpassed only by the vast Amazon. This region, which spans six nations in central and western Africa, is where people have lived for tens of thousands of years. Even now, more than 75 million people rely on the Congo Basin for food, medicine, water, and many other basic needs.
2. Africa Covers 6% Of Earth’s Surface Area.
Get to know these serious facts about Africa, a continent that holds a significant place on our planet Earth. Africa accounts for 6% of the global population. Not only that, but this is about a whopping 11.7 million square miles! Also, 16% of mankind calls this place home, with 1.2 billion people living there as of 2016. It’s safe to say that Africa is massive. Let’s not forget that it’s also a geological marvel, stretching from the blistering Sahara Desert in the north to the lush rainforests in the middle, displaying genuinely unique natural diversity.
3. Black People Were Among the First to Mummify Their Dead.
We learn about African beliefs around death and the afterlife by exploring another fascinating aspect of African history. It is surprising to learn that mummification may have originated in Africa around 9,000 years ago. The discovery of an ancient infant’s mummified parts in Uan Muhuggiag, in southern Libya, shed light on this shocking discovery. The small body, discovered in a fetal position, demonstrated a fairly excellent mummification technique for the time.
4. Lake Victoria Is The Second Largest Freshwater Lake In The World.
It is the largest tropical lake in the world and the second-largest freshwater lake. The northern shore of Lake Victoria meets the Equator. It has a total area of 68,800 square kilometres [km2] and a maximum depth of 80 metres [m]. Its basin is home to more than 30 million people. Lake Victoria’s ecological health has suffered greatly as a result of a rapidly rising population, the clearing of natural vegetation along the shores, and a thriving fish export business.
5. Africa’s First Civilization Emerged In Ancient Egypt.
The pharaohs’ histories began around 3300 BC. That’s a really surprising fact about Africa as Egypt in the past was also an innovator in the domains of architecture, mathematics, and medicine. What’s even stranger is how long this Egypt civilization existed. The Egyptian legacy marched on until 343 BC. Their architectural masterpieces, such as the Giza Pyramids, continue to surprise and inspire people all over the world.
6. Islam Is The Major Religion In Many African Countries, Especially In The North Of The Continent.
Islam is the continent’s second most widely followed religion, after Christianity. The first continent into which Islam moved from South-west Asia was Africa. Most Muslims in Africa, like the vast majority (90%) of Muslims worldwide, are Sunni Muslims; the complexity of Islam in Africa can be seen by the numerous schools of thought, customs, and voices in many African countries. The religious practice of Islam on the African continent is dynamic; continually formed by social, economic, and political factors.
7. The Sahara Desert In Africa Is The World’s Largest Desert.
This is the world’s largest hot desert and the third largest worldwide after Antarctica and the Arctic. The Sahara Desert spans an astonishing 9.2 million km², which is about the same size as China and accounts for 8% of the world’s land area. The vast desert covers ten nations (Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, and Tunisia) as well as the region of Western Sahara. The Sahara desert contains a variety of physical features, but it is best known for its dune fields, which are often seen in movies.
8. After Agriculture, Nollywood Stands As Nigeria’s Second Most Great Employer.
The second-largest employer in Nigeria is the film industry, right after agriculture. Nearly one million people are employed in the film business, which produces roughly 50 films every week. That record is only surpassed by Bollywood. The Nigerian government released figures in 2014 that revealed Nollywood was earning a whopping $3.3 billion. Plus, it involves more than simply math—it involves creativity as well. And here’s the thing: Nollywood isn’t only popular in Nigeria; it has admirers in communities across Africa and the globe.
More Fun Facts About Africa
There are more fun facts about Africa than any other continent on the planet. Dive into these awe-inspiring facts below:
- Graca Machel is the first woman to have served as first lady of both Mozambique and South Africa.
- South Africa is the sole manufacturer of Mercedes Benz C Class right-hand drive vehicles.
- Because of high birth rates and an increasing number of women of reproductive age, the continent is predicted to have approximately 2 billion infants over the next 35 years. These will double the population, and the under-18 population will grow by two-thirds, to nearly a billion youngsters.
- Africa is larger than China, India, the continental United States, and the majority of Europe combined. The Sahara Desert alone is larger than the entire United States.
- South Africa is three times the size of Texas and five times the size of Japan in terms of land area.
- George Lucas shot several scenes for Star Wars in the Tunisian Sahara Desert. However, the film sets are gradually being buried by shifting dunes.
- More than 25% of all bird species are found in Africa.
- Equatorial Guinea is the richest country in the continent, with a GDP per capita of almost $33,000. This compares the country to Spain.
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