10 Interesting Facts about Africa

10 Interesting Facts about Africa


Africa is the second largest continent covering about 20% of earth land mass. The second most populous continent in the world about 15% of world people live here. It is the least developed inhabited continent.

Land of Pygmies

You may have heard about pygmies in stories like in Gulliver’s travels. Pygmies are there in the real world as well though not as small as mentioned in such stories. In real-world scenario pygmies are considered which have an average height less than 5 feet, these are found in Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, many pygmies ethnic groups are located in Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo (ROC), Central African Republic, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Madagascar, and Zambia. 

Birth Place of Mankind

Geologically birthplace of mankind is Ethiopia, East Africa. The oldest human fossil that had ever found was 2.8 million years old and it was an upper jaw piece. According to this theory, first humans were in East Africa, later some moved to Asia, then to other place and New Zealand was the last one to be inhabited by humans. In recent time some studies claimed the first human had appeared in Morocco but even in this case Africa is the birthplace of mankind. Africa is also the home of word earliest civilization: Egyptian Civilization.

Formation of Africa

Around 250 million years ago there was a large single continent called Pangaea, like other continents Africa was also part of it. 200 million years ago when Pangaea divided into two parts Laurasia and Gondwanaland, Africa was part of Gondwanaland. Africa formed about 140 million years ago when South America separated from Africa. Later it connected with Asia at Sanai Peninsula.

World’s highest Country

South African Country Lesotho is World highest country. Its lowest point is 1,400 meters above sea level that makes it the only country in world that lies completely above 1,000 meters. The country is completely surrounded by South Africa.

Most Number of Land Locked Countries

There are 16 landlocked countries in Africa more than any other continent.  It also has the longest chain of contagious landlocked countries in the world, comprises of ten countries.

African Tectonic Plate & Great Rift Valley

Africa completely lies on African plate. African plate is world fourth largest tectonic plate, with the area about 61,300,000 sq. km, more than double the size of Africa continent. Millions of years ago African plate started to split that resulted in Great Rift Valley. This eventually will separate East Africa from mainland Africa. Great Rift Valley has separated African plate in two sub-plates: Nubian Plate and Somali Plate.

Dark Continent

For a long time, before the exploration of central Africa and lower African the continent was referred as Black continent. The title was given due inaccessibility to the interior of Africa that associated mystery around it. Vast deserts, dense forest, long and big rivers, dangerous animals, tropical wet and humid weather and stories of cannibal tribes remained a barrier for a long time to outsiders.  

Shortest Coastline in the World

Africa has the shortest coastline (24,000 km), among all continents. In fact, if you compare Africa with other continents on map, you will find hardly any large peninsula, gulf or bay.

Africa’s World War

The second Congo war that started in 1998 and lasted about five years before ending in 2003 is commonly known as Great Africa War or Africa’s World War. The started just after one year First Congo war that ended in 1997. Nine countries were involved in this war. It resulted in six million death and 2 million migrants.  This tally makes it the bloodiest war after the World War 2.

African Colonization and Slavery

Africa has been a great source of human slaves in the last millennium especially from the 16th century to the 18th century around 12 million African were export as slave primarily across Atlantic to the new world (America). In the start of 20th century, almost every part of Africa had colonized apart from Liberia and Ethiopia. Even Italy occupied Ethiopia as well in 1935. 

 

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