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10 Facts About Africa

Africa is an amazing continent. From its start as the heart of humanity, it is now home to more than a billion people. It has jungles and desert and even a glacier. It covers all four hemispheres. It is a place of superlatives. Learn about the continent of Africa below from these ten amazing and essential facts about Africa:

1) The East African Rift zone, which divides the Somalian and Nubian tectonic plates, is the location of several important discoveries of human ancestors by anthropologists.

The active spreading rift valley is thought to be the heartland of humanity, where much human evolution likely took place millions of years ago. The discovery of the partial skeleton of "Lucy" in 1974 in Ethiopia sparked major research in the region.

2) If one divides the planet into seven continents, then Africa is the world"s second largest continent covering about 11,677,239 square miles (30,244,049 square km).

3) Africa is located to the south of Europe and southwest of Asia. It is connected to Asia via the Sinai Peninsula in northeastern Egypt. The peninsula itself is usually considered part of Asia with the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Suez as the dividing line between Asia and Africa. African countries are usually divided into two world regions. The countries of northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, are usually considered part of a region called "North Africa and the Middle East" while countries south of the northernmost countries of Africa are usually considered part of the region called "Sub-Saharan Africa." In the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of western Africa lies the intersection of the equator and the Prime Meridian.

As the Prime Meridian is an artificial line, this point has no true significance. Nonetheless, Africa lies both all four hemispheres of the Earth.

4) Africa is also the second most populous continent on Earth, with about 1.1 billion people. Africa"s population is growing faster than Asia"s population but Africa will not catch up to Asia"s population in the foreseeable future.

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