Everyone must know something about the longest mountain range in the world, Andes Mountains. They are also called The Andes or Andean Mountains.

Spanning across seven countries of South America, it is a wonder to watch. There is much more to Andes Mountains like it is famous for its volcanoes, it is split into several ranges, etc.

Today we will learn some fascinating Andes Mountain facts. Let us begin…

Andes Mountain Facts 1-5

1. The word ‘Andes’ most probably originates from the word ‘anti’, a Quechua word meaning east. In the Inca empire, the region of Andes was present towards the east side of the empire.

2. The Andes spans across seven South American countries which are Colombia, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Argentina. It is 7,424 kilometers or 4,500 miles long.

3. The mountain range is divided into three divisions viz. Central Andes, Northern Andes, and Southern Andes.

4. Southern Andes is present in Chile and Argentina. Central Andes is present in Bolivia and Peru. Northern Andes is present in Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia.

5. Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range is usually considered that it is a part of Northern Andes.

Andes Mountain Facts 6-10

6. The mountain range is present along the Pacific Ring of Fire.

7. The mountains are formed when the South American Plate and Pacific Plate collided with each other around 50 million years ago.

8. The Andes is a collection of mountain ranges that join together to form what is called orographic knots.

9. The Andes is surrounded by basins like Amazon basin, Gran Chaco, etc. on the east. To the west of Andes is the Pacific Ocean.

10. The area where the Andes stands now had mountains before the Andes.

Andes Mountain Facts 11-15

11. The process of formation of Andes started when Pangea started breaking up in the Triassic period. It caused several rifts and continued even in the Jurassic period.

12. The rise of Andes and it’s taking the present-day form started somewhere in the Cretaceous period. The rise of Andes was not uniform.

13. The mountain range of Andes has a lot of active volcanoes. There are four volcanic zones spread out in the mountain ranges and in between these volcanic zones, there are areas where there is no volcanic activity.

14. Ojos del Salado is the world’s highest active volcano. It stands at a height of 6,900 meters. It is present along the Chilean-Argentina border.

15. Andes mountain ranges are full of ore and salt deposits. Atacama Desert (west of Andes mountains) is full of copper deposits because of which Chile and Peru are top 2 copper exporters in the world.

Andes Mountain Facts 16-20

16. The climate of Andes changes with latitude, altitude, etc. It is cooler at higher elevations. Central Andes is dry and Southern Andes is cool and rainy and the northern part is warm and rainy. 

17. Climate changes drastically within short distances. Different ecosystems like rainforests, deserts, etc. thrive just a few kilometers away.

18. Around 30,000 vascular plants can be seen in the Andes mountain range. Half of these plants are endemic to the area.

19. Andean bromeliad is the largest bromeliad and it can take a century to mature!

20. Common crops include tomatoes and potatoes. Cinchona tree which is the source of quinine that is used to treat malaria is widely found in Andes mountain ranges.

Andes Mountain Facts 21-25

21. There are 1,700 species of birds (out of which nearly 600 of them are endemic), 600 mammal species (13% endemic species), 600 reptile species (45% of them being endemic), and nearly 400 species of fish (1/3rd endemic out of 400).

22. Some of the common fauna present in the mountain ranges are alpaca, llama, chinchillas, guanaco, Andean condor, cougar, Andean goose, miners, flamingos, lesser rhea, etc.

23. The highest peak in the Andes mountain range is Aconcagua. It stands at 6,961 meters or 22,838 feet.

24. Some peaks of Andes mountains are submerged in the sea. Bonaire, Curacao, and Aruba hubs of the Caribbean are examples of the same. Even in Patagonia, some small islands that you find are peaks of Andes mountain range.

25. Andes mountain range is a part of American Cordillera (originated from the Spanish word meaning cord or rope-like). It is a nearly continuous chain of mountains that extend to the north through North America.

Andes Mountain Facts 26-30

26. Over 3,800 varieties of potatoes are grown in Peru!

27. Coca trees also grow in the mountain ranges. Tea of coca leaves (from which cocaine is derived) is said to relieve altitude sickness.

28. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake on this world. It is present in Bolivia in Andes mountain ranges.

29. Salar Uyuni, the largest salt flats are also seen in this region. 

30. The largest gold mine is in Yanacocha, Peru. The Andes has around 13,000 tons of gold, 250,000 tons of silver, and 20 million tons of molybdenum.

Andes Mountain Facts 31-35

31. The Andes hosts the second tallest mountains in the world. The first one is the Himalayas. The average elevation in the Andes mountain range is 13,000 feet or 3,962 meters.

32. It is the longest continental mountain range in the world.

33. Inca people were the earliest society called the Andes their home. Traces of early human life is traced back to 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.

34. Present day cities include Huaraz, Cuzco, Medelin, La Paz, Quito, etc.

35. Apart from Incas, other societies were also seen like Tiwanaku, Chachapoyas, Nazca, etc.


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