in Places

ImageAustralia is often called “the land down under.” Do you know why? Look at a map or globe and you’ll see. Australia is far to the south, way down under almost everything else!


Australia lies between the South Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Like an island, it is surrounded by water. But Australia is too large to be called an island. Instead, it is considered the world’s seventh and smallest continent. In fact, Australia is the only country that takes up an entire continent.


in Places
Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) opens his arms wide as if to embrace all of Rio de Janeiro

Brazil is a big country. It covers about half of South America and is home to about half the continent’s people. In fact, only four countries of the world have more land than Brazil: Russia, Canada, China, and the United States. All that area gives Brazil many kinds of landscapes and great natural beauty.

The world’s largest tropical rain forest covers most of northern Brazil. The mighty Amazon River winds through this vast forest. In the northeast, where Brazil bulges into the Atlantic Ocean, the land is cracked and dry. The Brazilian Highlands, a fertile region of hills and plateaus, reaches across the south. Sandy beaches line much of Brazil’s long coastline.

Caribbean Islands

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ImageWhat would you see if you took a cruise to the Caribbean Islands? Palm trees and coconuts? White beaches and clear, blue ocean? Colorful corals and even more colorful fishes and birds?

You bet. There are thousands of islands in the Caribbean Sea. They are famous for their warm, tropical climate and great natural beauty.


The Caribbean Islands form a chain that separates the Caribbean Sea from the rest of the Atlantic Ocean. They’re like a long necklace that stretches between North and South America.


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ImageCanada is the second largest country in the world. Only Russia has more land. Canada extends from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. It also reaches from the Arctic Ocean to the northern border of the United States.


For a country its size, Canada’s population is quite small. About the same number of people live in Canada as in the U.S. state of California.

Most Canadians live near the country’s southern border. Two-thirds live within 200 miles (300 kilometers) of the United States. Canada’s northern areas are very lightly populated. Most who live there are Inuit or other indigenous (Native American) people.

Central America

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ImageBetween two great continents and two great seas lies a narrow strip of land. The land connects the continents of North America and South America. It separates the Pacific Ocean from the Caribbean Sea. It is home to tropical rain forests and once supported an ancient civilization. Today, a variety of people and societies exist there.

This land is called Central America. It’s a place where two continents and many different societies meet.