Where is South America?

Someone discusses the Americas and you instantly create a mental map of the two continents.  How accurate do you think your mental map really is? Are you picturing jagged coastlines? national borders?  Did you even put South America in the correct location? Try looking at the image below. North America has been sliced through at Mexico.  Central America is missing.  South America has been pushed further north to make it easier to compare.  

So which is correct? A or B?
It is A.  As seen in the Google Earth map below, most of South America extends east of North America.  
Locate the meridian (line of longitude) 80 degrees west.  Travel the meridian from north to south and discover that it resides on the extreme eastern portion of Florida and only barely crosses the western portions of Ecuador and Peru.  The rest of South America lies east of Florida.  The two continents could have just as easily been called East America and West America.

Thanks for reading!

Here's another article on the Americas: Learn about the various names U.S. states use to divide their territory.

Think you already know a lot about the United States?  Take this short quiz to see if you know the states that promote these five nicknames.

If you're more interested in South America, don't miss this article on Chile's Robinson Crusoe Island.  Learn how both the book and the island received their names.

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