Africa’s largest country is the world’s 10th largest. Algeria
gained independence from France in 1962 after a brutal war. Over 80% of the
country is taken up by the Sahara desert. The main languages are Arabic, French
Kazakhstan (2.7 million km2)
Many foreigners don’t know much about this country other than
from Borat , the controversial fake ambassador played by Sacha Baron Cohen.
Kazakhstan separated from the USSR in 1991 but is still one of the largest
countries in the world. Horses are a very important part of traditional Kazakh
Argentina (2.8 million km2)
South America’s second largest country is 8th on this list.
Argentina stretches from Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego in the south, known as
‘the end of the Earth’, up the huge Andes mountain range to the pampas savannas
and capital Buenos Aires in the north.
India (3.2 million km2)
The country with the second largest population on Earth crams
its 1 billion people into the 7th largest area. There are over 1000 people per
square mile in India, compared to just 8 per square mile in Russia. India makes
up the last of the BRIC nations (Brazi, Russia, India, China), which are
expanding their global power and influence.
Australia (7.7 million km2)
Isolated over there on the ‘other side of the world’,
Australia is the largest country located entirely in the Southern hemisphere.
Famous for its weird and wacky wildlife, most of the population live in coastal
cities, surrounding a vast uninhabited interior, known as the ‘outback’.
Brazil (8.5 million km2)
Home to the mighty Amazon river and rainforest, the most
biodiverse region of the planet, Brazil is the 5th largest nation. It covers
almost half of South America, and 6% of the world’s total landmass.
The United States of America (9.3
The richest country on Earth by total GDP and considering
itself the global superpower, the USA is the 4th largest country in the world,
and it has the 3rd largest population. The largest state is Alaska, while the
smallest is the tiny Rhode Island.
China (9.7 million km2)
China has the world’s largest population, but is only the 3rd
biggest country on Earth by size. It stretches from the Pacific megacities of
Shanghai and Beijing in the east to the virtually untouched Tibetan plains in
Canada (9.9 million km2)
Another country with a huge amount of land above the Arctic
Circle, Canada is the second biggest country on Earth, but it is almost half
the size of Russia. It is even more sparsely populated than Russia, with most
of the population concentrated on the border with the USA.
Russia (17 million km2)
Russia is still by far the largest country in the world, even
after losing much of its territory during the break up of the former USSR. It
covers around 11% of the Earth’s total landmass. However, the population is all
concentrated towards the west of Russia, and large swathes of Siberia remain
untouched by humans.