Why is Chile So Long?

by Tomas Pueyo at Uncharted Territories: Chile is so long, it’s curved.

How long is it?
Why not longer?
Why is no other country as thin?
How does that make Chileans incomprehensible?

Chile is as long as the US and Canada combined.
Chile is as long as all of Europe!
It can stretch from Norway to Morocco.
From London to Baghdad!

You can stack over a dozen European countries in Chile north to south.

Of course, that means Chile has every possible climate.

Chile is so long because of the Andes. Here’s a map of elevation in South America.
You can’t easily pass these mountains, and the tiny sliver of land to their west is Chile.

The mountains exist because of the Nazca tectonic plate hitting the South American one:

Here’s a superb (composite) image of a Chilean volcano :

But why is Chile so long? Why not longer? You can get a sense by looking at a satellite map of the region. From it, can you guess where most Chileans live?

You can see by comparing the satellite map and the map of night lights:

More here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.