Chile – simple english wikipedia, the free encyclopedia gas bubble in back

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Chile, which claims a part of the Antarctic continent, is the longest country on earth. The Atacama Desert, in the north of the country, is the driest place on earth. The average rainfall there is less than 0.05 mm per year. The center of Chile, with the two cities Santiago and Valparaíso, has a Mediterranean climate with an average temperatures of 28 °C in January and 11 °C in July. In the middle of Chile, the country is very fertile.

About 95% of Chileans are Caucasian (including some people of Arab ancestry), or people with a combination of European descent, mostly ( Spanish, Basque, Italian and German). Around 2% of the population is Native American, about 2% European immigrants and around 1% have a strong degree of Asians descent. The majority of people are Roman Catholic (62.8%). About 10% are Protestant, and there are some Jews as well. The country’s official language is Spanish. Chili peppers, first cultivated by Native Americans from other Latin American countries and the United States, did not come from this country, although it has a similar name.

Only a few of the many distinctive South American animals are found in Chile. Among the larger mammals are the puma or cougar, the llama-like guanaco and the fox-like chilla. In the forest region, several types of marsupials and a small deer known as the pudu are found. There are many species of small birds, but not most of the larger common Latin American types. Few freshwater fish are from Chile, but North American trout have been successfully introduced into the Andean lakes. It is close to the Humboldt Current, so ocean waters have many fish and other forms of marine life. This in turn supports a rich variety of waterfowl, including several penguins. There are many whales, and six species of seals in the area. Fungi [ change | change source ]

Just over 3,000 species of fungi are recorded in Chile. [6] [7] This number is far from complete. The true total number of fungal species in Chile is likely to be far higher. The generally accepted estimate is that only about 7 percent of all fungi worldwide have so far been discovered. [8] Flora [ change | change source ]

The northernmost coastal and central region is largely empty of vegetation. It is the most close to an absolute desert in the world. On the slopes of the Andes, besides the scattered tola desert brush, grasses are found. The central valley has several species of cacti, the hardy espinos, the Chilean pine, the southern beeches and the copihue, a red bell-shaped flower that is Chile’s national flower.

Tennis is Chile’s most successful sport. Its national team won the World Team Cup clay tournament twice (2003 & 2004). They played the Davis Cup final against Italy in 1976. At the 2004 Summer Olympics the country took gold and bronze in men’s singles and gold in men’s doubles. Marcelo Ríos became the first Latin American man to reach the number one spot in the ATP singles rankings in 1998. Anita Lizana won the US Open in 1937. She was the first woman from Latin America to win a grand slam tournament. Luis Ayala was twice a runner-up at the French Open and both Ríos, Nicolas Massu Friedt and Fernando González Ciuffardi reached the Australian Open men’s singles finals. González also won a silver medal in singles at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

At the Summer Olympic Games Chile has a total of two gold medals (tennis), seven silver medals (athletics, equestrian, boxing, shooting and tennis) and four bronze medals (tennis, boxing and football). In 2012 Chile won its first Paralympic Games medal (gold in Athletics).

Rodeo is the country’s national sport. It is practiced in the more rural areas of the country. A sport similar to hockey. Skiing and snowboarding are practiced at ski centers in the Central Andes. Surfing is popular at some coastal towns. Polo is professionally practiced in Chile. In 2008 Chile won top prize in the World Polo Championship.

Basketball is a popular sport. Chile earned a bronze medal in the first men’s FIBA World Championship held in 1950. They won a second bronze medal when Chile hosted the 1959 FIBA World Championship. Chile hosted the first FIBA World Championship for Women in 1953 finishing the tournament with the silver medal. Other sports such as marathons and ultramarathons are also increasing in popularity. San Pedro de Atacama is host to the yearly "Atacama Crossing," a six-stage, 250-kilometer footrace which has about 150 competitors from 35 countries each year. The Dakar Rally off-road automobile race has been held in both Chile and Argentina since 2009. Immigration to Chile [ change | change source ]