Where is the longest range of mountains in the world? It’s in South America! This mountain range is called the Andes. It stretches over 5,500 miles. It goes all the way from the southern tip to the northern coast of South America! Along the way, it goes between Chile and Argentina. It also goes through parts of five other countries.
The Andes are not one single line of mountain peaks. They are actually a set of mountain ranges. These ranges run side by side and cut across each other. They are called cordilleras.
The Andes formed millions and millions of years ago. They were formed by the movement of the tectonic plates that make up Earth’s surface. This same movement also caused volcanoes to form in the Andes. Some of these volcanoes still erupt today. The movement also causes earthquakes in the area. So the forces that formed the Andes still affect people today!
The Andes affect people in South America in other ways, too. For example, they affect the weather across the continent. They also are a source of lots of important minerals and metals. In Chile, people mine the Andes for copper. This is important for business in Chile. Without the Andes, people’s lives would be very different.