Alps

The Alps make up the largest mountain system in Europe. They are world-famous for their scenic beauty. The Alps are a region of majestic, snow-capped peaks, deep valleys, narrow lakes, and wide glaciers. The Alps reach across south-central Europe in a broad arc. They stretch all the way from southern France, in the west, to eastern Austria. Along the way, the mountains cross […]

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Amazon River

A dense, green forest lines the riverbanks. Monkeys chatter in the trees. Off to the side, a big crocodile sticks its eyes and nose out of the water. This is what a boat trip on the Amazon River can be like. Be careful not to fall overboard! Fish called piranhas may be swimming near the boat. A group […]

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Atlantic Ocean

If you look at a map of the world, you’ll see a body of water that runs the length of Earth in a huge, S-shaped curve. That’s the Atlantic Ocean, the world’s second biggest ocean. Only the Pacific Ocean is larger. The World’s Oceans Ocean square miles square kilometers Pacific Ocean 63,980,000 165,700,000 Atlantic Ocean 31,810,000 82,400,000 Indian Ocean 28,360,000 73,440,000 […]

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Canals

Until 1914, ships traveling between New York City and San Francisco had to sail all the way around the tip of South America. That adds up to a distance of more than 13,000 miles (21,000 kilometers). The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 changed all that. The canal cuts across Panama in Central America. It created a […]

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Caribbean Islands

What would you see if you took a cruise to the Caribbean Islands? Palm trees and coconuts? White beaches and clear, blue ocean? Colorful corals and even more colorful fishes and birds? You bet. There are thousands of islands in the Caribbean Sea. They are famous for their warm, tropical climate and great natural beauty. A CHAIN OF ISLANDS The Caribbean Islands form a chain […]

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Coral Reef

Imagine you are snorkeling in the warm ocean water around a tropical coral reef. You put on your mask and swim fins. You float around looking at the reef below you. The coral reef looks like strangely shaped rocks sticking up from the ocean floor. Crooked coral that looks like tree limbs twists up from cracks and caves […]

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Dams

Beavers build them from sticks. Landslides create them from trees, mud, and debris. Humans make them from earth and concrete. These structures are dams. Dams hamper the flow of water in a river or stream. Landslides don’t mean to create dams. They do so by dumping a lot of earth and other stuff in a river. Scientists think beavers build […]

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Great Lakes

The Great Lakes are so large, you could easily see them if you stood on the Moon! They’re the world’s largest group of freshwater lakes, and they’re found in North America. Five lakes make up the Great Lakes. They are Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario. WHERE ARE THE GREAT LAKES? The Great Lakes are located in the eastern half of North […]

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Lakes

You can have lots of fun at a lake. Many people take vacations along lakes. You can go swimming and jump off a raft. You can go out on a boat. You can catch fish. Some lakes are huge. They look as big as an ocean. You cannot see across the largest lakes. WHAT MAKES A LAKE A LAKE? Big lakes and small lakes are like bowls in […]

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Missouri River

The Missouri River has a great deal of mud in its waters. The river got its name from a Native American word meaning “dwellers of the big muddy.” Early white explorers referred to it simply as “The Big Muddy.” The nickname stuck. THE PATH OF THE MISSOURI The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States. It is about […]

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Niagara Falls

Other waterfalls are higher than Niagara Falls, but Niagara Falls is one of the most famous. Why? Because the great beauty and immense size of Niagara Falls make it one of North America’s most spectacular natural wonders! WHERE IS NIAGARA FALLS? Niagara Falls is part of the Niagara River. The Niagara is a short river, just 35 miles (56 kilometers) long. […]

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Nile River

There are long rivers, and there are famous rivers. The mighty Nile is the world’s longest and most famous river. The Nile’s longest branch stretches 4,160 miles (6,695 kilometers) and crosses half a continent. The Nile winds north from the heart of Africa. Crocodiles and hippopotamuses live in its waters. Gigantic pyramids built by ancient Egyptians rise along its banks. WHERE DOES […]

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Oceans

When most people think about Earth, they think about land. You’ve probably spent your entire life on land. If you look at a globe, however, you can see that there is not as much land as water. Most of the Earth is covered by water, and most of that water is salty. Almost all of the salt water […]

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Ohio River

What was the gateway to the West at the beginning of the 1800s? The answer is the Ohio River. The American West began a lot farther east back then. The Ohio River begins in Pennsylvania and joins the Mississippi River at the southern tip of Illinois. It flows for a distance of 981 miles (1,580 kilometers). The states of West Virginia and […]

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