North America (English North America, French Amérique du Nord, Spanish América del Norte, Norteamérica, Ast. Ixachitlān Mictlāmpa) is one of the six continents of the planet Earth, located in the north of the Western Hemisphere of the Earth.
The area of North America without islands is 20,360,000 km², with islands - 24,365,000 km². In terms of these indicators, it is comparable to the Soviet Union. The islands of North America include Greenland, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the West Indies, the Aleutian Islands and others.
The population of North America is more than 500 million people, which is 7% of the world's population. Within the mainland, the North American region is often distinguished, uniting the United States, Canada, Greenland, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Bermuda. North America, like Australia, is a landlocked mainland.
America is believed to have been named after the Florentine traveler Amerigo Vespucci by German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Mathias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that America was not the East Indies, but a new, unknown continent. In 1507, Waldseemüller drew up a map of the world, where he put the name "America" on the South American continent in the area of what is now Brazil. He explained the name in the book Cosmographiae Introductio, which was attached to the map:
Today, these parts of the world (Europe, Africa and Asia) have already been fully explored, and a fourth part of the world has been discovered by Amerigo Vespucci. And since Europe and Asia are named after women, I see no obstacles to calling this new region Ameriga, the Land of Amerigo, or America, after the wise husband who discovered it.
Later, when North America appeared on the maps, this name spread to it: in 1538 Gerard Mercator used the toponym "America" to designate the entire western hemisphere on the world map.
Some researchers argue that at that time it was not customary to call the discovered lands by their first name (with the exception of royals), but only by their surname, thus the theory of the origin of the name on behalf of Amerigo Vespucci is controversial. Alfred Hadd proposed in 1908 the theory that the continent is named after