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They are everything all around you. From the plants and trees to the skyscrapers and homes we all live in. All environments are different and can be found all over the world.


Environments come in so many shapes and sizes some would argue they are impossible to count! Check out the main ones below and learn loads of fun facts for kids and explorers just like you!

Scroll down or click on the links below to learn more about each one of these vastly different stretches of land.

desert environment

Covering one third of the Earths surface, Deserts are one of the most arid, dry and inhospitable places in the world. They range from the sandy Sahara, Arabian and Kalahari to the frozen Arctic and Antarctic tundras. Whether they're boiling hot or freezing cold they are all categorised a Desert by the fact that they receive less than 10 inches of rainfall per year.

Australia and Antarctica share the title of the driest continents on Earth with the highest density of Deserts. Australia is made up of two thirds Desert! The famous Saharan desert is the largest hot Desert in the world and covers much of North Africa. It's mainly rocky but in places it's naturally wind shaped sand dunes can reach heights of nearly 600ft!

Algerian Camel racing
Pyramids of Giza

Try looking up one of the Deserts below and see if you can work out whether it's a hot or cold Desert.



Arctic • Antarctic • Arabian • Atacama • Chihuahuan • Colorado Plateau • Gibson • Gobi • Great Basin • Great Sandy • Great Victoria • Kalahari • Karakum • KyzlKum • Mojave • Namib • Patagonian • Sahara • Simpson • Sonoran • Sturt Stony • Taklamakan • Tanami • Thar

savannah environment

Covering 20% of the worlds surface, Savannah's are categorised by their widely spaced trees and seasonal rainfall. The changing of the seasons can lead to flooding in the wet season and fires and droughts in the dry season. Compared to Rainforests a Savannah's tree spacing is wide and their canopies (tops of the trees) rarely touch one another allowing more light to hit the earth. This creates a less of a humid environment.

The Serengeti in Africa is one of the world's most famous Savannah's and is home to some of the world's most famous animals, such as Lion's, Elephant's and Giraffe's. These animals have evolved and adapted to their environment and developed ways of coping with the extremes in rainfall. Water holes such as the collection in Etosha National Park, Namibia are a vital resource for survival during the dry seasons. 

African Elephant
Maasai warrior

Why not look for a Savannah that matches each one of the different types below.


Tropical/Sub-Tropical - This Savannah is categorised by humid temperatures, a lack of trees and large coverings of grassland.

Temperate - Increased rainfall compared to Tropical Savanna'hs and richer grassland and soil supporting large mammals.

• Mediterranean - As well as grassland this Savanna type includes woodland and forest and typically has an increased rainfall.

  Flooded  - This can include swamps, marshes and wetlands, perfect for birds and fish. They typically stay flooded year round.

• Montane - Colder in temperature and higher in altitude these are mountainous terrains. Large deciduous trees are common. 

seas and oceans

The World Ocean covers a staggering 71% of the worlds surface and contains 97% of the world's water.

The World Ocean is divided up and named firstly into Oceans (e.g. Pacific and Atlantic). Then again into Seas (e.g. Baltic and Mediterranean). An Ocean and Seas borders are usually created by an enclosing or partial enclosing of land. For example the Mediterranean Sea is partially enclosed by both Europe and Africa.

Sri Lankan fishermen

See if you can find all the Oceans and Seas below on a map, some are smaller than you'd expect!



Atlantic • Arctic • Indian • Pacific • Southern


Aegean • Arabian • Baltic • Caspian • Caribbean • Ionian • Java • Mediterranean • North • South China • Tasman • Weddell  

seas & oceans
snow and ice

Approximately 10% of the world is covered in ice and is mainly found in the Greenland and Antartica Ice sheets. These can include Glaciers which are huge packs of ice that move very slowly from higher altitudes. They can travel an average of 1 metre per day with some known to speed at up to 25 metres per day.

Due to lower air pressure and temperatures snow and ice are mainly found at higher altitudes where the air is thinner, hence why tall mountains such as Mt Everest are mostly seen snow-capped. Snow coverings especially in the North and South poles help to regulate the Earth's temperature due to it's white reflective surface bouncing the suns rays away from the surface.

Inuit and an igloo
Emperor Penguin


Andes • Alps • Himalayas • Rocky Mountains • Appalachian Mountains • Atlas Mountains


K2 • Kilimanjaro • Matterhorn • Mont Blanc • Mount Cook • Mt Everest • Mt Fuji • Mount Olympus • Table Mountain


snow & ice
rainforest environment

Thought of as the oldest ecosystem on Earth, Rainforests are characterised by their densely populated trees creating a sealed canopy, continual rainfall and very high concentrations of animals and plants. The most famous  type of Rainforest is Tropical which has a high humidity and a near constant temperature. Tropical Rainforest are mainly found on the Equator between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. 

An amazing 50% of worlds flora and fauna live in Rainforests and a quarter of the world's natural medicines are made out of them.

Scarlet Macaw
Papuan New Guinea tribe

Out of all the Tropical Rainforests below, can you find the 3 largest?



Amazon • Bosawas • Congo • Daintree • Monteverade • Pacific • Papua New Guinea • Santa Elena Cloud Forest • Sapo • Sinharaja • Southeast Asian • Sundarbans • Tongass • Kinabalu • Valdivian


urban environment

Categorised by human settlement and formed through buildings, structures and adaptation to natural environments, the Urban environment are mainly cities and towns with large populations. People choose to live in Urban environments due to their lifestyle benefits. This means things like readily available healthcare, access to jobs and lots of accommodation and good communication.

Currently over 50% of the worlds 7.2 billion population live in the Urban environment and this figure is only expected to grow in the near future.

St Basils Cathedral, Moscow
Indian auto rickshaw

Can you find out what the 3 most densely populated cities are from the list below?



Bangkok • Beijing • Buenos Aires • Delhi • Dhaka • Greater Cairo • Chengdu • Guangzhou-Foshan • Istanbul • Jakarta • Karachi • Kinshasa • Kolkata • Lagos • Lima • Los Angeles •  Manila • Mexico City • Moscow • Mumbai • New York City • Osaka • Rio De Janeiro • Sao Paulo • Seoul • Shanghai • Shenzhen • Tehran • Tianjin • Tokyo



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