The New World is a term referring to the Western Hemisphere, specifically North and South America.
The term originated in the late 15th century as European explorers made their first voyages to the Americas. Until then, the Europeans had thought that the world consisted only of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Collectively, the ‘Old World.’
While the terms New World and Old World are used in an historical context, they can also be used in a biological context when discussing New and Old world species of plants and animals. For example, the cacao bean is considered a New World plant.
Text by Maisie Bornstein.