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The Earth's land is divided into seven continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica.
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These seven continents are believed to have once formed the supercontinent Pangaea, a landmass that existed on Earth 250 million years ago. Pangaea was surrounded by one ocean, known as Panthalassa. Because of movements of the underlying tectonic plates, the landmass broke up and the continents separated and moved apart, and eventually to the positions they are in now. This process took around 1 million years to complete.

Continent Facts
ContinentTotal Area (square kilometers)Total landmass percentagePopulation (approx 2008)
Asia438200000.2954164000000
Africa303700000.2041022000000
Europe101800000.068738199000
North America244900000.165542056000
South America178400000.12392555000
Australia and Oceania90380000.059378000000
Antarctica140000000.0924490

The total land area of the all the continents is around 148,647,000 square kilometers or 29.1% of the surface of the earth. Physical Features The Earth's land areas are concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere. The largest continent is Asia which is adjacent to Europe. Sometimes both these are referred as a single continent as Eurasia. The following table gives the details of the highest and lowest points on each of the continents.


The following table gives the details of the highest and lowest points in the continents.
ContinentHighest PointHeight (meters)Lowest PointHeight (meters)
AsiaMount Everest8848Dead Sea-408
EuropeMount Elbrus5633Caspian Sea-28
AfricaMount Kilimanjaro5895Lake Assal-155
North AmericaMount McKinley6198Death Valley-86
South AmericaAconcagua6960Laguna del Carbon-105
AustraliaPuncak Jaya4884Lake Eyre-15
AntarcticaVinson Massif4892Bentley Subglacial Trench-2540

The Asia continent is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Indian Ocean to the south and the Mediterranean and Europe in the west. On the western portion of the Eurasian landmass, Europe borders the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west,
the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Caspian Sea to the south and by the Ural Mountains to the east.

The northern boundary of South America faces the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean eastern, the Pacific Ocean is to the west and the continent of Antarctica is in the far south. North America is the third largest continent on Earth, bounded by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean in the east, the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Caribbean Sea in the south. The narrow Isthmus of Panama connects North and South America.

Australia is the smallest continent in the world. Located in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

Antarctica is the most remote continent on Earth, located around the South Pole. Antarctica is covered by ice throughout the year, and does not sustain a residential population of humans.

ACOD~20120828

Last Updated On : January 22, 2013