A continent can be defined as as one of the very large landmass on the surface of the earth. Comprising many countries, continents are mainly surrounded by sea. The earth is divided into seven continents; however, there is great variation in the size of all these continents. Asia is the largest continent, followed by Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia. At times, the two continents of Europe and Asia are considered a single continent, Eurasia. The continental landmasses are concentrated more in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere in terms of area.
Division of ContinentsThe Isthmus of Suez connects the continents of Asia and Africa, the Isthmus of Panama joins North and South America. Comparing to the area of landmasses that these isthmuses join, both of those are quite narrow.
No isthmus or sea separates Asia from Europe, which explains reasoning behind the concept of Eurasia, that is Europe and Asia as a single continent. This is one of the six-continent models of the world. This view, held by some geographers, is generally only popular in Russia, some Eastern European countries and Japan.
The continents of North America and South America are usually considered separate continents, though earlier in history, they were viewed as single continents and were known collectively as America. Even today, some countries in South America consider the two to be one continent.
Another theory relating to the division of continents came as the four-continent model. In this model, continents are defined as discrete landmasses. According to the theory Asia, Europe and Africa form a single continent called Afro-Eurasia, and the total number of continents becomes four: Afro-Eurasia, America, Antarctica, and Australia.
|7 Continents||North America||South America||Antarctica||Africa||Europe||Asia||Australia|
|6 Continents||North America||South America||Antarctica||Africa||Eurasia||Australia|
|Continent||Area||Approx. population||Density (People per km²)|
|Asia||17.21 million sq mi (44.58 million sq km)||4.436 billion||86.70|
|Africa||11.73 million sq mi (30.37 million sq km)||1.216 billion||29.30|
|North America||9.54 million sq mi (24.71 million sq km)||579 million||21.0|
|South America||6.888 million sq mi (17.84 million sq km)||422.5 million||20.8|
|Antarctica||5.405 million sq mi (14 million sq km)||5,000 temporary residents||0.00007|
|Europe||3.931 million sq mi (10.18 million sq km)||743.1 million||69.7|
|Australia and Oceania||3.292 million sq mi (8.526 million sq km)||41,050,699||3.6|
|Oceans in the World|
|1||Pacific Ocean||Separates Oceania and Asia from the Americas|
|2||Atlantic Ocean||Separates the Eurasia and Africa from Americas|
|3||Indian Ocean||Spreaded upon southern Asia and separates Africa and Australia|
|4||Southern Ocean||It encircles Antarctica, considered an extension of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans|
|5||Arctic Ocean||A sea of the Atlantic, which washes upon northern North America & Eurasia and covers much of the Arctic|
Other continental divisions include supercontinents and subcontinents.
The term supercontinent is used to describe the landmasses with more than one craton or continental core. The examples are Columbia, Gondwana, Kenorland, Laurasia, Pangaea, and Rodinia. Eurasia is a contemporary example of a supercontinent.
Some parts of a continent may fall on different tectonic plates from the rest. These are known as subcontinents. The Indian subcontinent and the Arabian Peninsula are some of the best examples of subcontinents.
Submerged continents are areas of continental crust that are mostly covered by the sea. One notable example is Zealandia, which is under the sea in New Caledonia and New Zealand.
There are a number of islands located on sections of continental crust that have drifted away from the main landmass. These are too small to be considered continents, so they are referred to as microcontinents. Madagascar is the largest example of microcontinent.
AsiaThe first thing that you would notice on a world continent map is the Asia. It is the largest and most populous continent in the world. Situated in the eastern and northern hemispheres, Asia has an overall area of 44,579,000 sq. km. (that constitute 8.6% of the total surface area of the earth) and a population of almost 4 billion people (60% of the human population of the world).
Following is some useful information about Asia:
|Area||17.21 million sq mi (44.58 million sq km)|
|Pop. density||226/sq mi (89/km²)|
|Countries||47 (List of Asian Countries)|
|Time Zones||UTC+2 to UTC+12|
The second largest continent that you would find in a world continent map is the Africa. It is also the second most populous continent in the world after Asia. The continent is bordered by the Red Sea and the Suez Canal to the northeast, Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Indian Ocean to the southeast. Africa has 53 countries excluding the disputed territory in the Western Sahara. It also has a number of island groups.
Following is some of the useful information about Africa :
|Area||11.73 million sq mi (30.37 million sq km)|
|Pop. density||about 80/sq mi (30.51/km²)|
|Countries||53 (List of African Countries)|
|Time Zones||UTC-1 to UTC+4|
North AmericaNorth America is located in the northern and western hemisphere of the earth. Surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean on the east, the Arctic Ocean on the north, the North Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Caribbean Sea and the South America on the southeast, North America is the third largest continent after Asia and Africa with an overall area of about 24,709,000 sq. km.
Following are some of the useful information on North America :
|Area||9.54 million sq mi (24.71 million sq km)|
|Pop. density||59.3/sq mi (22.9/km²)|
|Countries||23 (List of Countries in North America)|
|Time Zones||UTC-10 to UTC|
South AmericaThe fourth-largest continent in the world, South America is located in the Western Hemisphere and in the Southern Hemisphere. A small part of the continent is also located in the Northern Hemisphere.
Following are some of the useful information on South America:
|Area||6.888 million sq mi (17.84 million sq km)|
|Pop. density||55.4 per sq mi (21.4 per km²)|
|Time Zones||UTC-2 to UTC-5|
AntarcticaSpread over an area of 5,400,000 square miles, Antarctica is the fifth largest continent in the world. Antarctica is the southernmost continent of the earth. The continent, which is located in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. It is the driest, windiest, as well as the coldest continent.
|Area (Overall)||5.405 million sq mi (14 million sq km)|
|(ice-free)||280,000 km² (100,000 sq mi)|
|(ice-covered)||13,720,000 km² (5,300,000 sq mi)|
EuropeEurope is the second smallest continent in the world in terms of surface area with an area of 10,180,000 sq. km. However it is the third most populous continent with an estimated population of around 731,000,000.
Following are some useful information on Europe:
|Area||3.931 million sq mi (10.18 million sq km)|
|Pop. density||181/sq mi (70/km²)|
|Countries||50 (List of European Countries)|
|Time Zones||UTC to UTC+5|
Australia & OceaniaIt is the smallest continent in the world. According to one theory, the continent Australia only includes the Australian mainland, not the nearby islands like New Guinea or Tasmania. However, another theory says, those islands have to be included into the continent as they share the same geological landmass.
Following are some useful information on Australia:
|Area||3.292 million sq mi (8.526 million sq km)|
|Countries||Australia, Papua New Guinea, and portions of Indonesia|
|Time Zones||GMT+10, GMT+9.30, GMT+8|
For a better understanding of each continent, refer to the various world continent maps that have been designed by Mapsofworld.com.
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