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Is Greenland a continent ?

by Vishal Kumar

Greenland is not on its own tectonic plate, it shares one with North America. Plants and animals on the island are also largely found elsewhere in the northern hemisphere. Geopolitically the island is part of Europe.

There is a big controversy about whether Greenland is a continent or an island. Many people are of the opinion that Greenland is a continent but scientific and other data oppose this presumption thoroughly.

In history, Greenland was given a status of a continent but after a few years, its position was downgraded. It has been included in the continent of North America now. However, Greenland enjoys the position of being the biggest non-continental island under the sun.

There is a big debate on why Australia is a continent and Greenland is being deprived of this status. Scientists call those islands continents which has a fully separate tectonic plate. The continental crust also has to be stable. The uniqueness of the flora and fauna of the area is also taken into consideration when declaring an island a continent. Moreover, the people of Greenland consider themselves as the residents of an island rather than a continent. Though Greenland geologically is a part of the continent of North America it has a more cultural and traditional attachment to Europe. Many scientists argue that if a separate tectonic plate is the determinant of a continent and an island then Antarctica should also be an island. If the geological argument has to be considered impartially then an island like Madagascar should also get a status of a continent and make Europe and Asia the same continent. When Australia and Greenland are taken into consideration Australia, of course, wins because the continent of Australia is totally separate and has some unique species of life in it and there is no existence of the continent of Greenland till now.

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