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Continents of the World



The Seven Continents of the World are:

  • Asia
  • Africa
  • North America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Australia
  • Antarctica

These seven continents were believed to be part of Pangaea which was a single landmass around 250 million years ago. Due to the tectonic movement, the landmass broke up and the component continents separated and moved away to its present position.

All these took around 1 million years to complete. Pangaea was surrounded by a sea, the Panthalassa. The continents map of the world map will give you information about the geographical positions of the continents as well as their political divisions.


Continent Total Area (square kilometers) Total landmass percentage
Asia 43,820,000 29.5%
Europe 10,180,000 6.8 %
Africa 30,370,000 20.4%
North America 24,490,000 16.5%
South America 17,840,000 12.0%
Australia 9,008,500 5.9%
Antarctica 13,720,000 9.2%



Asia


Asia is the largest and most populous continent in the world. Culturally diverse and historically rich, Asian countries has been home to number of world leaders.

There are 44 countries, which make up the continent of Asia. China, India, Japan and Sri Lanka are the leading nations of this continent. All the countries of Asia Continent are culturally rich and diverse in nature.

China is the largest country in terms of area. It is also the most populous country not only in Asia but also in the world.


Asia Continent - Salient Features 


Asia continent is bound by the Pacific Ocean in the east, Europe in the west, Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea in the southeast.

The Arctic Ocean borders Asia in the north while the Bering Strait separates the continent from North America in the north east.

The Indian Ocean to the south of the continent separates it from Australia. 

Some of the salient features of Asia are:
  • The total area is about 44,614,000 square km.
  • It has the longest coastline in the world
  • Mount Everest is the highest peak, rising to a height of 8848 meters.
  • Dead Sea is the lowest point located 400 meters below sea level.
  • Experiences the extremes of climate

Asia Facts

It covers 8.6% of the total surface area on Earth, which accounts for around 30% of the total land area. Asia, with more than 60% of the world population, is the most populous continent in the world. Asia is the most diverse continent and is divided into 6 sub-regions, namely
  • Northern Asia
  • Central Asia
  • Western Asia
  • Southern Asia
  • Eastern Asia
  • Southeastern Asia
The 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).

Asia is the continent of diversity. On one hand, it is the home to some of the richest and most developed economies in the world like Japan and Korea, but at the same time, it is also the home to some of the poorest countries in the world.

The continent has the highest point on earth in the form of Mount Everest in the Himalayas. On the other hand, Asia is also the home to the lowest place on land in the form of the Dead Sea. The continent also has the widest varieties of plant and animal lives.

Following are some useful information on Asia:

Area 44,579,000 km²
Population 3,879,000,000
Pop. density 89/km2 (226/sq mi)
Countries 47
Time Zones UTC+2 to UTC+12


The Location

Asia is located to the east of the Ural Mountains and the Suez Canal, and south of the Caspian and Black seas and the Caucasus Mountains. On its east, there is Pacific Ocean, while the India Ocean lies to its south. The Arctic Ocean lies to the north of the continent, while on its west, there is Europe and the Mediterranean.

Geographical Region Asia is divided into the following geographical region:
  • Central Asia
  • Iranian Plateau
  • East Asia
  • Far East
  • North Asia
  • South Asia (Indian Subcontinent)
  • Southeast Asia
  • Southwest Asia

The Climate

Due to its vast size, Asia sees a diverse variety of climates. The Asian climate is hugely influenced by the winds called monsoons, which flow regularly in the same direction during certain seasons. It flows from the north to east during winter, which causes cold and dry weather.

During summer, the wind flows from the seas in the south to the southeast. The weather remains hot during this time. April to October is the time for rain in this continent. The eastern part of the continent experiences the heaviest rainfall. The amount of rainfall decreases as one goes away from the sea.



Africa


Africa, is the world's second largest continent spread over an area of 11,668,545 sq. miles, Africa which makes up for 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area on the surface of the Earth.

In terms of population as well, Africa is second only to Asia with more than 900 million people inhabiting the continent which is approximately 14% of the world's total population. The continent is bound by Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Suez Canal and Red Sea in the northeast, which separate it from the neighboring continent of Asia.

Indian Ocean bounds the continent of Africa in the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. There are a total of 46 countries on the continental mainland and the number climbs up to 53, Africa map include all the island groups as well.

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.

Often described by the outsiders as the 'Dark Continent' or the 'Cradle of Mankind', Africa is immensely rich in mineral and natural resources. It is also the continent that boasts of rich variety of wildlife and biological resources, the preservation of which continues to be a challenge for conservationists from across the world.

The continent is also the home to some of the poorest people on the planet. Many of the constituent countries in this continent are still undergoing the process of nation building to achieve integration with the rest of the world.


Following are some of the useful information about Africa:
Area 30,221,532 km²
Population 1,000,010,000
Pop. density 30.51/km2 (about 80/sq mi)
Countries 53
Time Zones UTC-1 to UTC+4



The Climate

The climate of Africa is dominated by a warm and hot weather conditions. However, the humidity and rainfall dramatically vary in different places across the continent. As the equator runs through the middle of the continent, the temperatures remain on the higher side throughout the year.

There are very little variations in temperature between summer and winter. However, the cooler regions of the continent can be described as the northwestern part, the highland areas of the east, and some parts of the south.

Though the forests of the Congo Basin as well as the coastal regions in the western part of the continent sees rainfalls throughout the year, but the rest of the continent experience one or two seasons of heavy rainfall separated by dry spells.



North America


The North American continent is located on the northern (northwestern) part of the globe. Besides being the world's third largest continent in terms of area, America (North) also claims the fourth position in terms of population.

The continent shares its border with North Atlantic Ocean in the east, North Pacific Ocean in its southern and western part, Arctic Ocean in the north and the Caribbean Sea in the southeast.

Spread over an area of approximately 24,256,000 sq kms, the continent of North America covers approximately 16.3% of the total land area of Earth. The Mount McKinley in Alaska is the highest peak (6,194 meter above sea level) in North America.

North 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.


It also has a population of nearly 529 million people. You would find the shape of the northernmost part of this continent elongated. In fact Greenland appears much bigger in size than it is in the world continent map. Earth being a sphere, if we try to project it on a plane some distortion happens at the edges.

The majority of the areas of the North American continent are occupied by two of the world's most developed countries - the U.S. and Canada. This continent also has very rich mineral and other natural resources. Besides these, the various National Parks of this continent offers some of the most spectacular panoramas in the world.


Following are some of the useful information on North America:
Area 24,709,000 km²
Population 528,720,588 (July 2008 est.)
Pop. density 22.9/km2 (59.3/sq mi)
Countries 23
Time Zones UTC-10 to UTC


The Climate 


North America is the only continent in this world that has every kind of climate starting from dry to bitter cold of the Arctic to the steamy heat of the tropics. The continent also has some usual kind of climates, which cannot be found in other parts of the world.

The interior of the Greenland remains covered by the ice and the temperature hardly rises above freezing. The treeless plain of the far north - the North American tundra only sees temperature rising above freezing during the summer only for a short duration. The rest of the continent remain cold during the winter and warn in the summer. Some parts of the continent may have mild winters and long hot summers. Other parts see short summers and harsh winters.



South America


The continent of South America encompasses total area of 6,882,000 sq mi. South America shares its borders with the Atlantic Ocean on the eastern side, the Pacific Ocean on the western side and the Caribbean Sea on the northern side. The Isthmus of Panama joins the two continents of South America and North America.

The 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.

South America is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east and north, the Caribbean Sean and North America on the northwest and the Pacific Ocean on the west.

With an area of 17,840,000 sq. km, South America constitutes almost 3.5% of the Earth's surface. It is also the fifth most populous continent in the world after Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America with an estimated population of more than 371,090,000.

The economy of South America mostly depends on fishing, agriculture, mining and lumbering.

South American continent consists of 12 countries. Located at the southernmost corner of the world, Punta Arenas is a city in South America.

Amazon, the largest river in the world is also situated in the South American continent. Your South America vacation can include a visit to the rainforests of this continent. South American continent is connected to the continent of North America by the narrow cape of Panama and includes few island groups.

Falklands or the Malvinas Islands are few of the prominent islands that are considered part of the continent of South America.

Often referred to as Latin America, South America has the greatest north-south extension. The high mountains and the highland areas extend up to different elevation levels, which together contribute to its diverse climate.

Following are some of the useful information on South America:
Area 17,840,000 km2 (6,890,000 sq mi)
Population 385,742,554
Pop. density 21.4 per km2 (55.4 per sq mi)
Countries 13
Time Zones UTC-2 to UTC-5


The Climate

The most parts of South America experience warm weather throughout the year. However, the climate of the continent varies a lot from places to places.

The wide variety of climates in South America ranges from dry desert condition in the northern part of Chile to the heavy rain areas in the southwester coast of the continent.

The tropical rain forest of the Amazon basin experiences steamy heat. On the other hand, cold air dominates the snow-capped Andean peaks.



Antarctica


It is the southernmost continent in the world. Located in the Antarctic region in the southern hemisphere, underlying the South Pole, Antarctica is surrounded by the Southern Ocean.

Almost 98 percent of the continent is covered by ice with an average thickness of at least 1.6 km. It is also the coldest, windiest, and the driest continent in the Earth.


On the world continent map, this continent is mostly shown in a distorted form as it is difficult to project its shape when we are plotting other continents in the same map. You can see the correct shape of this continent in Antarctica Map.

Antarctica is the only continent in the world where no permanent human residents can be found. Only cold-adapted floras and faunas can survive there. Penguins, Seals, Tundra Vegetation and several types of Algae can be found.

Following are some useful information on Antarctica:

Area (Overall) 14,000,000 km2 (5,405,428 sq mi)
(ice-free) 280,000 km2 (100,000 sq mi)
(ice-covered) 13,720,000 km2 (5,300,000 sq mi)



Europe


Europe 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.

The continent is surrounded by the Black Sea and the connected waterways to the southeast, the Arctic Ocean and the various other water bodies to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.

Europe is separated from Asia in the east by the Ural River, the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, besides the Black Sea to the southeast.

Despite its internal diversities of culture, language, customs, etc., Europe has come to represent a unique civilization and ethical values which had a tremendous influence on the rest of the world at different epochs of history.

It is also the home to some of the most panoramic landscapes in the world.

There are mountainous regions in the south featuring the high Alps, Carpathians and Pyrenees. To the north there are hilly uplands and low northern plains.

In the northwestern seaboard, there is an arc of uplands starting from the western British Isles and continuing towards fjords of Norway. Mainland Europe has basins, river valleys and plateaus.

Some of the major mountain ranges of Europe can be seen on Europe Map . These are the Ural Mountains, Caucasus Mountains, Alps, Pyrenees, Carpathian Mountains, Scottish Highlands, Apennines and others.

The northernmost point of Europe is Cape Fligely, Rudolf Island, Franz Josef Land, Russia. Gavdos in Greece is the southernmost point. Monchique Islet in Flores Island, Azores, Portugal is the westernmost point.

Cape Flissingskiy, Severny Island, Novaya Zemlya, Russia is the easternmost point of Europe. The lowest point in the continent is the Caspian Sea shore in Russia.

Following are some useful information on Europe:
Area 10,180,000 km2 (3,930,000 sq mi)
Population 731,000,000
Pop. density 70/km2 (181/sq mi)
Countries 50
Time Zones UTC to UTC+5

The Climate

Most of the Europe sees mild weather caused by the winds from the Atlantic Ocean. However, there are some certain variations in the climate of Europe.

The northern part of Europe sees long and colder winter and short and cooler summers than the other parts of the continent.

The eastern part sees longer and colder winters and shorter and hotter summers than the west.



Australia


It is the smallest continents 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. New Zealand is not considered as a part of the continent of Australia.
It is rather a part of Zealandia - a submerged continent. The continent of Australia, along with Zealandia constitutes a region called Oceania or Australasia.





Following are some useful information on Australia:
Area 8,468,300 km2
Population 31,260,000 (estimated)
Pop. density 3.7/km2
Countries Australia, Papua New Guinea, and portions of  Indonesia
Time Zones GMT+10, GMT+9.30, GMT+8

The Climate

Being located in the tropics, the northern third of Australia sees a warm and hot climate throughout the year.

The rest are located in the south of the tropic and hence experience mild or cool winters and warm summers.


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