In this huge universe, the Earth is not even the size of a page of a book. And yet the earth is home to millions and billions of living organisms apart from humans. But it is not just humans or animals that inhabit the world. There are so many geographical features in the Earth that one cannot even imagine. A planet that is home to so many living beings had to be categorised in some way or the other- geographically, culturally etc. And that is where the role of continents come into play.
What is a Continent?
In simple terms, a continent is a collection of different land masses that the Earth’s surface is made up of. There are seven different continents that the world is made up of. Each continent is different from each other in terms of geographical features, people and what not. There are seven continents and five oceans that form the base of the Earth. But this is not how the Earth always looked. Millions and millions years ago, the Earth comprised of only one super continent and one large ocean.
Climatic changes over the years led it to break into seven different continents and five oceans. And this is how the Earth looks now, with each continent in its own place. Even today these continents do not stand at one place. They are constantly changing positions, owing to the change in the oceans. And a few million years later, there will pop up new continents again. These continents are nothing but hard masses of land that make up the Earth. Each continent is made up of several countries, all different from each other. Now, summing up each continent in a few words is not possible. It is amusing how starkly different they are from each other.
How many Continents are there in the World?
There are seven continents in the world.
7 Continents Map
What are the 7 Continents of the world?
Covering about 9% of the Earth’s surface and 30% of total land, Asia is the largest and most populated country in the world. It has an estimated population of about 4.3 billion. Two of the highest populated countries in the world- China and India belong to Asia. With this huge population, Asia plays an important part in the world economy. This continent is mainly situated in the north and east hemispheres of the Earth. Asia is bordered by the Pacific Ocean in the east and the Indian Ocean in the south. But, the boundaries of Asia is not clearly established.
Asia is home to 48 countries. It is populated by people from the widest diversity of religions in the world. The major religions are Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity and Shintoism. Tokyo, Seoul, Delhi, Mumbai, Jakarta and Shanghai are the largest cities of Asia. The Himalayan mountain range is one of the many mountains of Asia and the most known one. With the highest peak in the word Mt. Everest situated in Asia, this continent attracts millions of tourists from around the globe every year. Tourism also plays a major role in most Asian countries.
Africa is the second largest and second most populated continent after Asia. Africa is home to 54 countries. Even though that is lesser than the number of countries in Asia, the population here is lesser than Asia. Africa is inhabited by around 1 billion people, that is about 15% of the total world population. Africa comprises about 20% of the total land. It is one of the hottest continents of the world. That is because the equator passes through Africa. While central Africa is warmer and tropical, the northern and southern parts of this continent have a temperate climate. The unique thing about Africa is that the oldest fossil of a human was found here.
Africa’s geographic diversity is a tourist magnet. It has the most amazing forms of mountains, deserts, forests, animals, insects that has ever lived in the world. The world’s hottest desert, Sahara desert is situated in North Africa. The size of the Sahara desert alone is equal to the size of United States. The world’s longest river, the Nile is also situated in Africa and runs through 11 countries. Africa as a continent is a poor one but each African continent is different from another in terms of economy. that is what makes the continent so culturally diverse.
Antarctica lies to the most southern part of the world, i.e. at the South Pole. With less than 5000 residence, Antarctica is the most inhabitable continent in the world. This continent is comprised of large permanent ice caps and glaciers that are present here throughout the year. About 98% of the continent is covered in thick ice which is about 2 kilometres thick. Antarctica is also the continent that has no fixed size, because that is constantly changing with the forming and melting of glaciers. In winters, the size of the entire continent can become double the size of what it normally is. But it is not just ice; there are so many more factors that make Antarctica a truly unique continent.
Owing to the inhospitable conditions, Antarctica does not have any full time residents. People come here, live for a few months and then go away which is why Antarctica does not have a government. This also means that there is no fixed form of currency in Antarctican countries. The Only population that Antarctica has is of the stuff that work in the research stations here. Even though Antarctica does not have human population, the animal population makes up for the lack of it. Home to penguins, seals, walruses, polar bears etc., makes Antarctica a traveller’s delight.
Australia is unique from the very first instance because it is a single country continent. It is the 6th largest country in the world in terms of land area and the smallest of the all seven continents. Australia is also known as the Island Continent because it is aloof from the rest of the continents. With a population of 23 million people, the most populated country of Australia is Sydney.
The coasts on the south and east of the country are the most populated areas of Australia. But the rest of the country is relatively unpopulated and is covered by forests and other forms of vegetation. Since the entire population is concentrated in a few parts of the country, Australia stands as one of the most urbanized countries of the world. Australia is also diverse in terms of climate, as it witnesses equatorial, tropical desert, grasslands every kind of climate that one can think of. Australia is one of the richest economists in the world being a capitalist economy.
It is an amusing fact in itself that being the second smallest continent out of all seven, Europe is the third most densely populated after Asia and Africa. Home to about 50 countries the largest country of Europe is Russia and the smallest is Vatican City. However, only 40% of Russia falls in Europe and the rest of the country falls in Asia. Europe is surrounded by major water bodies on all sides. The Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea are on the south, the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the Arctic in the north.
European countries are known for their historical significance and the rich culture. Most European countries have adapted themselves to the modern day of 21st century. But that cannot take away its architectural diversity its known for. Each European country is a distinct tourist attraction and tourism is one of their main industries.
The third largest continent in the world North America is also the fourth most densely populated continent. North America has around 24 countries, Canada being the largest. North America lies entirely in the Northern hemisphere and hence it is called so. It is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean and Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean on all its sides. The North American climate and geography is as diverse as Asia. Mexico city is the most populated city of this continent, with more than 9 million people living here. Canada, the United States and Mexico are the most financially sound countries of the continent. North America contributes to the highest world GDP as it has the highest per capita income among all the other continents.
There is a reason why the United States is a super power in world economics and all other fields. That makes North America the most powerful continent of all. North America also accounts for half of the world’s total corn production. Not just that, it produces about ? of total wheat production in the world. With a population of about 565 million, North America truly is a major power on the face of this world today.
South America is known for its amazing biodiversity. It gets its name from the fact that it lies in the southern hemisphere. South America boasts of the Amazon forest, the world’s largest rainforest. Needless to say, South America is home to plenty of wild species of animals that you will find nowhere else in the world. The Equator passes through this continent, and thus it features tropical kind of climate in some regions. South America boasts of countries like Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, Guyana and Ecuador.
Almost the majority of population of South America lives in coastal areas, along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. That is why the interiors are not as densely populated. Languages like Spanish and Portuguese are widely spoken in South America because of the effects of colonialization. South America is also rich in mineral resources. Exportation of these minerals accounts for a major part of the continent’s income. All in all, South America is truly unique in its own little ways.