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Difference between Island and Peninsula

Island and Peninsula refer to the different types of landforms. Although they share many features, they are different from each other. Let us see how they differ from each other!


Island is a piece of land surrounded by water on all sides. It is not large enough to be called a continent. It varies in size, can be small or very large and can be found in seas, oceans, lakes or rivers. A group of islands is known as an archipelago.

An island can be of two types: Oceanic Island and Continental Island.

  • The Oceanic Islands are the Islands that rise to the surface from the ocean basins? floor. They are formed in the ocean far away from the continental shelf.
  • The Continental Islands refer to the parts of the continental shelf. They are formed when a part of the mainland breaks off and moves away towards water. It is completely surrounded by the water, but not fully submerged.

Islands are known for their picturesque beauty and a large number of beaches, water front houses and ocean front houses. There are many beautiful islands in the world some of which are as follows:

  • Hawaii: It is the largest island in the United States in the Central Pacific.
  • Cuba: It is an island country in the Caribbean Sea. It has sugar-white beaches and plenty of tobacco fields.
  • Greenland: It is the world?s largest island as well as a country with the lowest population density.
  • Madagascar: It is an island nation located at the southeast coast of Africa.


Peninsula refers to a piece of land that is surrounded by water on three sides and is connected to a large landform on one side. It can be of following types:

  • Headland: It is a narrow piece of land that extends from the coast into the sea.
  • Cape: It is a rocky peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean at the south-western boundary of the African continent.
  • Promontory: It is a mass of land that juts out into lowland or a water body.

Some examples of Peninsula:

  • Florida, which is a state in the United States, is a peninsula attached to the continent of North America. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico on three sides.
  • The Iberian Peninsula, which is a mountainous region, is formed by countries of Spain and Portugal. It is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

Based on the above information, some of the key differences between Island and Peninsula are as follows:

Island Peninsula
It is a piece of land surrounded completely by water. It is a piece of land surrounded by water on three sides.
It is not attached to land on any of the sides. It is attached to large landform on one side.
It is an isolated part of the land. It is not an isolated part of the land.
It can be of two types: Continental and Oceanic. Its types include headlands, cape, promontory, bill, point and split.
Islands are often found in groups. Peninsula exists independently.
Continental islands are formed when a part of the mainland breaks off and moves away towards the water. The oceanic ones are formed by volcano or corals. Peninsulas are formed due to the gradual rise in the water level surrounding a land.
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