List of Continents
Our earth surface is divided into two parts; land and water bodies, in which land covers the 29.2% area of earth surface whereas water bodies cover the rest 70.8%. Now the question is what is the continent? The land part of the earth consists of continents and islands. So the large landmass of the earth is called continents. The meaning of the word continent is "continuous and connected land" as the landmass of the earth has seven divisions and, some of them are connected to each other. However, some of them are separated by the water bodies.
Number of continents
There are seven continents in the world; Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia. Asia is the largest, and Australia is the smallest continent. The total world population is 7,576,600,561.
List of continents with their population and area:-
Asia is the largest continent in the world. It is the largest in the area as it covers one-third of the landmass of the earth as well as it is the highest in population as it covers sixty percent of all the population in the world. Its latitudes are 100 S to 800 N, and its longitudes are 250 E to 1700 E. It consists of forty-eight independent countries divided into five different groups; East-Asia, South-East Asia, South-Asia, West-Asia, and Central Asia. Russia, which is the largest country in the world, belongs to Asia. Countries like India and China, which have the highest population in the world, belong to this continent. It is the home of some important animals like pandas, Indian rhinoceroses, yaks, tigers, etc. Mount Everest, the highest mountain of the world, as well as the Dead Sea, the lowest part of the earth, is located in Asia.
It is the second-largest continent in the world. Its latitudes are 370 N and 350 S, and its longitudes are 180 W and 510 E. Four water bodies surrounding it; in the north Mediterranean Sea, in the north-east Red Sea, in the east the Indian Ocean, and in the west the Atlantic Ocean. The equator, the tropic of Capricorn, the tropic of cancer, and the prime meridian all are passing through Africa. Its countries became independent in the last sixty years as now it has more than fifty independent countries. The Nile, which is the longest river in the world, as well as the Sahara, the largest desert of the earth, belongs to this continent. It is the continent of the world's largest production of chocolate. And it also has the world's largest diamond mine. African animals are considered the best breed in the world.
3. North America
It is the third-largest continent in the world. Its latitudes are 70 N to 830 N, and its longitudes are 530 W to 1800 W. Only Canada and USA, which is the largest country of this continent, occupy 75 % of its total area. Presently its three largest countries are the USA, Canada, and Mexico. This continent has many islands, as the Caribbean islands, also known as West Indies. Another island, Greenland, is under the control of Denmark. North America is one of the world's largest economies. It is the continent with the largest producer of corn as well as the home of the smallest owl named elf. The third longest river Mississippi flows here.
4. South America
It is the fourth largest continent in the world. Its latitudes are 130 N to 550 S, and its longitudes are 350 W to 810 W. Presently, it has twelve independent countries in which Brazil is the largest one. Its islands like; Falkland and South Georgia are controlled by the United Kingdom, whereas Guiana is controlled by France. It is the continent with the largest production of coffee and also the home to the biggest snakes in the world. The highest waterfall, as well as the river Amazon, is on this continent.
It is the fifth-largest continent in the world. As Antarctica centered around the South Pole, it is round in shape. The Whole year it is covered with ice; that is why it is also called the white continent as well as the coolest continent. This continent is the scientific destination for several countries as many have built scientific stations. The first Indian scientific station on this continent was Dakshin Gangotri which was built on 9th January 1982. Another Indian scientific station is Maitri, built from 1988 to 1989. Due to ice, it's not easy for someone to go there. Only in the summer season ship can go there. The largest ice shelf of this continent is the Ross Ice Shelf which is the only way to ships goes there. It is the home for the penguins.
It is the sixth-largest continent in the world. Its latitude is 360 N to 720 N, and its longitude is 100 W to 600 E. it is also surrounded by three water bodies; in the north, it is the Arctic Ocean; in the west, it is the Atlantic Ocean, and in the south Mediterranean Sea. It also has fifty independent countries, and it is the continent with the longest rail route.
It is the smallest continent in the world. Its latitude is 100 S to 440 S, and its longitude is 1120 E to 1540 E. it is also considered as a country as it is the sixth-largest country in the world with six states and two Federal Territories (Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory). The Capital of the country is Canberra. It is home to some animals, like the kangaroo, emu, etc. It has a wide variety of eucalyptus plants as well as it is the continent with the largest production of wool. This continent is also known as Oceania.
Variations in the number of continents
Further, as we know, basically, there are seven continents. But after combining, it also becomes four, five, or six continents in number.
Seven Continents - Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, Australia, and Antarctica
Six Continents - (Asia + Europe = Eurasia), Africa, North America, South America, Australia, Antarctica.
Six Continents - (North America + South America = America), Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, Antarctica.
Five Continents - Eurasia, America, Africa, Australia, Antarctica
Four Continents - (Africa + Eurasia = Afro-Eurasia), America, Australia, Antarctica.
Different maps used by the countries
The different countries used their different maps according to their number of continents; the countries like Russia, Japan, and Eastern Europe follow the six-continent map of (Asia + Europe = Eurasia). The countries like; Greece, Latin America, etc., follow the map of six-continent (North America + South America = America). However, most of the countries follow the seven continents map.
Significance of five rings in the flag of Olympic
When we see the flag of the Olympics there, we find five rings. That five rings denote the five continents as (North America + South America =America), Asia, Europe, Africa, and Australia. The last one, Antarctica, is not included here as the continent is without a human being.
Formation of different kinds of continents by the movements of tectonic plates
Continents are also divided on the basis of the Tectonic plates like the continent Europe, and the major part of Asia are combined as a Eurasian plate. However, it is also considered that countries like India, Arabia, and some parts of Russia are no longer part of the Eurasian tectonic plate. Therefore from the above statement, we can say that since the Tectonic plates are moving regularly so in the future, the geography of the continent may be changed accordingly.
Moreover, according to the movement of Tectonic plates, there are different forms of continents like:
Supercontinent - When almost all the continents are combined together, it forms a supercontinent. E.g., Columbia formed (two billion years ago), and Rodinia formed (one billion years ago). Later these were broken and divided into different continents. Sometimes it formed due to combining the plates or sometimes due to breaking the plates.
Subcontinents -When the two continents combine, one continent in the combination is said to be subcontinent. For example, Asia or Europe in the Eurasia will be the subcontinent. Sometimes islands are also called subcontinent like Greenland is said to be subcontinent.
Submerged continents - The land area of earth covered by the water bodies is called submerged continents like Zealandia in new Zeeland.
Microcontinent - These continents are formed after breaking a small part from the continent. It is called so because it is very small in size, e.g., Zealandia from New Zeeland, Madagascar from Africa. These microcontinents are also referred to as an island.