What’s a continent? Well, you’re living on a continent and it shouldn’t be too difficult to explain it. But as much as you think of it, it seems the term “continent” doesn’t fit our layman’s sense. So what is it? Whatever! How many continents are there? Seven! Just ask any fifth grader.
That’s what’s been taught in school, and we’ll all agree with that. However, if we define a continent as a huge, massive landmass surrounded by the ocean, there might be more or less of it. It doesn’t matter, either. Here are the continents of the world with respect to their landmass.
Landmass: approx. 44.6 million square kilometers (17.2 million square miles);
Population: approx. 4.6 billion people as of 2022;
Density: 150 people per square kilometer (387 people per square mile);
Major countries: China 🇨🇳 Japan 🇯🇵 South Korea 🇰🇷 Singapore 🇸🇬 Indonesia 🇮🇩
Asia is the largest continent in the world. It is located to the east of Europe, west of the Pacific Ocean, and south of the Arctic Ocean. The most notable geographic and physical features include the Himalayan mountain range, the Gobi Desert, the Siberian Plain, and the Great Wall of China, which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Let us know if you’re from Asia.
Landmass: approx. 7.3 million square kilometers (2.8 million square miles);
Population: approx. 371 to 547 million people as of 2022 (although it comprises much of North Africa);
Density: 29.8 people per square kilometer (… people per square mile);
Major countries: Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 United Arab Emirates 🇦🇪 Israel 🇮🇱 Syria 🇸🇾 Iran 🇮🇷
The Middle East is geographically and politically part of Asia but is sometimes seen as a territorial region of its own… not as a continent, but acts as such. It is located between the east of Europe and the rest of Asia to the east, hence the name, Middle East. Some notable geographic features include the Arabian Peninsula, the Red Sea, the Caspian Sea, and the Gulf of Eden.
Let us know if you’re from the Middle East.
Landmass: approx. 30.4 million square kilometers (11.7 million square miles);
Population: approx. 1.3 billion people as of 2022;
Density: 45 people per square kilometer (117 people per square mile);
Major countries: South Africa 🇿🇦 Nigeria 🇳🇬 Egypt 🇪🇬 Kenya 🇰🇪 Madagascar 🇲🇬
Africa is the second-largest continent in the world. It is located south of Europe, west of Asia, and bordered to the east by the Indian Ocean, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Some of the most notable geographic and physical features of Africa include the Sahara Desert, the Nile River, Mountain Kilimanjaro, and the Great Rift Valley. The continent is divided into 54 countries and has a wide variety of languages and ethnicity. It is also known for its diverse cultures, unique wildlife, natural resources, and rich history.
(Fun fact: Did you know that The Factionary is proudly made in Africa?)
Let us know if you’re from Africa.
The Americas, also known as the New World, is a vast landmass consisting of North America, Central America, and South America, stretching from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Tierra del Fuego archipelago in the south. Home to over one billion people and boast an array of cultures, languages, and traditions.
#3. North America
Landmass: approx. 24.7 million square kilometers (9.5 million square miles);
Population: approx. 376 million people as of 2022;
Density: 20 people per square kilometer (51 people per square mile);
Major countries: United States 🇺🇸 Canada 🇨🇦 Mexico 🇲🇽 Cuba 🇨🇺 Jamaica 🇯🇲
North America is dominated by the United States and Canada, with Mexico, Greenland, and various islands comprising smaller nations. Central America is geographically part of North America, but culturally, it is seen as Latin America together with South America. The region is also home to a diverse range of wildlife, including tropical birds, big cats, and marine life.
Let us know if you’re from North America.
#4. South (And Central) America
Landmass: approx. 17.8 million square kilometers (6.8 million square miles);
Population: approx. 441 million people as of 2022;
Density: 25 people per square kilometer (64 people per square mile);
Major countries: Brazil 🇧🇷 Argentina 🇦🇷 Colombia 🇨🇴 Chile 🇨🇱 Bolivia 🇧🇴
South America is the southern continent and is home to twelve countries and the Amazon Rainforest, which is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world. Central America connects North America and South America and is composed of seven countries with vibrant cultures and diverse environments.
Let us know if you’re from South America.
#5. Antarctica 🇦🇶
Landmass: approx. 14.2 million square kilometers (5.5 million square miles);
Population: roughly 1,000 to 5,000 people, seasonally.
Density: 0.01 people per square kilometer (0.03 people per square mile);
Major countries: No countries!
Antarctica, the southernmost continent on Earth, is a place of extremes and intrigue. It is the world’s driest, windiest, and coldest continent. It has an average temperature of below -40 degrees Celsius (-40 degrees Fahrenheit). It is almost entirely covered in ice over 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) thick. Despite these harsh conditions, Antarctica is home to an extraordinary array of wildlife, including seals, penguins, and whales. Regarding its inhabitants, Antarctica does not have a native human population.
(Fun fact: Did you know that Antarctica is the only continent that wasn’t infected with COVID-19?)
Let us know if you’re from Antarctica. We don’t think so!
Landmass: approx. 10.2 million square kilometers (3.9 million square miles);
Population: approx. 746 million people as of 2022;
Density: 34 people per square kilometer (87 people per square mile);
Major countries: United Kingdom 🇬🇧 Germany 🇩🇪 France 🇫🇷 Italy 🇮🇹 Russia 🇷🇺
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere, bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Mediterranean Sea and also Africa to the south. It is also bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Ural Mountains to the east, and west of Asia. Some notable geographic and physical features include the Danube River, the Swiss Alps, the Baltic Sea, and the North Sea. Europe is rich in history and has many of the world’s most famous landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Colosseum in Rome, and the Acropolis in Athens.
Let us know if you’re from Europe.
Landmass: approx. 7.6 million square kilometers (2.9 million square miles);
Population: approx. 25 million people as of 2022;
Density: 3 people per square kilometer (9 people per square mile);
Major countries: Australia 🇦🇺 New Zealand 🇳🇿 Papua New Guinea 🇵🇬 Fiji 🇫🇯 Vanuatu 🇻🇺
Australia, together with Oceania, is a country and continent located in the Southern Hemisphere, surrounded by the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The geography of Australia is characterized by its vast and diverse landscape, with areas ranging from tropical rainforests to vast deserts and snowy mountains. Australia is also known for its unique wildlife, with many species, including kangaroos, koalas, quokkas, and wallabies, all being endemic to the continent.
Let us know if you’re from Australia.
Oceania, often dubbed as the underdog of all continents, isn’t technically a continent but a collection of several islands and archipelago countries, together with Australia and the Pacific Ocean, that make up this unique oceanic region of the world. The most notable feature of Oceania is its incredibly diverse marine and aquatic ecosystem. These include the infamous Great Barrier Reef, the Pacific Ocean, and several active volcanic islands.
Let us know if you’re from Oceania.
What’s Even More?
The Arctic seems like a continent because it is opposite to Antarctica, it’s actually an ocean; Eurasia is the landmass of Europe and Asia, combined; Greenland is a country like Australia but not a continent; Zealandia, also known as the sunken continent, is believed to be hidden beneath the Pacific Ocean; and Atlantis is the mythical continent of the lost city under the Atlantic Ocean.
Let us know if you’re from some other continents not on this list. We’d like to visit!
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Thu, Dec 16, 2021.