Continents are very large landmasses found on Earth. The Earth has seven such continents. They are (from largest in size to the smallest): Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia.
List of Continents in the World
Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent on Earth. It covers 30% of the Earth’s land area. Asia hosts about 60% of the world’s current human population. The continent of Europe along with Asia form the world’s largest landmass, Eurasia, however these two continents on land are divided by the Ural mountains which stretch right up to the Caspian Sea. By water, it is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the South by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean.
Africa is the second-largest and also the second most populated continent in the world, after Asia. The continent of Africa covers 20.4% of the world’s total land area. Africa has a population of 1 billion which accounts for about 14.72% of the world’s human population. Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to its north, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Suez Canal and the Red Sea in the northwest. Africa is widely regarded to be the continent where humans originated. Africa is located on the equator and experiences a number of climate changes. It is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate regions.
North America is the third largest continent. It occupies 16.5% of the planet’s land area. In 2008, its population was estimated at nearly 529 million people. It is the fourth most populous continent after Asia, Africa and Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.
South America is the fourth largest continent in terms of area. It is also the fifth most populous continent after Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. South America is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean. South America includes 12 independent countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela and French Guiana. South America is home to the world’s highest waterfall, the largest river by volume, the longest mountain range, the world’s largest rainforest, the driest place on earth and many other geographical wonders.
Antarctica is the fifth largest continent in area. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages about 1.6 kilometers in thickness. It is the coldest, driest and windiest continent. Antarctica is considered a desert, with only 8 inches of rainfall in a year. There are no permanent residents on this island, but only a few thousands of people, who live here at the research stations found across the continent. Temperatures in Antarctica can drop to as low as -89 degrees Celsius. Antarctica is home to a variety of penguin species who have adapted to these harsh conditions. This region is also vital for the survival of the ecosystem.
Europe by convention, is one of the world’s seven continents divided from Asia by the Ural mountains stretching right up to the Caspian Sea. It is the world’s second-smallest continent by surface area. It covers about 6.8% of the Earth’s surface area. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea to the south east. Europe is the third most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of 733 million, about 11% of the world’s population.
Australia is the smallest and lowest-lying human-inhabited continent on Earth. As Australia is mostly on a single landmass, it is also referred to as an “island” continent, surrounded by oceans. The continent of Australia also includes nearby islands Tasmania, New Guinea, the Aru Islands, and the Raja Ampat Islands, geologically.
- Find out five things each continent is known for geographically. Like South America is known for the Amazon Forest, The Amazon River etc.
- Which countries form a part of North America?
- Which country is the largest in terms of area, in Asia?