The Largest Continent on Earth’s Surface – Continents are the largest land masses on earth that have sizes from large and small. In one continent consists of various countries based on area. Hundreds of millions of years ago the earth had only one giant continent called Pangea . Due to the movement of the tectonic plates within the earth, changes and movements of the plates occur, thereby changing the continents of the future.
Experts estimate North America is moving away from the South American continent. Then there was a movement that made new continents on the surface of the earth. There are 7 of the largest continents on the surface of the earth which are the main continents on earth based on their surface area, namely the continents of Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Antarctica, Australia and Asia.
Geographers then identified continents. Not only land, continents are also counted from nearby related islands. For example, the island countries of Japan and Indonesia are included in the Asian continent. Meanwhile, Greenland and the islands in the Caribbean are included in the North American continent.
In general, continents are land masses connected to each other. Some people connect the continents of Europe and Asia to form a single continent of Eurasia. However, experts distinguish continents based on the plates beneath them. The continents of Europe and Africa have one mass, while the continent of Asia is marked by the Ural plate and mountains. These mountains separate the continents of Asia and Europe. Check out the following reviews about the largest continent on the surface of the earth.
The order of the largest continents on the surface of the Earth
1. Continent of Asia
Asia is the largest continent on earth’s surface bordered by the Ural Mountains and the Caucasus and the Arctic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. This continent covers 8.7% of the total surface area of the earth and comprises 30% of its land area. With around 4.3 billion people, they make up 60% of the world’s human population today. Asia has a high growth rate in the modern era. For example, during the 20th century, Asia’s population nearly quadrupled.
The continents of Asia and Europe are continents that are connected by land and both form a giant continent known as Eurasia. The boundaries between Asia and Europe are so blurred that countries like Turkey can sometimes be included in both Asia and Europe. Some of the natural landscapes that are often used to separate the two continents are the Dardanelles Strait, Marmara Sea, Bosphorus Strait, Black Sea, Caucasus Mountains, Caspian Sea, Ural River (or Emba River), and the Ural Mountains to Novaya Zemlya. Apart from being directly adjacent to the European Continent, the Asian Continent also has a direct border with the African Continent which has land borders and meets around the Suez Canal.
Given its size and diversity, the Asian concept – the name goes back to classical times – may actually have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia is extremely diverse and within each of its regions there are well-defined ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economies, historical relationships, and systems of government.
2. Continent of Africa
Africa is the second largest continent on earth’s surface and the second most populous after Asia. With an area of 30,224,050 km² including adjacent islands, Africa covers 20.3% of the total land area of the earth. With 800 million people in 54 countries, this continent is home to one seventh of the world’s population. With a population of 1.3 billion people as of 2018, this continent accounts for around 16% of the world’s human population.
The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. This continent includes Madagascar and various islands. The continent also contains 54 fully recognized sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition . The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with most and most of the countries in the Southern Hemisphere.
Africa’s average population is the youngest of all continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide average was 30.4. Algeria is the largest country in Africa by area, and Nigeria is the country with the largest population.
Africa, especially central East Africa, is widely accepted as the origin of humans and the clade Hominidae (great apes), as evidenced by the discoveries of the earliest hominids and their and later ancestors dating back to about 7 million years, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster – The earliest Homo sapiens (modern humans), discovered in Ethiopia, around 200,000 years ago.
Africa straddles the equator and includes many climatic regions; it is the only continent that extends from the northern temperate zone to the southern temperate zone. Africa hosts a great diversity of human ethnicities, cultures, and languages. At the end of the 19th century, European countries colonized almost all of Africa; most countries in Africa emerged from the decolonization process in the 20th century. African countries work together through the formation of the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.
3. Continent of North America
North America is the third straight continent in the northern hemisphere. To the north it is bordered by the Arctic Ocean and to the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, while to the south by the Caribbean Sea and to the west by the North Pacific Ocean. This continent covers an area of 24,500,000 km² or about 4.8% of the earth’s surface.
In 2016, the population is estimated at more than 579 million people. This continent is the third largest continent by area, after Asia and Africa, and is ranked fourth by population, after Asia, Africa and Europe. Both North and South America are named after Amerigo Vespucci, who was the first European to come up with the idea that America was not the same as the East Indies. He was the first European to discover the New World.
The only land connection from North America to South America is the Isthmus of Panama. (For geopolitical reasons, all of Panama – including the eastern section of the Panama Canal is often considered part of North America as well). However, according to some scholars, North America did not start on the isthmus of Panama, but on the isthmus of Tehuantepec, with the blocking area considered central America and resting on the Caribbean plate.
Most people tend to think of Central America as North America because they think that this area is too small to be a continent on its own. Greenland, although it is part of North America geographically and on the same tectonic plate (the North American plate), is not considered part of this continent politically.
4. Continent of South America
South America is the fourth largest continent on the surface of the earth, located between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, which is connected to North America via the Isthmus of Panama. The continent is crossed by the equator, and most of the continent’s plains are in the Southern Hemisphere.
The western part of the South American continent consists of the Andes mountain range from north to south, while the eastern part of the continent is a lowland, mostly the Amazon river basin, with dense tropical forests.
Allegedly, South America was first inhabited by humans who migrated from Asia through the Bering Isthmus (now the Bering Strait) to North America and south to South America. Another conjecture regarding this migration to South America is from the southern part of the Pacific Ocean via the islands in Oceania.
The area of South America is ranked fourth after Asia, Africa and North America, while the population is ranked fifth after Asia, Africa, Europe and North America.
5. Continent of Antarctica
Antarctica is the fifth largest continent on the surface of the earth which includes the South Pole of the Earth, almost entirely located in the Antarctic Circle and surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean. With an area of 14.0 million km 2 (5.4 million sq mi), Antarctica is the fifth largest continent after Eurasia, Africa, North America, and South America. In comparison, Antarctica is almost twice the size of Australia. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice which averages a minimum thickness of 1.9 km, the entire land area extends but in the north reaches the Antarctic Peninsula.
Antarctica has the lowest average humidity, the lowest average temperature of all the continents on earth, the driest continent, the windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Antarctica is considered a desert, with only 200 mm (8 inches) of rain along the coast and much less inland.
The coldest place on earth is mostly covered in ice all year round reaching -89 °C (-129 °F). The population is the smallest far below the others (generally inhabited by researchers and scientists for a certain time only) around 1000 to 5000 people. Only organisms that can live and adapt to cold temperatures include various types of fungi, algae, bacteria, protists, plants, besides animals such as penguins, nematodes, seals. There is only tundra vegetation.
Legends and speculation about a Terra Australis (Southern Land) date back to ancient times, the first generally accepted discovery of the continent occurring in 1820 and the first recorded landing in 1821. However, a map made by Admiral Piri Reis in 1513 shows a southern continent which thought to be the coast of Antarctica. Antarctica is a free zone, although until now there are still several countries in the world that claim ownership of the territory on the Antarctic continent.
6. Continental Europe
Europe is geologically and geographically the largest peninsula or subcontinent on the surface of the earth’s sixth (jazirah). Separation as a continent is more due to cultural differences. It is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Mediterranean Sea. The eastern boundary is still unclear because the separation of the continent itself was initiated by cultural factors. The boundaries that are often used as the boundaries of the continents of Europe and Asia are the Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea.
This continent is the second smallest continent after Australia with an area of 10,180,000 km², whereas when calculated from its population, this continent is in third place with the most population (below Asia and Africa) with 742.5 million people in 2013 or equal to one eighth of the world’s population. The European continent is astronomically located at 35° N – 71° N and 11° West – 66° E.
Europe has a long cultural and economic history, starting with the Palaeolithic. The recent discovery at Monte Poggiolo, Italy, of thousands of handcrafted rocks that are carbon dated as far back as 800,000 years ago, provides important evidence.
The beginnings of Western democratic and individualistic culture are often attributed to Ancient Greece, although other influences, such as Christianity, also contributed to the spread of concepts such as egalitarianism and universality of law.
The Roman Empire divided the continent along the Rhine and Danube for several centuries. Following the decline of the Roman Empire, Europe experienced the rise of what is known as the Age of Migration. The period is known as the Dark Ages right up to the Renaissance. During this time, isolated monastic communities in Ireland, and elsewhere guarded, and carefully amassed the written knowledge that had previously been accumulated. The Renaissance and New Monarchies marked the beginning of a period of discovery, exploration and increase in scientific knowledge.
In the 15th century, Portugal opened the beginnings of discovery followed by Spain. Later France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom joined in building large colonial empires with vast territories in Africa, America and Asia.
After a period of discovery, democratic concepts began to gain influence in Europe. Struggles for independence arose, especially in France during the period known as the French Revolution. This caused great upheaval in Europe as these revolutionary ideas spread across the continent.
The rise of democracy caused increasing tensions in Europe in addition to the tensions that were already there because of competition in the New World. Of these, the most famous conflict was when Napoleon Bonaparte seized power, and created the French Empire which fell shortly thereafter. After these events, Europe has slowly stabilized, but the remnants of the old period’s concepts have begun to crumble.
The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, which led to a shift away from agriculture, increasing public prosperity and population growth. Many countries in Europe found their present form post-World War II. Since the end of World War II until the Cold War, Europe was divided into two main political and economic blocs: the communist countries in Eastern Europe, and the capitalist countries in Western Europe. Around 1989, the East Bloc broke apart with the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Geographically, Europe is part of the larger landmass known as Eurasia. The continent begins with the Ural Mountains in Russia, which defines Europe’s eastern boundary with Asia. The southeastern boundary with Asia is not clearly defined. Most common are the Ural River or the Emba River. The boundary continues with the Caspian Sea, and then the Caucasus Mountains, or the Kuma-Manych Depression, and all the way to the Black Sea; The Bosporus, Sea of Marmara and Dardanelles end the boundaries of Asia. The Mediterranean Sea to the south separates Europe from Africa. The boundary on the west is the Atlantic Ocean.
7. Continental Australia
The Australian continent is located in the eastern and southern parts of Indonesia. With an area of 8,945,000 km 2 . Discovered by James Cook from England in 1770. Therefore, until now Australia is still included in the British Commonwealth.
In geology, Australia (also called Australia-New Guinea, Sahul, Meganesia, Greater Australia, Australasia, or Australinea) is a continent consisting of (in size groups) the Australian mainland, New Guinea, Tasmania, and several nearby islands, which are located on the same continental shelf. The area is separated by seas beyond the continental shelf — the Arafuru Sea and the Torres Strait between Australia, New Guinea and the Bass Strait between mainland Australia and Tasmania.
This land was once united, but because of the ice that existed during the last glacial period melted, and submerged parts of the lowlands. The land that did not sink made the land that is now the island of New Guinea separated from the mainland of the Australian continent.
- Acquaintance with the Inventor of Algebra and Algorithms
- Get to know the history, heyday, and the founder of the Umayyad dynasty
- Understanding Mythology: Origins, Types, and Benefits of Studying It
- Who Founded the Abbasid Daula? This is short profile
- Who Discovered America? This is the historical explanation