What are the 7 Continents of the World?

What are the 7 Continents of the World?
People have a tendency to consider the seven continents when it comes to massive land parts. While this understanding is definitely useful, there’s far more to continents!

Think about, for instance, how all continents have islands which can be separate from the principle land mass. The continent of Australia has islands like New Zealand and Papua New Guinea; Europe has Iceland, Great Britain, Ireland, and Greenland (to call only a few); and Asia is dwelling to Sri Lanka, Japan, and the huge archipelagos of the Philippines and Indonesia. Even Antarctica has islands!

Consider additionally that Europe and Asia are a part of the identical land mass however are deemed to be two separate continents. This separation is as a result of the cultures on one aspect of the land mass are considerably completely different from the cultures on the opposite aspect.

To finest perceive the seven continents, fairly than merely eager about land, assume when it comes to geographical options together with shared histories and cultures. Iceland and Greenland are removed from mainland Europe, however they had been each settled by Nordic peoples from Scandinavia; subsequently these areas nonetheless join concerning a cultural ancestry with many Europeans. However, despite the fact that Greenland is ruled by Denmark and was settled by Vikings, it’s thought-about a part of North America.

North America was initially inhabited by quite a few tribes of Native Americans, a few of which nonetheless exist and follow indigenous cultures and traditions. However, they had been overwhelmed by European settlers who introduced slaves from Africa. These settlers went on to construct massive farms that supported massive cities – and for a very long time, each the farms and cities had been largely supported by slave labor. This cultural historical past makes the United States and Canada similar to one another and really completely different from different components of the world.

But what about Mexico? Isn’t Mexico a part of North America? Yes, technically, as are many Central American countries, including Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. In phrases of geographical options, Mexico and Central America, in addition to the Caribbean islands, are a part of North America. Culturally, although, components of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America are typically grouped with South America in a area often known as Latin America.

Most of the people in these countries converse Spanish (though Brazil’s dominant language is notably Portuguese), and the dominant faith is Catholicism. So are Mexico and Central America a part of North America? This reply actually will depend on whether or not you ask a geographer or an anthropologist!

There are seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. Each continent is extraordinarily various – even Antarctica has varied groups of scientists from everywhere in the world, in addition to completely different animals that dwell there. Think of them as mega-regions – they’ve some broad, basic issues in widespread, however when mentioned when it comes to particular person folks teams that dwell on every continent, there could be profound variations.

For instance, the range between the Yupik peoples of Alaska and the inhabitants of New Orleans, despite the fact that they’re on the identical continent, are most likely larger than the variations between the Yupik and the Ainu peoples of Japan. So remember that learning continents requires considering in broad, basic phrases that will not apply to everybody on the continent.


After Asia, Africa is the biggest and most populous of the seven continents. It is probably essentially the most various when it comes to cultures, languages, and other people teams, a few of that are nonetheless untouched by Westernization and modernity. Paleoanthropologists imagine that people originated in Africa and that from there, they migrated all through the remainder of the world. Africa has traditionally been the house of many nice civilizations, reminiscent of these of Ancient Egypt, Timbuktu, and Abyssinia.

Today, there are 55 sovereign states in Africa, although there are literally thousands of folks teams, a lot of which converse their very own languages, have their very own traditions and cultures, and take into account themselves to be nations.

Today, Africa is finest understood as being divided into two areas. North Africa is north of the Sahara desert; its countries are predominantly Muslim, and most people converse Arabic. Sub-Saharan Africa lies south of the Sahara desert, and whereas it consists of many Muslim populations, it additionally has important communities of Christians and different religions.

Of all of the seven continents, Africa suffered the worst results of colonization. The slave commerce led to many Africans being kidnapped and despatched to North America to work on plantations. Countries like Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom ruled countries in such a method that the folks had been compelled into servitude. The colonial governments created countries whose borders had been so arbitrary that folks teams grew to become separated from one another. The results on conventional, indigenous tradition had been disastrous.

Many of the long-standing conflicts in Africa at this time, such because the wars within the Congo, are the legacy of colonialism. The governments of many African countries are notoriously corrupt, and sadly, genocides, reminiscent of these in Rwanda and Sudan, proceed to happen.

However, one success story is that of South Africa. Following the top of Dutch colonial rule, a coverage of apartheid ensured that black Africans had few rights and that whites who lived there loved existence of privilege and status. Thankfully, the autumn of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela confirmed that African countries may heal from the ravages of colonialism. Today in South Africa, although, there are nonetheless important disparities between whites and blacks, and plenty of blacks stay in dire poverty.

Today, countries in Africa have a number of the lowest human growth indexes (HDIs) on this planet. Nearly all the 30 countries with the bottom HDIs, as reported by the United Nations, are in Africa; lacking from the checklist is Somalia, within the horn of Africa, which is taken into account to be a failed state and is likely one of the most impoverished and harmful locations on this planet. However, Africa is ample in pure sources and hard-working folks; what’s holding the continent again is the corrupt governments and longstanding conflicts that got here to dominate the scene following the withdrawal of colonial governments. Africa isn’t poor however fairly poorly managed.

Africa’s geography is dominated by the Sahara desert, which is the world’s largest desert and is rising because of the environmental disaster. The Nile River is presumably the longest river on this planet (although some imagine that the Amazon may very well be longer), and it supplies water to the countries of Sudan and Egypt. Africa has huge savannahs and woodlands, however the continent is being deforested at twice the global common. Giant land animals, reminiscent of elephants, giraffes, and rhinoceroses, are endangered due to poaching. Given that a lot of the continent is impoverished and beneath corrupt governments, addressing the environmental disaster in Africa requires international motion.

The African Union, which shaped in 2001 and consists of all 55 African countries, could be seen as a corollary to the European Union. It has strengthened relations amongst nations in Africa and hopes to work to lower poverty and finish human rights violations. One notable signal of success in Africa is that through the civil warfare within the Congo, neighboring African countries, fairly than Western countries, have been intervening and trying to advertise peace and reconciliation. With help from international organizations, countries all throughout Africa will change into much more empowered to raise themselves out of poverty and deal with the environmental disaster.


This continent is the biggest of the seven, with 30% of the earth’s land mass and 60% of its inhabitants. It is linked to the principle land mass of Europe, with the border outlined considerably by the Ural Mountains that run by Russia and the Bosphorus that cuts by Turkey. Two countries are cut up between Europe and Asia: Turkey and Russia. Additionally, Asia borders North Africa through the sections that Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia share with Egypt.

There are many massive areas inside Asia. The Middle East stretches from Turkey by Saudi Arabia and is dominated by Sunni Islam and the Arabic language, though a major variety of Christians, Jews, and followers of different religions and audio system of different languages dwell there, as properly. Central Asia goes from Iran to the border of India. India is taken into account a area in and of itself, however it is similar, in addition to conflicts, with its neighboring countries that had been carved out of it – Pakistan and Bangladesh. East Asia has massive, influential, and highly effective countries like Mongolia, China, South Korea, and Japan. Southeast Asia consists of many coastal and island nations, reminiscent of Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

As with Europe, students who examine Asia ask the query, “What is Asia?” The consensus is that the entity of Asia is the mirror by which Europeans understood their very own identities through the colonial period, notably from the 1700s by 1900s. In different phrases, Asia was the a part of the world that was not European, and the concept of a European id was based mostly on the concept Europeans weren’t Asian.

Much of Asia was closely colonized by European powers, maybe most prominently India’s colonization by the United Kingdom. The conflicts between Pakistan and India at this time, in addition to many different conflicts in Asia, are the legacies of European colonization in Asia. That stated, earlier than colonization, Asia had a number of the earliest civilizations and biggest empires on this planet.

Asia has a number of the most excessive geography on the planet. The Himalayas are the biggest mountain vary on this planet, and the Gobi desert is likely one of the largest deserts on this planet. Siberia, on the continent’s northern finish, is frozen for a lot of the 12 months, whereas the South Asian area is tropical and heat. Monsoons in India and close by countries convey periodic floods, and temperature swings in some places could be extraordinarily risky.

In addition to having various geography, of all of the continents, Asia is experiencing maybe essentially the most devastating results of local weather change. Some countries’ coastlines are eroding, and a few islands could quickly disappear altogether.

Asia has traditionally been very poor, primarily because of the results of European colonization, however at this time, a lot of its countries – notably South Korea, Indonesia, China, and India – have rapidly-growing economies. They at the moment are rivaling the economies of countries like Germany and the United States; quickly, Europe’s “mirror” could overshadow it and change into a way more dominant pressure on this planet.


Of all of the seven continents, Europe has the second-smallest landmass (after Australia), however its folks and tradition have achieved extra to form the complete world than these from some other continent. It has about 50 sovereign states, although two of them (Russia and Turkey) are positioned in each Europe and Asia; Armenia, although a party to many European agreements, is definitely in Asia. The smallest country is Luxembourg, measuring at simply 11 miles throughout, whereas Russia is the biggest, which crosses 11 time zones!

Europe is roofed in peninsulas – such because the Iberian Peninsula, Scandinavia, and Italy – and mountain ranges – notably the Alps and Apennines. The frigid tundra of Scandinavia contrasts with the nice and cozy Mediterranean shoreline to the south, however the inside of Europe is generally cool and temperate. Its largest metropolis is Moscow, which has over 16 million folks, and its longest river, the Volga, runs by Russia close to the Asian border.

What is Europe? This query is definitely far more troublesome to reply than may first appear. You may say that the civilizations of Europe started with the rise of the Greek after which Roman Empires. As these empires unfold north and west from the Mediterranean, they influenced peoples all through the complete continent. The Christianization of the Roman Empire, which started with the conversion of Emperor Constantine in 313AD, led to a tradition constructed closely on what is called “Christendom.” When the Roman Empire fell in 476, the seat of energy grew to become the church. The rise of Christian Europe, or Christendom, principally signifies that most cultural establishments, reminiscent of universities and even kings and parliaments, initially started both as extensions of the church or beneath the authority of the church.

The rise of recent Europe – what some students and historians consult with as “post-Christian” Europe – started with World War I and World War II. Much of Eastern Europe, which has a considerable Muslim presence, was beneath the management of the Ottoman Empire, which collapsed following World War I. The rise of communism after World War II unfold into Eastern Europe, primarily by the expansion of the USSR. Communism fell within the late Nineteen Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties, and the European Union was created in 1993 as a method of selling political and economic integration, particularly amongst countries that had previously been communist.

Perhaps the easiest way to reply the query, “What is Europe?” is to take a look at the European Union. Most countries within the EU use a forex often known as the Euro and have democratic governments; moreover, the EU itself is ruled as a democracy. EU countries are anticipated to comply with legal guidelines which can be handed by the EU, because the purpose of the group is to advertise unity and be certain that the devastation of World War I and World War II doesn’t occur once more.

However, taking a look at Europe when it comes to the EU can also be problematic, because the United Kingdom, which is a geographical a part of Europe, voted in 2016 to depart the EU. Additionally, Turkey is a country that’s on two continents – Europe and Asia – however has been trying to hitch the EU. Russia is by far the biggest country not solely in Europe, however on this planet; it additionally stretches from Europe into Asia, however isn’t part of the EU. Norway is a part of continental Europe, and Iceland is an island midway throughout the Atlantic, and neither one among them is a member of the EU.

So what’s Europe? Is it a land mass? Is it a set of cultures? Is it a political physique? As talked about earlier than, the reply to that query really will depend on who you ask. What could be stated is that it’s not a set of states or kings which have their roots in Christendom or the church however fairly whose values are rooted in democracy and human rights.

North America

In phrases of land mass, North America is the third-largest of the seven continents. It additionally has simply three countries including Canada, the United States of America, and Mexico. It extends from Alaska’s Aleutian Islands, which stretch to the maritime border with Russia, right down to the tiny Isthmus of Panama, and all the best way to Greenland off the japanese coast of Canada.

North America has essentially the most volcanoes of all seven continents, each within the mountainous areas of Central America and within the Pacific Northwest, which is a part of the ring of fireplace. Even Yellowstone National Park is taken into account to be a supervolcano – if it erupted, the devastation would envelop a lot of the continent. There are each massive deserts and temperate rainforests, so referred to as as a result of these rainforests are in colder climates fairly than in tropical ones.

No cultural pressure has impacted North America extra profoundly than immigration. That isn’t true solely due to the political debates about permitting immigrants into the United States but additionally as a result of immigrants conquered the indigenous peoples of the United States in addition to Canada and took over their lands to construct their settlements.

Before Christopher Columbus’ landmark voyage in 1492 (which got here 500 years after Leif Erikson found North America), the continent was populated by Native American tribes, such because the Iroquois, Algonquin, Cherokee, and Taino. Most of the settlers who formed the brand new cultures of the continent had been from Western Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland, and the Netherlands.

The slave commerce had a huge effect on the event of North America’s cultures. Many settlers and their descendants relied on slaves to do back-breaking labor on massive plantations, which fueled industries reminiscent of cotton, sugarcane, and tobacco. These industries allowed the financial system to develop in order that the United States and Canada may commerce with Europe. The cultures that the slaves introduced from Africa by no means totally went away – hallmarks of American tradition, reminiscent of jazz and barbecue, hint their origins to traditions that slaves introduced in from West Africa.

Today, North American tradition is taken into account to be a “melting pot” of all the completely different immigrant teams which have formed the continent. For instance, anyone in Canada whose ancestors had been largely Irish could have adopted cultural traits of individuals from locations as distant as West Africa and East Asia and have only a few similarities with Irish folks in Ireland.

Immigration continues to form and affect the event of tradition in North America; at this time, the sight of ladies carrying hijabs (head scarfs), males carrying turbans, and different spiritual clothes that doesn’t have its origins within the West is turning into extra widespread.

Canada and the United States owe their total existence to immigration. However, immigration has not benefitted everybody, specifically, indigenous peoples. Entire tribes had been worn out because of the growth of settlers in North America. Recent a long time have seen some victories for the rights of indigenous peoples, however they’re nonetheless preventing for issues like land and sources, that are being destroyed within the current environmental disaster.

North America’s geography is as various as its cultures. The Rocky Mountains minimize the continent in half from prime to backside, transferring in a seam from Canada all the best way down into Colorado. The Canadian Shield is an enormous plateau characterised by quite a few lakes and rocky terrain. Northern components of Canada and far of Alaska have glaciers, whose motion has deposited sediment that makes the farmlands notably fertile.

The largest river in North America is the Mississippi River, and the best mountain peak is Denali in Alaska. The plant and animal biodiversity of North America is threatened by the environmental disaster, notably the growth of oil drilling and the usage of fracking to extract hard-to-reach oil. These urgent issues are additionally endangering the protection of lakes, rivers, and aquifers (underground lakes), which individuals, crops, and animals depend on for water.

South America And Latin America

South America’s panorama is dominated by the Andes Mountains on the west, which type the world’s longest mountain vary. The Amazon rainforest isn’t solely the biggest, but additionally essentially the most various rainforest on this planet. It dominates the center of the continent and is fed by the Amazon River, which has lengthy been thought-about the second-longest river on this planet however may very well be the longest. The rainforest is surrounded by highlands, and the dry coastal plains cowl a lot of the west. Contrasting with the Amazon rainforest is the Atacama desert in Chile, the driest desert on this planet. It is so dry that there are only a few micro organism and fungi there.

Since Mexico and Central America are culturally extra much like South America, the complete area is right here grouped as Latin America. Though the time period “Latin America” usually refers to Spanish-speaking countries, the area is extremely various, and plenty of languages apart from Spanish are spoken there. In Brazil, the dominant language is Portuguese, and countries like Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela have their very own dialects of Spanish. There are many indigenous folks teams that dwell all through Latin America, reminiscent of descendants of the Maya, Aztecs, and Inca, they usually nonetheless converse the indigenous languages of their ancestors.

Some islands within the Caribbean, such because the Greater and Lesser Antilles, are thought-about a part of South America, whereas others, reminiscent of Cuba, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, are thought-about to be a part of North America. In phrases of tradition, the peoples that inhabit these islands most likely have extra in widespread with these of Latin America.

Latin America was initially the house of thriving civilizations of indigenous peoples, such because the Olmecs, Aztecs, Maya, and Incas. Beginning within the sixteenth century, Spanish conquistadors (“conquerors” – most notably Hernando Cortes in Mexico and Francisco Pizarro in Peru), Portuguese explorers, and different overseas powers arrived and commenced colonizing the indigenous peoples. Their civilizations shortly collapsed, and their cultures are not dominant.

Today’s cultures all through Latin America are most likely finest described as a fusion of indigenous traditions and overseas influences. For instance, you possibly can journey to someplace like Ecuador or Chile and discover conventional practices, reminiscent of basket-weaving and making pottery, however the patterns and designs could also be very a lot influenced by Spanish or British tradition. Many holidays and feast days have their origins in indigenous traditions – Día de los Muertos, one of the vital well-known holidays in Latin America, has its roots within the Aztec and Mayan cultures.

While the overwhelming majority of individuals in Latin America converse a European language – particularly Spanish or Portuguese – as their native languages and have many European-based traditions, there are numerous teams of indigenous peoples. For instance, the Nahua in Mexico are the descendants of the Aztecs, and many individuals all through Ecuador, Peru, and Chile are descendants of the Incas. The excessive mountains that cross these lands have allowed conventional methods of life to stay extra intact, as constructing massive cities and connecting the mountain villages could be very troublesome. There are nonetheless some tribes of indigenous peoples that haven’t but been contacted, notably within the Amazon Rainforest.

The geography of Latin America has helped indigenous traditions stay alive, however a lot of its pure options, particularly the Amazon Rainforest, are in nice hazard. The deforestation of the rainforest could be seen in satellite tv for pc photographs from outer house, which is especially harmful contemplating that the rainforest holds one-third of the world’s biodiversity. The indigenous peoples that inhabit the rainforest are regularly pressuring the Brazilian government – the place many of the rainforest is positioned – to guard the land. They have met with some success, however deforestation continues and, in some areas, it’s growing. Some indigenous peoples at the moment are connecting with NGOs and different exterior group to guard what’s left of the rainforest and attempt to start repairing the injury.



There is a country referred to as Australia, and it’s the largest country within the continent of Australia. To distinguish between the country and the continent, some have advised calling the continent Meganesia (“nice continent”) or “Australinea.” Out of the seven continents, Australia is the smallest. It consists of the countries of Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea, in addition to some parts of the Indonesian archipelago (often known as West Papua).

Australia is a continent of extremes, culturally and geographically. The Great Barrier Reef contrasts with the well-known Outback and the uncontacted folks teams of West Papua and Papua New Guinea lie in distinction with the heavily-Westernized tradition of the country of Australia.

The country of Australia was initially inhabited by indigenous folks teams which can be collectively known as “aborigines.” The United Kingdom colonized Australia, primarily as a penal colony, which means that it served as a large jail as a result of the jails in London had been full. Sadly, most of the authentic aborigine teams at the moment are totally extinct, and their languages and traditions are misplaced perpetually. Today, Australia has its personal parliament and structure, however the head of its government is the British monarch, who at the moment is Queen Elizabeth II.

Modern Australia has a number of the most various, multicultural cities on this planet, reminiscent of Sydney and Melbourne, due to the robust European affect on an indigenous, oceanic inhabitants. As many as 250 languages are expressed in Sydney, and 60% of the inhabitants isn’t native English audio system. Against a backdrop of such range and Western affect, the aboriginal peoples of Australia should battle for his or her rights. They are banned from the sacred website of Ayers Rock, which, mockingly, is routinely visited by vacationers.

In distinction to the modernization of the country of Australia, Papua New Guinea and West Papua have a number of the most distant folks teams. There are roughly 44 uncontacted folks teams in West Papua. While many of the residents of the country of Australia dwell in main cities, lower than 1/5 of the inhabitants of Papua New Guinea lives in city areas. They largely have conventional, rural existence.

New Zealand is a extremely developed country that has a lot in widespread with the country of Australia, in that it’s closely Westernized and urbanized but additionally has a major minority of indigenous peoples. New Zealand is typically thought-about to be a part of a area often known as Oceania fairly than belonging to Australia. However, many geographers and historians have a tendency to incorporate Oceania as a part of Australia.

Much of the Australian continent is tropical, and the Papuan islands have common monsoon seasons. While the islands are largely rainforests, a lot of the country of Australia is a desert generally often known as the Outback. Australia has been considerably affected by local weather change. Summers that have already got hovering temperatures have, lately, change into so scorching and dry that wildfires threatened to destroy massive swathes of land. The Great Barrier Reef, one of many world’s ecological treasures, is perilously near dying due to adjustments within the water.




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