Continents of the World
Continents of the World

How many Continents are there?

The world is an expansive place, and there are several continents split up across the world. Since the separation of Pangea way back when, the continents have been split up between multiple hemispheres, giving everyone a continent for themselves. In today’s OnlyQuestion article, we take a look at how many continents there are, and what they are!

How many continents are there?

Since the collapse of Pangea, there earth’s surface was divided into 7 continents. These are Asia, North America, Europe, Africa, South America, Antarctica, and Oceania. These seven continents are surrounded by the seven seas and include 195 countries.

What are the continents around the world?

Asia

Asia is currently the largest, and therefore most populous continent in the world and is located in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres.

Asia spans approx. 44.5 million km2 and as of 2018, has a population of 4.5 billion people. The 3 largest countries in Asia are China, Indonesia, and India. This makes Asia one of the largest continents on search.

A fun fact about Asia is that two countries (Russia and Turkey) are both split into Asia and Europe.

The continent of Asia
The continent of Asia on the Left in Green

North America

North America is one of the most popular continents in the Northern and Western Hemispheres. Bordered by sea on every corner (the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Pacific to the west).

North America spans approx. 24.7 million km2 and has a population of 600 million people (2019). The 3 largest countries in North America are the United States of America (USA), Canada, and Mexico.

North America on Map
North America

Europe

Europe is the most well-known continent and spans most countries in the world. Europe is a continent that spreads into Asia (known as Eurasia) and is entirely in the Northern Hemisphere, however, leaks into the Eastern Hemisphere too.

Europe spans 10.5 million km2 and has a population of 750 million (2019). The 3 largest countries in Europe (not including Russia as parts of this spread into Eurasia), are Ukraine, France, and Spain.

Europe on the Map
Europe on the Map

Africa

Africa is the second most populous and second largest continent on this list, and around the world. Africa spans 30 million km2 and is almost entirely within the Southern Hemisphere. Africa covers around 20% of the world’s surface and has multiple languages spoken.

As of 2019, Africa is home to 1.4 million people and accounts for around 17% of the world’s population. The 3 largest countries in Africa are Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan.

A fun fact about Africa is that it’s one of the largest bodies of land, where there are more languages spoken than in major cities. It’s believed as of 2022, there are 1750-2000 languages spoken. This is mostly down to local tribes but also multiple cultures, such as in Algeria where there is Arabic, French, and English.

Continents of Africa
Continent of Africa

South America

South America is one of the hottest continents on the planet, and is entirely in the Western Hemisphere, with leakage into the North Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere.

South America is home to around 450 million people and spans 17.5 million km2 of land. The three largest countries in South America are Brazil, Argentina, and Peru. Note, that Columbia is close to overtaking Peru in 3rd place.

Did you know that South America is the biggest coffee produced in the world, as well as is home to the longest river that runs throughout? We know you’ve heard of it – it’s the Amazon river!

Antarctica

Antarctica is one of the oldest continents in the planet and is virtually uninhabited due to the conditions. The continent of Antarctica is at the South Pole and is all within the South Hemisphere. Antarctica is 13.6 million km2 and on occasion, the population can be anywhere from 1,000 – 5,000 people.

This is mostly due to the conditions, and the continent being used for scientific research. Although there are no “countries” in Antarctica, nations such as France, Norway, the USA, and New Zealand (and Australia) have all claimed parts of the continent.

As you may already know, a fun fact about Antarctica is that it’s not only the least populated continent, it’s also one of the coldest – we think that’s because of the ice! It’s great for Penguins, as it’s believed there are over 10 million penguins living there.

Oceania

Oceana is the last continent on this list but is home to many Islands and countries that are surrounded by seas (hence the name). Oceana covers 8.5 million km2 and is home to around 42 million people.

Although Oceania is mostly covered and surrounded by oceans, the three biggest countries in Oceania are Australia, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand.

What makes a Continent?

As we already know, a continent is a large mass of land that is made up of several countries and territories, but what makes it a continent? At the time of writing, there is no “specification”. So what defines a continent?

For the most part, a continent does have or is surrounded by one of the major oceans as well as possible mountain ranges. If you look at Europe and Asia, and even in the middle east – this continent model has major mountains such as the Ural mountains and is surrounded by oceans such as the pacific ocean.

Something to note is that all continents on earth overlap with tectonic plates, which is why we get earthquakes more commonly in some places than others.

Although there is nothing specific that defines a continent, this is still something that you should look for when looking into these land areas.

Conclusion

Overall, the seven continents and seven seas that surround those continents make up all the geographical locations that we know as the world. Got any more questions about continents or the world? Let us know and let us help you get the right answer!

We are in the process of writing all things geography. Stay in touch with us to read our large continuous content about geography.

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