How many continents are there

How many continents are there?

How many continents are thereA continent is a large, continuous area of land of the planet Earth. There are a total of seven continents, namely Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. Together the seven continents constitute less than one-third of the globe’s surface. This is because over two-thirds is covered by water. This article will address all the seven continents respectively.

Africa

The African continent is the world’s second largest continent in the world. It is also the second most populous continent in the world. The African continent has over 1.1 billion inhabitants, which equals about 15 percent of the total world populations. The continent is surrounded by different oceans. To the north of the continent is the Mediterranean Sea, the Indian Ocean on the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean is situated on the west of the continent. The African continent has a total of 54 officially recognized sovereign states. Most countries have been colonized during the late 19th century by European states. It is for this reason that most modern African states still have a European influence and have a European language as their native language. The largest African country by area is Algeria. Nigeria is the largest African nation by population. The African population is also considered to be the youngest of all continents. The worldwide median age is 30.4, while the median age in Africa is 19.7. Moreover, Africa is the only continent that stretches from the northern temperate zones to the southern temperate zones. It also encompasses different climate areas.

Antarctica

Antarctica is the most southern continent on planet Earth and includes the South Pole. Antarctica is completely surrounded by the Southern Ocean and is located in the Southern Hemisphere, entirely south of the Antarctic Circle. Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent after Asia, Africa, North America and South America. With regards to size, Antarctica is about twice the size of Australia. Antarctica is for 98 percent covered by ice and the average thickness of the ice is about 1.9 km. Antarctica is considered to be the coldest, driest and windiest continent of all continents and has the highest elevation. The continent also has an average annual precipitation of only 200 mm. The average temperature on the continent is around – 60 ͦC. So far, there are no permanent human residents on the continent. However, on a yearly basis between 1,000 to 5,000 people visit and reside on the continent for research purposes and they reside at the research stations. The continent does have many animals, including penguins, seals and mites. Antarctica is a condominium. This means that it is a political territory over which multiple states exercise their rights jointly. These states form the Antarctic Treaty System, which all have a consulting status. Thirty-eight states have signed the Antarctic Treaty, which is a legally binding document. This treaty does not only prohibit military action, but also prohibits nuclear waste disposal as well as mineral mining. The treaty also supports scientific research on the continent and protects the ecosystem.

Asia

Asia is the most populous and largest continent on Earth. The Asian continent is located in the Northern and Eastern Hemispheres. As the largest continent on Earth, Asia covers about 30 percent of the total land area. The Asian continent is known for its large size and population as well as its barely populated regions. The continent counts a total of 4.4 billion people. Asia borders the European continent and the border between the two continents is often referred to as Eurasia. China and India are the largest economies in Asia as well as two of the largest in the world. Also, China is the country with the highest population. As a measure of limiting population growth, the Chinese government has introduced a one-child policy a few years ago. This implies that every Chinese family is only allowed to have one child. China has always been a major economic power and attracted a lot of European commerce. The same counts for India. The ancient Indian culture personified Asia and has attracted European colonialism in the past. Asia experienced a fast population growth during the 20th century and continues to grow. The Asian continent is known as the birthplace of the majority of the world’s mainstream religions. These include Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism as well as many other religions. Moreover, Asia varies greatly with regard to its ethnic groups, cultures, government systems, economics and environments.


Australia

Australia is a country as well as a continent. Australia as a country is the sixth-largest country in the world according to its total area, and the country is officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia. It comprises the island of Tasmania and a few smaller islands. The countries that neighbor Australia are East Timor, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea to the north; New-Zealand is located in the south-east of the country and the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are in the north-east. Before the British settlement in the 18th century, Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians, also known as aboriginals. The indigenous Australians now form a minority in the country and are often discriminated against. After the British settlement, the population grew rapidly in the following decades. In 1901, the Commonwealth of Australia was formed and a democratic political system was established. The country comprises six states and several territories. The Australian population is highly concentrated and most people live on the coast or in the eastern states. Currently, Australia is one of the most developed and wealthiest nations in the world. Also, it is ranked 13th regarding military expenditure. Moreover, it also ranks highly regarding education, quality of life and the protection of civil and political rights.

Europe

Europe is a continent that is situated above the African continent, to the west of Asia and to the east of North America. It is bordered by oceans. To the north of Europe is the Arctic Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean is situated to the west and the Mediterranean Sea is located on the south of Europe. The European and Asian continents are separated by the Caucasus Mountains, the Black and Caspian Sea and the Ural River. Europe is the second-smallest continent on Earth since it only covers 2 percent of the total surface of the Earth. Europe has approximately 50 countries of which Russia is the most populous and largest country. The smallest country in Europe is Vatican City. It is both the smallest in population as well as land area. The population in Europe is approximately 750 to 800 million, of which 15 percent lives in Russia. The climate in Europe varies heavily due to the Atlantic currents. Also, the European continent is heavily affected by climate changes. Europe is also known as the place where Western civilization was born. This was particularly in Ancient Greece. The fall of the Roman Empire gave rise to a new era commonly known as the Middle Ages. After the Middle Ages followed the Renaissance period which set the base for the modern era. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European countries colonized countries in Africa, the Americas and the majority of Asia. Currently, most of Europe is part of the European Union. This is a political entity that can be considered to be a federation as well as a confederation having both political, legal and economic responsibilities. Also, the European Union abolished border and immigration controls among its members states. This implies that Europeans can travel freely to other European states.

North America

North America is located in the Northern Hemisphere. Similarly to Europe, it is surrounded by water. To the north of North America is the Arctic Ocean, to the south is the Caribbean Sea, to the west is the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean can be found on the east of the continent. North America is the third largest continent in the world, after Asia and Africa. It covers about 4.8 percent of the total surface on Earth. Moreover, North America is ranked forth with regards to population size. In 23 independent countries, a total population of 565 million was estimated in 2013. The Europeans settled in North America during the so called Age of Discovery and the Early Modern Period. It is for this reason that present ethnic and cultural patterns find its roots in the interactions between indigenous Americans, European colonists and African slaves. Indigenous and African influences can be mostly found in the south of the continent, while European influences are stronger in the north of North America. Due to the different cultural and ethnic patterns, English, Spanish and French are spoken on this continent.

South America

South America is a continent that is almost entirely located in the Southern Hemisphere as well as the Western Hemisphere. To the north and the east of South America is the Atlantic Ocean and to the west of the continent is the Pacific Ocean. The Caribbean Sea and North America are located to the northwest of the continent. South America has a total of twelve states. These states are: Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, Colombia and Suriname. The Falkland Islands are considered to be an overseas territory of Britain, although this is disputed by Argentina. French Guiana is an overseas territory of France and Trinidad and Tobago can also be considered to be part of the South American continent. Moreover, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are part of the Netherlands. South America is the fourth largest continent regarding its area size and the fifth with regards to its populations. Brazil is the country with the highest population. Brazil has more than half of the South American population. After Brazil follow Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela and Peru. The majority of the continent is located in the tropics and a few of the major rivers are the Parana, Amazon and Orinoco. The majority of the population live on the western or eastern coasts of the continent. Most of South America was colonized by Spain and Portugal. It is for this reason that Spanish and Portuguese are the two most commonly used languages in South America.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Article written by: SarahAjaoud
Times read: 2286x
Added: 13-04-2016 22:22
Last modified: 14-04-2016 21:20

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