Our planet Earth, where all of us live is one of the most diverse planets known to human being. Though there have been so much advances in the astronomy over the years, we have never been able to find a planet as diverse as earth which is home to millions of living organisms like our mother earth is. In the millions and zillions of stars and planets which comprise our universe, our earth is of the size less than the size of the point of a needle. But for us, the small living beings on this planet, this is a very huge home.
Our earth is made up of large land masses known as continents and water bodies known as oceans. The earth has not been like this always as how we see it now. Millions of years before there were only one large land mass and a large ocean surrounding it. Later on the land mass started to split and drift apart surrounded by ocean on all sides. This process is still going on. Now we have 7 continents and 5 oceans which are home to all of us and millions of other living organisms. Let us learn about each of these seven continents and five oceans that make up our planet earth.
The 7 Continents of The World
Continents are the large land masses that we see on our earth. These hard land masses where people and other living organisms walk or crawl and make home are large in size, and are made up of many countries. There are also many small land masses which we call as islands, but continents are very large in size compared to these islands. There are 7 continents on earth. Many people combine the two continents Asia and Europe into a single continent and call it Eurasia. Many others combine the two continents North America and South America into one and call it the American continent. But in general there are seven large land masses on earth, namely Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. You must be wondering to know what are the 7 Continents of the World. You can get all the 7 continents of the world maps as well. Details are as follows!
Before we get into talking in detail about the 7 Continents of the World, you should know a bit of its area and other needful details first. For that we have created a table which would get you all the required details on the go. Kindly follow the table given below and know more about our Continents.
|Continent||Area (km²)||Population||Most Populous City|
|Antarctica||13,720,000||4,490||McMurdo Station, US|
|North America||9,460,000||542,056,000||Mexico City, Mexico|
|South America||6,890,000||392,555,000||São Paulo, Brazil|
Africa is the second largest continent in the world. It is also the second largest continent in the world in terms of population. Africa is commonly referred to as the black continent by many. This large land mass comprises of 54 countries and is home to one billion people. About 15 percent of the world population lives in this continent, which constitutes about 20 percent of the total land area. Africa lies in the centre of the earth with the equator passing through its centre. It is the only continent that stretches from the northern temperate to the southern temperate zones. The climate of Africa is largely tropical in nature. The northern and southern parts of Africa have temperate climatic conditions. Africa is also considered to be the birth place of mankind. The oldest fossils of Homo sapiens found till now have been from the eastern parts of this continent. This large and diverse continent is home to lot of endangered species.
Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the north, the Indian Ocean to the south east, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea to the northeast all along the Sinai Peninsula, and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. Madagascar and a large number of archipelagos are part of the continent. The population of Africa is the youngest in the whole world. About 50% of the residents in the continent are younger than 19 years of age.
Antarctica is the southernmost continent of all. The geographic south pole of the earth is contained in this continent. It is made of large permanent glaciers that surround the South Pole. This is one of the most uninhabitable places on earth. With a very small population of less than 5000 residents, Antarctica is the least populated continent on earth. It is also home to very few plant and animal species. Antarctica is also the coldest landmass on earth and much of this continent is made of permanent glaciers. Around 98% of the continent is covered by ice of about 1.9 kilometres thick.
Antarctica is the fifth largest among the seven continents. It is actually double the size of the whole of Australia. It is known to be the driest, coldest, and also the windiest continent. It has the highest elevation among all the continents, and is considered to be a complete desert. The temperature here is known to have reached -89 degrees as well. Only cold adapted organisms have the capacity to survive in this continent. Due to the hostile environment and the lack of resources, this continent was largely neglected and isolated.
Asia is the largest continent on earth covering about 9 percent of the earth’s surface. It is also the most populated continent on earth, home to an estimated population of around 4.3 billion people. This large population makes it an important part of the world economy.
Asia is located mostly in the northern and eastern hemispheres of the earth. It covers around 30% of the total land area, and is known to be home to the earliest human populations. Around 60% of the planet’s human population were in this continent. This continent is known for the large size, dense settlements, and also the vast area of barely populated regions.
The boundaries of Asia are not very clearly defined. There is actually no geographical separation as such between Asia and Europe. The two continents form a large landmass which is popularly called Eurasia. On the east of Asia you have the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean to the south and Arctic Ocean to the north. The continent is known for its vast diversity in terms of culture, environments, ethnic groups, economics, historical background, and also the government systems.
The continent of Australia is a single country continent. It is the sixth largest country by total area, and is also the smallest of all the seven continents. Because of its size, and isolated location, it is also called as island continent. Covering an area of 7617930 square kilometres, Australia lies in the Indo- Australian Plate. This continent is surrounded by Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. Australia is one of the least populated continents and is rich in biodiversity. The Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest coral reef in the world, is in Australia. It extends over 2000 kilometres in the north east cost of Australia. Australia is also home to world’s largest monolith, Mount Augustus.
Officially known as the Commonwealth of Australia, the country is an Oceanian country. It comprises the whole of Australia, the island of Tasmania, and also a large number of other smaller islands. The countries neighbouring Australia are East Timor, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea to the north, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands on the north-east, and New Zealand on the south-east.
Australia was mainly inhabited by the indigenous Australians for around 40,000 years before the British first came to settle here. They had over 250 language groups then. Today, Australia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, and a well developed one too. It is the 12th largest economy in the world, and has the fifth-highest per capita income in the world. It is ranked among the highest in terms of provisions like quality of life, education, health, economic freedom, and also the protection of political rights and liberties.
Europe is the second smallest continent in the world. It comprises the westernmost peninsula of the giant Eurasian landmass. Covering almost 2 percent of the earth’s surface Europe takes 6.8 percent of the world’s total land area. Europe is home to almost 50 countries and is the third most populated continent in the world after Asia and Africa. About 11 percent of the world’s population lives in Australia. Russia is the largest country in Europe and Vatican City is the smallest. Russia has got territory in both the continents of Europe and Asia, and it takes up around 40% of the land area of Europe.
Europe is divided from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, black sea and the waterways connecting black sea and Aegean Sea. Europe is bordered by Arctic Ocean in the north side, Atlantic Ocean on the west side, Mediterranean Sea to the south and black sea and connected water ways on the south east.
Europe, especially ancient Greece is known to be the birth place of the western culture. From the early 15th century, Europe has been playing a predominant role in the global affairs. It is also where the industrial revolution started. The countries of Europe had been controlled by the Americas, some parts of Africa, Oceania, and a large majority of the countries in Asia all through the times between the 16th and the 20th centuries. Western Europe had been subject to a lot of radical cultural, economic, and social changes due to the Industrial Revolution that began in Great Britain. By the year 1900, Europe contributed to about 25% of the total world population.
The World Wars were both concentrated around Europe, and that led to a decline in the dominance of the continent in world affairs by the time the world came on to the 20th century. Politics and economics had been affecting the countries largely leading to several changes all throughout history. Nowadays, the European Union has started having an influence over the member countries.
North America is a continent which lies wholly in the northern hemisphere. It is bordered by Arctic Ocean in the north, Atlantic Ocean in the east, Pacific Ocean in the south and west, and South America and Caribbean Sea in the south east. North America lies almost wholly in the western hemisphere. North America covers almost 4.8 percent of the earth’s surface and comprises around 16.5 percent of the whole land area on earth. North America is home to nearly 565 million people. About 7.5 percent of the world’s population lives here. It is the third largest continent in the world by area and fourth largest continent by population. Most of the land and area of the continent is dominated by Canada, United States of America, Greenland and Mexico. There are also many smaller states in the Central America and Caribbean regions.
South America is a continent located in the western hemisphere with most of its land area lying in the southern hemisphere and a relatively small portion in the northern hemisphere. It has Pacific Ocean to its western side, Atlantic Ocean in the north and eastern side, and North America and Caribbean Sea in the North West side. With an area covering 17,840,000 square kilometres and a population of more than 3 billion, South America is the fourth largest continent in terms of size and fifth in terms of population. South America is home to twelve sovereign states and two non sovereign states. It is generally considered to be a subcontinent of the Americas.
South America is a continent which is diverse in terms of geography and biodiversity. The world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall, angel falls is situated in Venezuela in South America. The Amazon River, which is the largest river in the world in terms of volume, is also in this continent. The Atacama Desert, which is the driest non polar place on earth, and the Amazon forest which is the largest rainforest on earth, is situated in this continent. It is also home to many interesting and unique species of animals such as anaconda, piranha, jaguar etc. The Amazon rainforests contains a major proportion of the earth’s species. Brazil is the largest country in South America occupying more than half of the continents land area and population.
Most of the population in this country is concentrated near the eastern or western coasts. The far south regions and the interior regions are just sparsely populated. The western part is dominated by the mighty Andes Mountains. The eastern part ahs got both highland regions and also lowlands. The major rivers flowing through the continent like Parana, Amazon, and Orinoco flow in this part.
Through regular interactions of the indigenous people with the immigrants and conquerors from Europe, and the slaves from Africa, the continent’s cultural and ethnic outlook came to be formed. After being colonised for long periods in history, Spanish and Portuguese came on to become the most spoken languages here. Western traditions are followed in several parts.
The Five Oceans
Up to now we were discussing only about the land masses on earth which covers only 30 percent of the earth’s surface. The larger portion of the earth’s surface is covered by water. 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water, out of which over 96 percent is salt water in our oceans. These large water bodies which surround the continents are called oceans. Though they are all interconnected, they are generally divided into 5 Oceans, namely, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean and Antarctic Ocean. Know what are the 5 Oceans of the Planet earth and get more deeper into them.
Just like the available Continents, we should know more about all the big Oceans available on the Planet earth. Get all the 5 major Oceans along with all the details to describe what are the 5 Oceans of the Word and much more. Following table would let you know more about these giant Oceans.
|1||Pacific||Separated into north and south pacific.|
|2||Atlantic||Separated into north and south Atlantic|
|3||Indian||Known as the sea south of India containing the water of Arabian and Laccadive Seas|
|4||Southern||Extension of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans|
|5||Arctic||The sea around North pole containing the water of Greenland sea.|
Check out all the detailed reports about each of these 5 Oceans of the World. If you don’t know about any, we have enlisted all the names of the 5 oceans so that you can get more about them easily.
The largest of all the oceans is the Pacific Ocean. It is located between the western coastlines of the American continents and eastern coast lines of Asia and Africa. Arctic Ocean lies to the north of Pacific Ocean and Antarctic Ocean in the south. Covering about 165,200,000 square kilometres the Pacific Ocean has the longest total shore line of about 135,663 kilometres.
The Pacific Ocean covers 46% of the total water surface of the Earth, and covers more than a third of the total surface area. It is actually larger than all the land area combined. The water in the ocean represents around 50.1% of the total oceanic water on earth. The ocean can be demarcated as the North Pacific Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean with the equator passing through the middle. The deepest point on the earth, the Mariana Trench, is in the North Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Ocean is known to be the most peaceful one.
Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world with an area of 106,400,000 square kilometres. It is bordered by Americas in the west and Africa and Europe in the east. Atlantic Ocean consists of the Mediterranean Sea, Caribbean Sea, Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Like Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean also reaches out to Arctic Ocean in the north and Antarctic Ocean in the south. Up to 15th century the Indian Ocean and eastern Atlantic Ocean were the only known voyaged seas in the world. It was the route for spice trade and colonisation. The ocean is home to a lot of marine species, including the sperm whale which is the largest living toothed animal.
The equator divides the ocean in to the North Atlantic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean. The area north of the equator, between Africa and South America, is referred to as Central Atlantic. The water in this part is very different from the waters in the northern part, which is between Europe and North America.
The Atlantic Ocean is known to be the saltiest. The processes of evaporation, precipitation, river inflow, and sea ice melting are the major contributors to the salinity. The water in North Atlantic circulates in a clockwise direction, whereas the water in the South Atlantic circulates in an anti-clockwise direction. This is due to the Coriolis Effect. This ocean is also the second youngest among all oceans. Before 30 million years ago, it did not even exist.
Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean in the world. Covering an area of around 73,556,000 square kilometres, Indian Ocean has been home to a rich variety of human kind throughout the world history. Indian Ocean is bordered by eastern coast of Africa, the shores of Middle East and India in the north. It is separated from the Pacific Ocean by south East Asia and Australia. Indian Ocean is also rich in exotic plan and animal species.
Around 20% of all the water on the Earth’s surface is in the Indian Ocean. It is the youngest of all the major oceans on the earth. It is a major sea route that connects Africa, the Middle East, and East Asia with the Americas and Europe. Around 40% of the world’s offshore oil production is known to come from the Indian Ocean. The different bordering countries largely exploit the beach sands that contain a rich amount of heavy minerals.
The India Ocean is known to be quite warm, which keeps the production of phytoplanktons low. As such, there is limited life in this ocean. The Mumbai port is the chief trading port in India on the coast of the Indian Ocean, and is known to be the Gateway of India. The Port of Singapore is the busiest. There are a lot of other ports as well. The Indian Ocean encompasses a large number of bays, gulfs, and straits as well.
Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of all the oceans in the world. It clovers and area of around 13,986,000 square kilometres. This is almost the size of the whole of the country of Russia. Arctic Ocean lies mostly in the Arctic Circle. Artic Ocean is surrounded by the Eurasian and north American continents. It includes the Hudson Bay, the North Sea and Barents Sea. For most of the time of the year, this sea is covered with ice often thick as up to hundreds of feet. Even during the summer season most of the ocean remains impassable.
Located in the Northern Hemisphere, the ocean is generally considered to be the northernmost part of the total World Ocean. The salinity and the surface temperature vary according to the seasons because the ice cover freezes and melts periodically. On an average, it has the lowest salinity among all the oceans because of the lower amount of evaporation, flow of heavy freshwater from rivers and streams, and also a limited connection to the other oceans around it. The main countries bordering the Arctic Ocean are Russia, Iceland, Norway, Canada, Greenland, and the United States. It includes a large number of bays, straits, and other tributary water bodies.
The deep sea North Polar Basin is divided in to the two oceanic basins, the Amerasian Basin and the Eurasian Basin, by the Lomonosov Ridge, and underwater ridge in the Arctic Ocean. The deepest point in the ocean is the Like Deep in the Eurasian Basin.
Relatively little plant life is found in this ocean. Mainly Phytoplanktons are available. It houses a number of endangered marine species as well.
Antarctic Ocean covering an area of around 20,327,000 square kilometres is the fourth largest ocean in the world. It is also referred by many as the southern ocean as it is located near to the South Pole. Antarctic Ocean has a great influence on the earth’s weather patterns. It joins the waters of Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean with a persistent easterly current. The cold, northward flowing waters in the Antarctic mix with the warmer waters of the subantarctic in the ocean zone.
This ocean is considered to be the youngest of all oceans, geologically. There are a wide variety of marine animals that exist and rely on the phytoplankton in the Antarctic Ocean. This area is rich for a number of marine species. The Antarctic Ocean is a storehouse of natural resources. It contains giant oil and gas fields and valuable minerals as well.