CONTINENTS AND ISLANDS
What are continents?
Continents are the six or seven large land masses on the planet. If you count seven continents these include Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica, North America, and South America. Some geographers refer to six continents by combining Europe and Asia as Eurasia, due to the fact that it is one large tectonic plate and land mass. So whether you count Europe and Asia one continent or two (divided at the Ural Mountains in western Russia) is up to the individual. Australia is the only continent that is its own country.
What is the largest continent?
The largest continent is Eurasia (Europe and Asia combined) at 21,100,000 square miles (54,649,000 square kilometers). But even if you consider Europe and Asia to be two separate continents, Asia is still the largest, at 17,300,000 square miles (44,807,000 square kilometers).
A satellite image showing the continents of North (1) and South America (2), Europe (3), Asia (4), Africa (5), Australia (6), and Antarctica (7). (Image courtesy MODIS Land Group/Vegetation Indices, Alfredo Huete, Principal Investigator, and Kamel Didan, University of Arizona).
What is a subcontinent?
A subcontinent is a landmass that has its own continental shelf and its own continental plate. Currently, India and its neighbors form the only subcontinent, but in millions of years, Eastern Africa will break off from Africa and become its own subcontinent.
What was Pangea?
About 250 million years ago, all of the land on Earth was lumped together into one large continent known as Pangea. Faults and rifts broke the land masses apart and pushed them away from each other. The continents slowly moved across the Earth to their present positions, and they continue to move today. The Indian subcontinent (composed of India and its neighbors) continues to push into Asia and create the Himalayas.
What is the world's largest island?
The world's largest island is Greenland, technically now known as Kalaallit Nunaat. Greenland is located in the North Atlantic Ocean near Canada. It is a territory of Denmark but has locally governed itself since 1979. It is approximately 840,000 square miles (2,175,600 square kilometers). Australia, while it also meets the usual definition
What island did Robinson Crusoe shipwreck on?
Daniel Defoe based his novel Robinson Crusoe on the story of Alexander Selkirk. Selkirk was an English sailor who had an argument with the captain of his ship and asked to go ashore on the island of Mas a Tierra (also known as Robinson Crusoe Island), about 400 miles (644 kilometers) west of Chile. Selkirk was stranded on the island from 1704 to 1709, when he was rescued by another English ship.
of an island (surrounded by water) and is larger than Greenland, is not considered an island but a continent.
Why is Greenland considered an island while Australia is a continent?
Australia is three and a half times larger than Greenland and comprises most of the land on the Indo-Australian plate, while Greenland is distinctly part of the North American plate.
What is an archipelago?
An archipelago is a chain (or group) of islands that are close to one another. The Aleutian Islands of Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands are both archipelagos. They are usually formed by plates pushing into one another or by volcanic activity.
What is a strait?
A strait is a narrow body of water between islands or continents that connects two larger bodies of water. Two of the most famous straits are the Strait of Gibraltar, which connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman.