Millions of years ago, there was one single landmass, called Pangaea, on planet Earth. This supercontinent Pangaea was surrounded by a superocean called Panthalassa. With passage of time Pangaea broke down in smaller parts and these pieces began to move away from each other. In the present times, we call these land pieces as continents of the world.
There are seven continents in the world, namely:
- North America, and
- South America
Map of Continents
Continents by Size
Asia is the largest continent in the world and Australia is the smallest. Following the the list of continents according to size (biggest to smallest):
|Continent||Area in Square Miles|
|Asia||44,579,000 km2 (17,212,000 miles2)|
|Africa||30,065,000 km2 (11,608,000 miles2)|
|North America||24,256,000 km2 (9,365,000 miles2)|
|South America||17,819,000 km2 (6,880,000 miles2)|
|Antarctica||13,209,000 km2 (5,100,000 miles2)|
|Europe||9,938,000 km2 (3,837,000 miles2)|
|Australia||7,687,000 km2 (2,968,000 miles2)|
Continents by Population
|Rank||Continent||Population (in 2010)||% of world population|
Interesting Facts about Continents of the World
- In some variations of defining continents, Europe and Asia are considered to be one continent (Eurasia) and North & South America are combined as America.
- Asia is the largest continent in the world, both in terms of size as well as population. Two most populous countries in the world (China and India) are located in Asia.
- Hawaii, a state on the United States of America, does not belong to any continent. Hawaii is located in the Pacific Ocean, about 3,200 km (2,000 mi) away from the mainland USA.
- Russia is considered to be part of Asia as well as Europe. Western part of Russia is is Europe and Eastern part is in Asia.
- Research suggests that humans (Homo sapiens) originated on African continent and then migrated to other continents. This is why Africa is also called the ‘cradle of humankind’.
- Australia is also known as the Island Continent because it is surrounded by the sea on all the sides.
- Australia is also the only continent with only one country on it.
- Africa is the continent with highest number of countries. In 2020, Africa is the home of 55 countries.
- Vatican City and Monaco, two of the smallest countries in the world are located in Europe.
- The Atacama Desert, the driest place in the world, is located in South America (Chile)
- Andes is the longest mountain range in the world. It is located in South America and passes through seven South American countries: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
- About 98% of Antarctica is covered with ice. Over 70% of world’s ice is present on Antarctica.
- World’s highest waterfall, Angel Falls, is located in South America (Venezuela). Angel Falls is 979 meters (3,212 ft) high.