Transcontinental or intercontinental countries are the countries with territories spanning over more than one continents. The territories, however, need not be continuous. Some countries have territories that are geographically away from other portions of the country. And, these territories may be part of other continents making the country a transcontinental country.
Depending on whether territories of a transcontinental country are continuous or not, we can divide them into two categories –
- Contiguous Transcontinental Country i.e. countries with continuous landmass sprawling in more than one continent.
- Non-Contiguous Transcontinental Country i.e. countries with separate territories located in different continents.
Following is the list of countries that are considered transcontinental.
Russia is the largest contiguous transcontinental country. Almost 77% of the territory of Russia is located in Asia while the rest 23% is part of Europe. Conventionally, the Ural Mountain range, Ural River, the northern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains and the Turkish strait are considered the line of demarcation between Europe and Asia. The European territory of Russia lies west to the Ural Mountains while the Asian territory lies to the east of the Ural Mountains.
Kazakhstan, a geographical neighbor of Russia, too is a contiguous transcontinental country. However, some people might not consider it as transcontinental because most of the territories are part of Asia. Even though most of the territory of Kazakhstan lies in Asia, it crosses the continental boundary between Asia and Europe. The Ural River, considered the continental boundary, flows into northwestern Kazakhstan.
Turkey is a contiguous transcontinental country between Asia and Europe. Traditionally, it has been considered a crossroad between the two continents. It acted both as a barrier and bridge between the two continents. The majority portion of the country lies in Asia. Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey, lies in both the continent thus making it a ‘transcontinental city’.
Azerbaijan is mainly located in Asia but few of its districts lie north of the Greater Caucasus watershed and are thus geographically part of Europe. Around 5% of the country’s population resides on the European continent.
Similar to Azerbaijan, a few districts and municipality of Georgia is geographically part of Europe while the majority portion is part of Asia. Around 5% of the country’s population lives north of the Greater Caucasus watershed.
Egypt is a contiguous transcontinental country between Asia and Africa. It spans from the northwest corner of Africa to the southwest corner of Asia. Suez Canal is considered the dividing line between Asia and Africa. Out of 27 governorates (administrative units), 2 lies entirely in Asia while 2 governorates are transcontinental. Ismailia governorate is almost equally divided into two parts by the Suez Canal.
7. United States
All of the states of the U.S. lies in North America, except for one. Hawaii is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, which is considered a part of Oceania. Apart from this, U.S. also possesses some other Oceanic islands and Alaskan islands located on Northeast Asia’s continental shelf. Hence, United States is a non-contiguous transcontinental country.
Though France is located in Western Europe, it possesses several overseas regions and territories. Thus, France is a non-contiguous transcontinental country. Overseas territories considered an integral part of France are scattered in different continents including North America, South America and Africa.
Indonesia, consisting of 17,000 islands, is the largest island country in the world. The majority of the islands are part of continent Asia but a few islands are considered part of Oceania.
The mainland of Colombia is entirely situated in South America. But, it administers the archipelago of San Andres and Providencia which is part of North America. Hence, it may be considered a non-contiguous transcontinental country.
Venezuela may be considered a non-contiguous transcontinental country just like Columbia. The mainland of Venezuela is entirely part of South America. But, Aves Island which is a federal dependency of Venezuela is geographically part of North America.
12. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is located in Northwestern Europe. But, possesses some dependent territories that are located overseas. The dependent territories of the United Kingdom are scattered on different continents including North America, South America, Oceania, Africa, Asia and Antarctica.
The country is located in Europe. But it possesses Madeira which is in Africa and Azores which may be considered part of North America. Both of these islands are autonomous regions of Portugal. So, there’s a debate whether Portugal can be considered a transcontinental country or not.
Spain is a country located in Southwestern Europe. But, it includes some pockets of territories that are mostly part of the continent of Africa. So, Spain is a non-contiguous transcontinental country.
Greece, officially known as the Hellenic Republic, is said to be located on the crossroad of Europe, Asia and Africa. Though the mainland of Greece is located in Europe it controls many islands that are geographically part of Asia.
16. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is situated in northwestern Europe. However, it controls several North American islands. So, it is a non-contiguous transcontinental country.
Denmark is a country located in Northern Europe. But, it controls Greenland which is geographically part of North America.
Most of the Italian territories are part of Southern Europe. At least two islands of Italy are geographically part of Africa.
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