Continents Of The Earth
Did you know that approximately
70% of the Earth’s surface is
covered by water alone and the other 30% are covered by land?
This land has been divided into seven main areas. Each area is
called a continent.
Most of this land lies above the
Equator. The Equator is an imaginary line around the world. It lies
exactly halfway between the North and the South Poles.
The seven continents
are Asia, Australia, Africa,
Antarctica, North America, South America and Europe. It is
seen that each continent has a special shape. Some of these
continents are connected while the water separates others.
Asia being the largest of the
continents covers around one-third of the world’s
total land area. Asia is known for its
vast size and incomparable character. It
stretches all the way east from Japan to the Southeast
Arabian Peninsula, which is more than 8500 kilometers
It is interesting to see the geographical composition of
Asia. It encompasses the entire climate and expanse, be it
the equatorial rain forest or the arctic tundra.
We also get to see the highest and the lowest points of
the Earth’s surface in Asia. The highest being, Mount
Everest (8,848 meters) and the lowest is the shore of the
Dead Sea (397 meters below sea level).
Africa is the second
largest of the continents, covers around 22% of the
world’s land area. The Equator intersects it and the
expansive landmass covers the Sahara, which is the world’s
largest desert, and the Nile, the longest river on earth,
as well as 53 nations.
Most of Africa is
a desert region. This continent is basically divided into
three regions, which are the Northern Plateau, the Central
and Southern Plateau, and the Eastern Highlands. This
includes plains, swampy coastal regions, lush tropical
forests with Savannah's and hilly plateaus inland.
It is the home for many exotic large mammals, which
include the zebras, giraffes, gazelles, elephants,
hippopotamuses, and rhinoceroses, antelopes and carnivores
such as lions, leopards, hyenas, and panthers.
famous for it’s diamond, gold, uranium and copper mining.
North America is
around twice the size of Europe. It
stretches from the vast wintry environment of the Arctic
regions to the Yucatan Peninsula. America is sort of wedge
shaped featuring an exceedingly irregular coastline with
many prominent offshore islands, including Greenland,
which is the largest island in the world. It is basically
divided into five geographical regions.
The North American wildlife was once abundant but
after people started inhabiting this land, the numbers
have decreased. The large mammals include several kinds of
bear, bighorn sheep, caribou, deer, elk, and antelope.
Bison, which had a
population of about 60 million once, are now found only in
protected herds. The Gila monster and the beaded lizard of the
southwestern United States and Mexico are the only poisonous
lizards in the world. We also get to see a great variety of
coastal regions as well as the freshwater rivers and lakes of
North America. More than 1,700 species of birds live and breed
on this continent.
North America has large deposits of many important minerals,
including iron ore, copper, nickel, and uranium. Coal is
also found in eastern and western Canada and the United States.
World’s greatest deposits of Petroleum and Natural Gas are
seen in the State of Mexico.
The people are
scattered and North America is culturally diverse.
South America is the fourth largest continent of
the world although it contains less than 12% of the
world’s second largest mountain range is seen
in South America. The second largest river- Amazon also
runs through South America. The lowland consists mainly of
the Amazon Basin, which is covered in the equatorial
region. These areas are of the wet tropical climate and
have a dense cover of rain forest. The largest forest area
in the world is seen in South America.
South America has diverse mineral
resources, like gold, silver, iron, bauxite, tin, lead and zinc
many of which have not been thoroughly exploited.
Antarctica the sixth
largest of the continents, is ice bound through out the
year. Penguins and seals, accompanied by a few invertebrates
such as mites and ticks—the only land animals that can tolerate
the low temperatures, primarily inhabit it.
The marine life is rich
and it includes krill, a shrimp like organism that is a food
source for large numbers of whales in the surrounding waters.
Antarctica has no trees, flowering plants, or grasses. The
sparse vegetation is limited to about 350 species, which mostly
encompass lichens, mosses and algae.
Antarctica is a true
desert due to its extreme cold climate making it the
coldest, windiest, and driest continent. It’s average
temperature is around -50°C (-58°F), and the land is swept by
hurricanes and the annual rainfall is only around 50 millimeters
This continent has no
native civilization but the United Kingdom, Norway, France,
Australia, New Zealand, Chile, and Argentina have made
territorial claims. Due to the climate it makes it impossible
for people to settle down here.
A current critical
environmental issue concerning Antarctica is its ozone shield,
which protects the earth’s surface from harmful ultraviolet
radiation. Measurements indicate that
the ozone layer above Antarctica has been reduced to a dangerous
Europe is the fifth largest of the continents.
It is also
conventionally known as "Europa". Europa was the
daughter of Phoenix in Greek mythology. Some say it is
possibly from "Ereb", a Phoenician word for sunset.
The Ural Mountains, the
Ural River, part of the Caspian Sea, and the Caucasus Mountains
forms the main boundary between Europe and Asia. Lots of
geographers also see the two continents as one and call it
EURASIA. Europe has a more or less a radial pattern of
drainage. Most streams flow outward from the core of the
A wide variety of
mineral resources are found in Europe, including coal,
petroleum and natural gas, copper, lead, and tin.
Australia is the
smallest of the seven continents. The interiors of the
continent are predominantly plains. The Southeast and the
Southwest plains are the most densely settled areas of
Australia. The climate of Australia is variable, but weather
extremes are rare. The Northern part of Australia has a monsoon
sort of climate while in the south it is temperate.
Australia is known for
it’s vast wildlife with rare species and it’s known as the land
of the kangaroos. Aborigines are the original inhabitants of
Australia. Australians are known to have an ethnic sort of
One of the
interesting features of Australia is the "Great
Barrier Reef", which is the world’s largest coral reef.
Learn more about the continents and the nations within them online. You can research any country and all the flags of the world. Wherever you are from a flag is a major source of national pride from the US flag to the Jamaican flag, these icons inspire patriotism.