Our Continents – Asia, Africa, North & South America, Europe, Australia and Antarctica

Asia

Asia is the largest of the seven continents of the earth both area wise and population wise. Area is 44,936,000 sq. km. It is separated from Europe by the Ural Mountains in the West. The continent is bounded by the Arctic Ocean in the North, the Indian Ocean in the South, the Pacific Ocean in the East, and the Mediterranean Sea in the South-West.

The highest point is Mt. Everest (8852 m.) and the lowest point is Dead Sea (395 m. below the sea level). Important fountain ranges are Himalayas, Karakoram, Hindukush, Elburz, Caucasus, Pamirs, Kunlun, Urals, etc. Highest peaks are Everest (8852 m.), Kanchenjunga (8598 m.) etc.

Image Credit Daniel Feher

Largest lakes are Aral Sea, Baikal, Balkhash, Caspian Sea, Dead Sea etc. Major rivers are Amur, Yangtze, Brahmputra, Euphratus, Ganges, Hwang Ho, Indus, Irrawaddy, Lena, Mekong, Ob, Salween, Tigris etc.

The Plateau of Tibet is the largest and highest in the world and is known as the Roof of the world. Asia is the birthplace of major religions of the world – Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Taoism, etc.

The population of Asia constitutes 62 percent of world’s population.

Africa

It is the second largest continent of the world. It is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea in North-West, Red Sea in the North, Indian Ocean in the South, Arabian Sea in the East and Atlantic Ocean in the West. Area is 30,221,532 sq. km., which is about 20.4% of the world’s total land area. Its northernmost point is Cape Blanc (in Tunisia) and the southernmost point is Cape Agulhas (in South Africa).

Its highest point is Mount Kilimanjaro (5895 m.) in Tanzania the lowest point is Lake Assal (153 m below sea level) in Djibouti. Important mountain ranges are Ahaggar, Atlas, Drakensberg, Tibesti, etc. Important deserts are Sahara, the Kalahari and the Namib Desert; Sahara is the largest desert of the world.

Important rivers are the Nile, the Zaire, the Niger and the Zambezi. The Nile is the longest river in the world. Important waterfalls are the Victoria Falls on Zambezi and Boyoma Falls on Zaire River.

Population is more than 900,000,000 which is about 14% of the world’s total population. Many Languages are spoken in Africa. Arabic is spoken by the maximum along the Swahili, Bantu, Zulu, English, etc.

Climate is predominantly equatorial type and tropical grassland type, as almost the entire Africa lies in the Torrid Zone.

Largest lakes are Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa. From Victoria originates the river Nile.

Four largest countries in the decreasing order of areas are Sudan, Algeria, Zaire, and Libya. Four most populous countries in descending order are Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Zaire.

The three points where Africa almost touches Eurasia are Gibraltar, Suez, and Bab-el-Mandeb.

gibraltar suez bab-el-mande

The country having highest death rate and least life expectancy in the world is Sierra Leone, which is in Africa only.

Important tribes are Bantus, Berbers Hausas, Masai, Pygmies, Hottentots, Bushmen, Tuaregs, Kikuyus, etc.

North America

It is the third largest continent of the world. It is bounded by the Pacific Ocean on the West, Atlantic Ocean on the East, Arctic Ocean on the North and Caribbean Sea and Panama Canal in the South.

Important mountain ranges are Alaska, Aleutian, Appalachians, Brooks, Cascade, Coast, Rockies, Sierra Nevada, Sierra Madre, etc. Highest peak is Mt. McKinley (6194 m.). Lowest Point is the Death Valley (86 m. below sea level). Largest lakes arranged from West to East are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario. Out of these only Michigan lies entirely in USA. Others are shared by USA with Canada.

Important rivers are Colorado, Columbia, Mackenzie, Mississippi, Missouri, St. Lawrence, etc.

Important dam is the Hoover dam on Colorado River. It is the highest dam in the world. Area is 24,490,000 sq. km.

Its population is more than 514,600,000. Diverse climatic types are found in North America. Important languages are English, Spanish and French.

The major part of Canada has Taiga and Tundra types of climate. Wheat is the most important crop here.

Also Read: Important facts to know about USA

South America

It is the fourth largest continent of the Earth. It is situated West of Atlantic Ocean, East of Pacific Ocean, South of North America and North of Antarctica.

The longest mountain range of the world, Andes, is located on the western coast of South America. The highest peak of America is Mt. Aconcagua (6959 m.).

The largest river of the world, Amazon, flows through South America. The highest waterfall of the world, Angel Falls, is in Venezuela in South America. They are on Orinoco River. The highest freshwater lake of the world, Titicaca, is in Bolivia in South America.

Major deserts are Atacama in Chile, and Patagonia in Argentina. Llanos and Campos are the Savanna grasslands in South America.

Selvas are the equatorial rainforests of Amazon basin. Cinchona trees are found in South America which is used to make quinine, the medicine used to cure Malaria.

Though the official language in most of the countries is Spanish, the official language of Brazil is Portuguese.

Countries in descending order of size are Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Columbia etc. Countries in descending order of population are Brazil, Columbia, Argentina, Peru, etc.

Trans-Andean railways connect Buenos Aires and Valparaiso. Kourou, the French satellite launching station is in French Guyana in South America. The Driest place on earth is Iquique in the desert, Chile.

Europe

The Second smallest continent after Australia (area-wise), while population-wise, Europe is at the second spot after Asia.

It is surrounded by the Arctic Ocean in the North, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea in the South, the Atlantic Ocean in the West and Ural mountains in the East. It is separated from Africa by the Strait of Gibraltar.

europe mountainsImportant mountains are Alps, Apennines, Balkans, Carpathians, Caucasus, Pyrenees, Urals, etc. The Highest peak is the El’brus (5633 m.). Major Rivers are Danube, Dnieper, Don, Elbe, Po, Rhine, Rhone, Seine, Thames, Tiber, Volga, etc.

Major religions are Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

The climate is mild and generally humid in the West and North-West. Mediterranean type in South end cool humid with cool summers in the east.

Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, and Albania are collectively called Balkan states. Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark are collectively known as Scandinavia. The world’s northerly capital is Reykjavik of Island.

Australia

Australia is the smallest continent of the world. It lies entirely in the Southern Hemisphere. The tropic of Capricorn runs almost through middle of this continent. Australia was discovered by Captain James Cook, an English seaman, 1770.

Most of Australia is dry. The Eastern, North-Eastern and South-Western parts of the country come in the way of winds from the sea and thus receive very heavy rainfall.

The Gibson, the Simpson, the Great Victorian and the Great Sandy deserts constitute the Great Australian Desert. The highest peak of Australia is Mt. Kosciusko. Largest lake in Australia is Eyre.

Australia is mainly an agricultural country. Wheat is the most important food crop. A variety of fruits-both temperate and tropical, ager also grown.

Australia has considerable mineral wealth. It has large reserves of coal, iron-ore, bauxite, manganese and tin. Some petroleum and natural gas is also found.

Australia makes several products from its agriculture and animal raw materials. They are cotton and woolen textiles, sugar, condensed and powdered milk, butter, cheese and meat. Australia has the largest number of sheep in the world. Marine is the most important breed of wool producing sheep.

B.Sc. M.A. Ph.D.: It is an interesting acronym for the clockwise arrangement of the Australian coastal cities. The cities are Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, and Darwin.

australia cities sydney perth hobart B.SC. M A Ph. D

The Great Barrier Reef: It is the world’s longest coral reef, it is located in North-East of Australia.

The Australian States in decreasing order of population is New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia. The largest State of Australia is Western Australia. The Australian cities in decreasing order of population are Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Australasia stands for Australia and New Zealand. The biggest city in New Zealand is Auckland, while the capital is Wellington. The first European to discover New Zealand was Able Tasman.

Antarctica

Antarctica is the fifth largest continent of the world. It is at south pole mostly ice covered and uninhabited by humans. However one can find rich wildlife there. Area of Antarctica is around 14 million sq. km.

You may also read: Seven Continents

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