5 Interesting Facts about the Continents of the World

5 Interesting Facts about the Continents of the World

5 Interesting Facts about the Continents of the World
Image Credits: My Modern Met

Generally, it is believed that there are 7 continents in the world but some nations are of the view that there are only 4. This discrepancy is caused by the fact that we don’t have a definite definition for this entity and none of the speculations can be rejected. Although the distribution of continents is one of the less-focused aspects of modern science, continents do offer some surprising facts. Following is a list of 5 of the most interesting facts about the continents of the world.

4, 5, 6, or 7?

4, 5, 6, or 7 - Continents

As mentioned earlier, there is no formal definition of a continent and that’s the reason why we have multiple continent models around the globe. The number of continents is dependent on the method of distribution and this figure can go from 4 to 7. For instance, the most commonly taught continent model is based on geopolitics which suggests that there are 7 continents in the world. On the other hand, the 6-continent model considers North and South America as a single unit (followed in some parts of Europe like France and Spain). Similarly, Japanese and Eastern European people follow their version of the 6-continent model which combines Asia and Europe (North and South America are different continents).

The United Nations uses a combination of both these 6-continent models to form a 5-continent model comprising of America, Eurasia, Australia, Antarctica, Africa. Lastly, the 4-continent model recognizes America, Antarctica, Australia, and Afro-Eurasia.

Greenland – Europe or North America?

Greenland – Europe or North America - Continents

Greenland is often regarded as a transcontinental country because of its association with two continents. The reason for this is that it is located on the tectonic plate of North America but is a part of the Kingdom of Denmark. In addition to its location, most of the earliest settlers in Greenland came from different North American territories. For example, Paleo-Eskimo tribes inhabited this part of the world in the 26th century BC. Similarly, the Kalaallit people (current natives of Greenland) also migrated from North America in the 13th century. Despite all that, the country is a part of a European kingdom.

Border between Asia and Europe

Border between Asia and Europe - Continents

Asia and Europe are considered different continents on the basis of their geopolitical preferences, despite being on same tectonic plates. Both these continents are directly connected by land as there is no sea between them and that’s the reason why there is no actual border between Asia and Europe. Having said that, a number of considerations have been made in this regard but almost all of them are controversial. For instance, a few of these suggestions place Cyprus (a European country) in Asia while other models place Georgia (an Asian nation) in Europe.

Philip Johan Von Strahlenberg, a Swedish explorer, came up with a popular border that extended all the way from the Aegean Sea to the Ural Mountains. Geographers found a massive problem with this model as it placed almost 75% Russians in Europe (Russia is an Asian country). Due to these reasons, researchers mostly use Eurasia (combining Asia and Europe into one continent) for their work.  

World’s Largest Desert

World’s Largest Desert

When we talk about deserts, the first names that come to our minds are the Sahara Desert and the Arabian Desert. It may sound a bit surprising for few but the world’s largest desert is Antarctica. Yes, you read it right! The criterion for categorizing an area as a desert is primarily based on the amount of water it receives from the atmosphere. This barren wasteland of ice is spread across an area of 5,500,000 square miles and receives only 50 millimeters of water in its innermost areas. Another unexpected fact about Antarctica is that it is also the driest place on Earth which hasn’t had any rain or snow for almost 2 million years.

You can get some useful information about some of the largest deserts of the world here.



Most of the times, New Zealand is grouped together with Australia and some other Pacific Islands to form Oceania but it actually does lie on a separate continent known as Zealandia. Despite the fact that it is nearly two-thirds the size of Australia, it is unknown to a lot of people because 94% of its area is underwater. According to a popular belief, Zealandia went underwater after breaking off from Gondwana (a supercontinent), some 80 million years ago. Given the fact that there is no recognized organization for declaration of continents, Zealandia might never get the attention it deserves.

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