The Six or Seven Continents of the World

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How do we define a continent ?


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In geography, there is no clear definition that distinguishes an island from a continent, other than saying that the island is smaller than a continent.

There are either 6 or 7 continents depending on where you were taught geography.

 

The SEVEN
Continents
of the world
The SIX
Continents
of the world (a)
The SIX
Continents
of the world (b)
The FIVE
Continents
of the world
The FOUR
Continents
of the world
Africa Africa Africa Africa Africa/Asia
Antarctica Antarctica Antarctica Antarctica Antarctica
Asia Asia Asia Asia
Australia Australia Australia Australia Australia
Europe  Europe
North America North America The America’s The America’s The America’s
South America South America

Europe is physically part of Asia, and should therefore NOT be classed as a continent, by the normal definition.

China and most English speaking countries go with SEVEN continents.


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The geographic community, along with Japan and some parts of the old USSR, combine Asia and Europe to make SIX Continents.

Latin America and most of Europe, view North and South America as being one continent, and therefore making SIX.

If we combine then definitions of the two groups that say we have SIX continents, and we end up with FIVE continents.

But then… Africa and Asia are joined by land, so that brings us down to FOUR.

If I try hard, I wonder if I can get us back to the single continent theory of Pangea in the mid-Mesozoic times, sometime between 65 and 248 million years ago.


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