A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, these seven regions are: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.
Charting a world map requires global knowledge of the earth, its oceans, and its continents. From prehistory through the Middle ages , creating an accurate world map would have been impossible because less than half of Earth's coastlines and only a small fraction of its continental interiors were known to any culture.
Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is covered with water, mostly by oceans, seas, gulfs, and other salt-water bodies, but also by lakes, rivers, and other fresh water, which together constitute the hydrosphere.
The boundaries between the continents of Earth are generally a matter of geographical convention. Several slightly different conventions are in use. The number of continents is most commonly considered seven but may range as low as four when the Americas and Afro-Eurasia are each considered a single continent.
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A continent is a large area of the land on Earth that is joined together. There are no strict rules for what land is considered a continent, but in general it is agreed there are six or seven continents in the world, including Africa, Antarctica, Asia and Europe, North America, Australasia or Oceania, and South America.
The name "Pangaea/Pangea" is derived from Ancient Greek pan (πᾶν, "all, entire, whole") and Gaia (Γαῖα, "Mother Earth, land"). The concept that the continents once formed a contiguous land mass was hypothesised by, with corroborating evidence, Alfred Wegener, the originator of the scientific theory of continental drift, in his 1912 publication The Origin of Continents (Die Entstehung ...
The division between Europe and Asia as two continents is a historical social construct, as they have no clear physical separation between them; thus, in some parts of the world, Eurasia is recognized as the largest of the six, five, or four continents on Earth. In geology, Eurasia is often considered as a single rigid megablock.
There are seven continents in the world: Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe, North America, and South America. However, depending on where you live, you may have learned that there are five, six, or even four continents. This is because there is no official criteria for determining continents.
Topographic Map of the world showing continents and oceans. The map shows the largest contiguous land areas of the earth, the world's continents, and annotated subregions and the oceans surrounding them. You are free to use the above map for educational and similar purposes (fair use); please refer to the Nations Online Project.