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.
By convention, "continents are understood to be large, continuous, discrete masses of land, ideally separated by expanses of water." In modern schemes with five or more recognised continents, at least one pair of continents is joined by land in some way. The criterion "large" leads to arbitrary classification: Greenland, with a surface area of 2,166,086 square kilometres (836,330 sq mi) is ...
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Europeans in the 16th century divided the world into four continents: Africa, America, Asia and Europe. Each of the four continents was seen to represent its quadrant of the world—Europe in the north, Asia in the east, Africa in the south, and America in the west.
Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life.About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands.The remaining 71% 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.
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 supercontinent cycle is the quasi-periodic aggregation and dispersal of Earth's continental crust.There are varying opinions as to whether the amount of continental crust is increasing, decreasing, or staying about the same, but it is agreed that the Earth's crust is constantly being reconfigured.
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 first proposed by Alfred Wegener, the originator of the scientific theory of continental drift, in his 1912 publication The Origin of Continents (Die Entstehung der Kontinente).
The map shows the continents, regions, and oceans of the world. Earth has a total surface area of 510 million km²; 149 million km² (29.2%) are "dry land"; the rest of the planet's surface is covered by water (70.8%).
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.