The term continent denotes a closed mainland mass. The earth’s continents make up a total of 29.3 percent of the earth’s surface, the rest of the oceans, seas and islands. Today, different divisions of the continents are common in geography and geology, and sometimes also different names.
Number of continents
The attempt to determine the number of continents on the globe runs through the entire calendar. The ways of counting and viewing vary greatly. In ancient times Herodotus (approx. 430 BC) shaped the image of the world with his “Histories”. For him there were only two continents with Europe and Asia, as he did not regard Libya (Africa) as a separate continent, but as part of Asia. With the discovery of America and the colonization of modern times, there is disagreement about how to count the continents. The main disputes are the division into North America and South America and the division into Europe and Asia.
- From a historical, Eurocentric perspective, America is seen as a continent that was conquered by Europeans in the 15th and 16th centuries. From a geological point of view, there are two continents, North America and South America, which only received a land connection through the formation of the Isthmus of Panama.
- For historical reasons, a distinction is made between Europe and Asia. In modern times it has become common practice in Europe to view the Urals as Europe’s eastern border with Asia. However, Europe and Asia are also viewed collectively as Eurasia. Eurasia forms a contiguous land mass, which rests mostly on the same continental plate, only in the south of Eurasia several separate smaller plates exist.
It is undisputed that Africa, Antarctica and Australia represent continents. Often the continent of Australia in the are Pacific lying island states counted, particularly for cultural and political reasons and New Zealand. This expanded region is often referred to as the continent of Oceania for cultural reasons. The exact name of this region is disputed. In German, both the names Australia and Oceania are common, sometimes as a double name Australia / Oceania or Australia and Oceania. The historical-political category includes attempts to separate Central America or the Middle East as separate continents, as well as the amalgamation of the islands of the Pacific Ocean into one continent, Oceania. Continents and seas are the largest geographical units (landscapes) on earth. The continents are separated by oceans, with the shelf (= continental shelf) counting as part of the continent. (New Guinea clearly belongs to Oceania, (rest of) Indonesia to Asia). The continents created in this way are natural and human geographic units. In Europe and partly in America, for example, the human geographic factors are already openly consulted when defining the boundaries of the continents, but they are always co-determining (just like the flora and fauna, which are also part of physical geography) when a continent is defined because it is a unit of the “surface of the earth”. So there are the seven continents, whereby the oceanic islands are assigned to the nearest continents, e.g. the Pacific Islands to Oceania. Oceanic islands are not actually a mainland mass, but always of a volcanic nature, i.e. volcanoes or volcanoes eroded to sea level, which eventually become atolls. Strictly speaking – according to the definition: “separated by oceans” – there are two other continents (whereby fauna and flora are independent and fit by definition): Madagascar and New Zealand. In summary, here is the list for all 7 continents on the earth.
- North America
- South America
All Countries of the World
There are many ways to count the number of countries. There are currently 251 countries, of which 194 are independent states. See all countries in the world. Canada or Mexico is an example of an independent state, while Greenland is a country, but not an independent state.
According to AbbreviationFinder, an American club for travelers who have visited at least 100 countries, there are 334 countries. For example, they choose to classify Borneo and Easter Island as countries, while we instead choose to classify these places as geographical areas. There are also several borderline countries, such as Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, Somaliland, South Ossetia and Transnistria. We have chosen not to include these places as countries, as they lack international recognition. Another borderline case is Kosovo, which has limited international recognition. But as the country has been recognized by more than 50 countries, including Sweden and most EU countries, we have chosen to classify Kosovo as one country. There are also countries that have ceased to exist. These are reported separately, and are more reported as curiosities. We have made our demarcation by 1950, and include only states that have existed and ceased after this date. See the following table for all 194 countries on the earth:
Area Code by Country
50 States and Nicknames
U.S. Area Codes by State
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