|Continents are large portions of land that shelter
different forms of life, vegetation, climate, geography,
being surrounded by water. There are two ways to define a
continent. The first is to say that it is a set of
countries. The second is to consider the continent as any
piece of land larger than the largest island in the world:
In the case of Oceania, the first definition is
more accepted, since this continent is also formed by
islands and archipelagos. There are five political
continents and four physical continents. The difference
between the two is in the act of the politician having
political divisions of countries (such as Brazil, France,
Belgium and others). The physical division is based on the
physical structure in area territories. According to the
physical division there are five continents: America, Asia,
Africa, Europe and Oceania. America is subdivided into three
subcontinents: South America, Central America and North
History of the Continents
It is believed that at a certain period in Earth's
history, there was the formation of a solid layer that gave
rise to a supercontinent surrounded by the Panthalassa sea,
it was called by Pangea. There was a time when they split
and gave rise to two continents called Laurásia and Godwana.
The theory of movement of the continents was called
Continental Drift and formulated by the German scientist
Alfred Wegener, in 1915.
The American continent has around 42 million km˛ and a
population of more than 900 million people. This continent
has the differential of having two large continental masses,
connected by an isthmus (a quantity of land surrounded by
water on two sides and connecting two areas of land). The
two continental masses are South America and North America.
This isthmus is called Central America.
It is located between the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean
and comprises the Caribbean Sea and Greenland.
The predominant climates, mainly in northern South
America, Central America and Mexico are tropical and
temperate climates. North America has areas of icy arctic
climate (as in Alaska and Greenland). Other areas, such as
the United States and Canada, have well-defined seasons and
a harsh winter. With varying climates, the variety of
vegetation is inevitable. While in North America, Canada and
the United States, pines and trees more resistant to low
temperatures are characteristic. In Mexico, vegetation is
important to withstand high temperatures.
The relief of the continent began to be formed in the
Paleozoic Era (especially in North America). The Mesozoic
Era was one of great changes for the South American
continent, being the date of separation from the landmass
that would become North America.
North America is made up of three countries: the United
States, Mexico and Canada. Of the three, the largest in
extension is Canada, with 9,984,670 km˛.
Central America has the countries of Antigua and Barbuda,
Bahamas, Belize, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, El Salvador,
Granada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua,
Panama, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and
Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and
Tobago. Its largest country, by extension, is Nicaragua.
South America is made up of 12 countries: Argentina,
Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay,
Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela, not counting
dependent or autonomous territories. Of these, the largest
area is in Brazil, with 8,515,767.049 km˛, according to IBGE
In South America, the largest forest and ecosystem in the
world is located: the Amazon Forest, dominated by large
trees, with humid climate and high temperatures.
Because it is present in the Northern and Southern
Hemisphere, it has a good variety of climates and
Europe is the second smallest continent in the world,
only bigger than Oceania. Its length is approximately
10,180,000 km˛, less than 7% of the dry part of the planet.
Countryaah, the continent has 50 countries, of which, the largest, in territory,
is Russia, with about 17,075,400 km˛. The countries that
make up this continent are: Albania, Germany, Andorra,
Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark,
Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France,
Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Iceland, Latvia,
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta,
Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Netherlands (Poland),
Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Romania,
Russia and San Marino.
Its climate is linked to the fact that it is in the
temperate band of the planet. It has the Gulf Stream to make
its climate “less cold”, as the current warms Europe even in
its cold winter. The European continent has a great variety
of reliefs. Alps, Switzerland, plains of Germany,
peninsulas, etc. The terrain is really quite varied.
Generally speaking, southern Europe tends to be more
mountainous, and in the north, the terrain “decreases”. Like
soils, European vegetation is also varied. Some of those
found on the continent are steppes, temperate forest,
tundra, coniferous forests, among others.
Asia is the largest continent, in territory, in the
world, occupying 30% of the planet's dry land and 9% of the
entire Earth's surface. It has a territorial area of about
44,579,000 km˛. There are 49 countries, only one country
less than Europe, and some of them participate
simultaneously in Asia and Europe. This explains the fact
that Russia is the largest country, by extension, of these
The countries that make up the continent are:
Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain,
Bangladesh, Brunei, Bhutan, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, China,
Cyprus, North Korea, South Korea, Egypt, United Arab
Emirates, Philippines, Georgia, Yemen, India, Indonesia,
Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon,
Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman,
Pakistan, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Singapore, Syria, Sri
Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan,
Turkey, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
The relief of this continent is marked by its extremes:
it houses the highest point on earth ( Mount Everest
) and the largest absolute depression on earth (
Dead Sea ). The high points are due to the mountain
ranges, the largest of which is the Himalayas.
The beginning of the formation of that continent was in
the Precambrian Era, having in the Paleozoic Era new changes
that resulted in large sedimentary basins. In the following
ages, such as Mesozoic, in which there was an increase in
sedimentation, and in Cenozoic, there were also changes that
resulted in the current Asian relief.
The climate varies according to the extensive Asian
territory it extends: in the extreme north, the polar
climate is predominant; in the center, without the maritime
influence, the temperate continental climate is the
characteristic. To the extreme south, due to the mountain
ranges preventing the passage of moisture from the ocean,
the arid and semi-arid climate remains.
Africa has approximately 30 million km˛, which represents
20% of the planet's mainland. It is the third largest
continent in extension and the second most populous. It has
54 countries, with Algeria the largest, with 2,381,741 km˛.
Its relief, in its majority, is formed of plateau, with
average altitude of 750 meters, and the coast presents
plains. In the east, however, there is a sequence of
mountains and depressions that result in large lakes.
The continent's climate is marked, at least in the south
and north, by arid, semi-arid and desert climates. An
example of this is the Sahara desert, located in the north
of the continent. The rains are concentrated in the
“central” region of the continent, where the imaginary line
of Ecuador passes. Its relief is one of the oldest in the
world, still forming in the Precambrian era.
The countries that make up that continent are: South
Africa, Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar,
Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe,
Chad, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Congo,
Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Ivory Coast,
Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial
Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome
and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Algeria, Egypt,
Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea,
Ethiopia, Kenya Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania and
As the smallest continent on the planet, with more than 9
million square kilometers, Oceania is composed of 16
countries and areas dominated by other countries, including
islands and archipelagos. It is basically formed by
Australia and the Pacific Islands.
Independent Countries in Oceania
The independent countries that make up the continent are:
Australia, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands,
Kiribati, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New
Guinea, Western Samo, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Of these the largest area is Australia. Its climate is
based on intertropical and temperate zones. Because they are
not physically connected, each region of that continent has
its own characteristics of geological and vegetation
Oceans Bathing Continents
- Asia- Arctic, Pacific and Indian
- America- Pacific, Arctic and
- Africa- Atlantic and Indian;
- Antarctica- Pacific, Atlantic and
- Europe- Atlantic;
- Oceania- Pacific and Indian.