In a nutshell a continent is a group of countries collected together under one name. Usually this is decided by how close the countries are to one another and how much of a shared culture they have.
There are 7 continents in the world and they are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Oceania which you can see in the map below.
Learn about the world and it's continents by scrolling down or clicking on the names below.
Population: 1.2 billion +
No. Countries: 53
Highest Point: Mt Kilamanjiro 5895m
Lowest Point: Lake Assal -155m
Longest river: Nile 6695km
Biggest country: Algeria
Smallest country: Seychelles
This is continent is huge and stretches all the way from the Northern hemisphere through the equator and into the Southern hemisphere. Africa is surrounded on all sides by water and is home to 52 countries! It's also home to the Big 5 animals, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino.
Africa is well known for it's safari due to its incredible wealth of wildlife including Giraffes, Lions and Elephants. They live throughout the continent's vastly different environments from the enormous deserts in the North (Sahara) and South (Kalahari) to the savannahs, rainforests and wetlands in places such as the Congo, Masai Mara and the Okavango Delta. Learn more about the different environments here.
The continents population is over 1.2 billion and includes lot's of different tribes and indigenous people. Some of these peoples are still nomadic, but the majority have modernised their culture embracing technology. From the Bedouin desert dwellers of the North to the San people of the South, Africa is a continent bursting with culture and tradition.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Scientists believe humans originated here over
7 million years ago probably from the South of the continent!
• Over a 1000 languages are spoken making it the most
multi-lingual continent on Earth.
• Home to the Great Migration. 1.7 million Wildebeest travel from Tanzania to Kenya in search of new grazing every year.
• 8.6 million square kilometres of Africa is filled with the Sahara Desert, the largest desert in the world!
HERE ARE THE COUNTRIES THAT MAKE UP AFRICA
Algeria • Angola • Benin • Botswana • Burkina Faso • Burundi • Cape Verde • Cameroon • Central African Republic • Chad • Comoros • Democratic Republic of the Congo • Republic of the Congo • Cote d'Ivoire • Djibouti • Egypt • Equatorial Guinea • Eritrea • eSwatini • Ethiopia • Gabon • Gambia • Ghana • Guinea • Guinea-Bissau • Kenya • Lesotho • Liberia • Libya • Madagascar • Malawi • Mali • Mauritania • Mauritius • Morocco • Mozambique • Namibia • Rwanda • Sao Tome and Principe • Senegal • Seychelles • Sierra Leone • Somalia • South Africa • South Sudan • Sudan • Tanzania • Togo • Tunisia • Uganda • Zambia • Zimbabwe
AFRICA ON FILM
Population: 0 permanent residents
No. Countries: 0
Highest Point: Mt Vinson 4892m
Largest Glacier: Lambert 400km long
Average ice thickness: 1.9km
Coldest Temperature: -89.2°C
DID YOU KNOW?
• Antarctica is actually a desert due to it's lack of rain.
• Despite the masses of ice the continent is the driest place on earth. Along with the coldest and windiest!
• It was the last continent to be discovered, remaining
un-explored until 1895!
• The Ross Ice Shelf is so large that the country of France could neatly fit inside it.
• 90% of the world's ice is found in Antarctica!
The world's most southern continent has no permanent inhabitants. It does however hold 70% of the world's fresh water due to 98% of it being covered in densely packed ice, averaging 1.9km thick!
The Antarctic Treaty was set up in 1959 after many countries disputed claims and ownership over the continent. The treaty declared that there should be no permanent residents and the entire continent be handed over to scientific research. 38 countries now own or work at research facilities housing approx. 4000 people in the summer and 1000 people in the winter.
There maybe no human residents but animals like the Emperor Penguin flock to it's coasts in their 10s of thousands to mate and nest each year due to it's bountiful oceans!
HERE ARE THE COUNTRIES THAT MAKE UP ANTARCTICA
None - Antarctica is governed by 38 countries as part of the Antarctic Treaty System.
Population: 4.4 billion +
No. Countries: 47
Highest Point: Mt Everest 8848m
Lowest Point: Dead Sea -430m
Longest river: Yangtze 6300km
Biggest country: Russia
Smallest country: Maldives
The world's largest continent and home to 47 countries it takes up one third of the world's surface. All the major religions were also born here, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.
Asia is full of natural wonders from the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas to the rolling tea plantations of India. Not to mention it's unique wildlife including the Giant Panda and Orangutan.
With a population of over 4.4 billion it is by far the largest of any continent. The peoples and cultures are both many and diverse from the Turkic in the North, the Dravadian culture in the South, Arabs in the West and the great Chinese influence in the East.
DID YOU KNOW?
• 60% of the world's population inhabit Asia...
...with over 1.3 billion of them living in China
• Asia is home to highest point on Earth, Mt Everest. Standing a staggering 29,035 feet high...
• ...and also the lowest point on Earth, found in Lake Baikal at a depth of 5,315 feet!
• Indonesia in the East is made up of 17,000 islands, the world's largest archipelago (a group of islands)!
HERE ARE THE COUNTRIES THAT MAKE UP ASIA
Afghanistan • Armenia • Azerbaijan • Bahrain • Bangladesh • Bhutan • Brunei • Cambodia • China • Georgia • India • Indonesia • Iran • Iraq • Israel • Japan • Jordan • Kazakhstan • Kuwait • Kyrgyzstan • Laos • Lebanon • Malaysia • Maldives • Mongolia • Myanmar • Nepal • North Korea • Oman • Pakistan • Philipines • Qatar • Russia • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • South Korea • Sri Lanka • Syria • Tajikistan • Thailand • Timor-Leste • Turkey • Turkmenistan • United Arab Emirates • Uzbekistan • Vietnam • Yemen
Population: 741 million +
No. Countries: 50
Highest Point: Mt Elbrus 5642m
Lowest Point: Caspian Sea -28m
Longest river: Volga 3690km
Biggest country: Russia
Smallest country: Vatican City
DID YOU KNOW?
• 28 countries are part of the European Union which was set up to create free trade and political stability in 1993.
• 19 countries in Europe share the same currency, the Euro
• There is a train line under the English Channel connecting England and France measuring over 50km!
• Between the 16th and 20th Century European countries controlled the majority of the other continents apart from Antarctica!
Comprising of 50 countries including the world's largest, Russia and the world's smallest, Vatican City.
It is famed for such iconic cities as Paris, London, Athens and Rome.
With a population of 741 million it is pretty packed for the second smallest continent. It's also packed with stunning art and architecture from Italy's Michelangelo, the Netherlands Van Gogh to Spains Gaudi. European culture, along with American has a strong influence on the rest of the world.
Although Europe has a temperate climate it's temperatures and environments differ vastly. From the icy Iceland and Svalbard in the north to the warming sun of Greece, Turkey and Portugal in the South. The middle of Europe has the most temperate of climates and is renowned for it's farming, with it's produce being exported all over the world
HERE ARE THE COUNTRIES THAT MAKE UP EUROPE
Albania • Andorra • Armenia • Austria • Azerbaijan • Belarus • Belgium • Bosnia and Herzegovina • Bulgaria • Croatia • Cyprus • Czech Republic • Denmark • Estonia • Finland • France • Georgia • Germany • Greece • Hungary • Iceland • Ireland • Italy • Kazakhstan • Kosovo • Latvia • Liechtenstein • Lithuania • Luxembourg • Macedonia • Malta • Moldova • Monaco • Montenegro • Netherlands • Norway • Poland • Portugal • Romania • Russia • San Morino • Serbia • Slovakia • Slovenia • Spain • Sweden • Switzerland • Turkey • Ukraine • United Kingdom • Vatican City
EUROPE ON FILM
Population: 579 million +
No. Countries: 23
Highest point: Denali 6190m
Lowest point: Death Valley -86m
Longest river: Missouri 3767km
Biggest country: Canada
Smallest country: Saint Kitts & Nevis
Over 500 million people in 23 countries call this continent home. This includes the world's largest island, Greenland, the iconic city of New York and the famed island of Barbados.
A lot of the population, mainly in the USA and Canada, descend from European migrations starting in the 1600s. Before this the majority were Native Americans predominantly in what is now the USA and Inuits who lived in Canada and the Arctic Circle. Inuit cultures and ways of living are still practised today in the far north of Canada in a homeland called Nunavut.
In the south below Mexico are the Caribbean Islands. Their isolation and tranquility is famed due to only 2% of the 7000 islands being inhabited!
DID YOU KNOW?
• Panama is home to the man-made Panama Canal, the only stretch of water to pass through the Americas from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
• The highest ever air temperature was recorded in Death Valley, a sweltering 134 degrees Fahrenheit!
• It's the birthplace of sports such as Baseball, Basketball and Ice Hockey.
• North America is thought to have been first settled 15,000 years ago by the Native Americans.
HERE ARE THE COUNTRIES THAT MAKE UP NORTH AMERICA
Antigua and Barbuda • Bahamas • Barbados • Belize • Canada • Costa Rica • Cuba • Dominica • Dominican Republic •
El Salvador • Grenada • Guatemala • Haiti • Honduras • Jamaica • Mexico • Nicaragua • Panama • Saint Kitts and Nevis •
Saint Lucia • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines • Trinidad and Tobago • United States of America
HERE ARE THE DEPENDANT TERRITORIES THAT MAKE UP NORTH AMERICA
Anguilla • Aruba • Bermuda • Bonaire • British Virgin Islands • Cayman Islands • Clipperton Island • Curacao • Greenland • Guadeloupe • Martinique • Montserrat • Navassa Island • Puerto Rico • Saba • Saint Barthelemy • Saint Martin • Saint Pierre and Miquelon • Sint Eustatius • Sint Maarten • Turks and Caicos Islands • US Virgin Islands
Population: 422 million +
No. Countries: 12
Highest point: Mt Aconcagua 6901m
Lowest point: Valdes Peninsula -40m
Longest river: Amazon 6400km
Biggest country: Brazil
Smallest country: Suriname
Consisting of 12 countries reaching from the equator down to the polar regions the continent contains both the largest rainforest in the world and the second largest river, both named the Amazon.
Only 422 million people inhabit South America. Many descend from the Inca peoples whose civilisations amassed great wealth, discovery and created huge cities 1000s of years ago. A great example of this is Machu Picchu in Peru, built of stone and standing an incredible 2430 metres above sea level!
DID YOU KNOW?
• When flooded the Amazon River can grow up to
30 miles wide!
• The Galapagos Islands are one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth, home to the Giant Tortoise, who live an average of 100 years!
• The biggest carnival in the world hosts 2 million per day and is celebrated in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil each year.
• Angel Falls in the Venezuela is the highest waterfall in the world, reaching a dizzying height of 979 metres!
HERE ARE THE COUNTRIES THAT MAKE UP SOUTH AMERICA
Argentina • Bolivia • Brazil • Chile • Columbia • Ecuador • Guyana • Paraguay • Peru • Suriname • Uruguay • Venezuela
HERE ARE THE DEPENDANT TERRITORIES THAT MAKE UP SOUTH AMERICA
Falkland Islands • French Guiana • South Georgia and the South • Sandwich Islands
SOUTH AMERICA ON FILM
Population: 32 million +
No. Countries: 14
Islands: 10,000 +
Highest point: Mt Wilhelm 4509m
Lowest point: Lake Eyre -52m
Longest river: Murray 2508km
Biggest country: Australia
Smallest country: Nauru
14 independent countries make up Oceania. This includes the sub-continent of Australasia which is made up of Australia and New Zealand.
Over 32 million people call this continent home including many indigenous peoples in particular Aboriginals in Australia, the Maori in New Zealand and those from Melanesian decent in the Pacific Islands such as Fiji. Many traditions and ways of life are still well practiced.
Whilst most of Oceania sits in the tropics the south of Australia and New Zealand benefit from a temperate weather system. This means that they have seasonal weather patterns compared to the Tropics which experience only dry and wet seasons.
DID YOU KNOW?
• Famed for it's unique wildlife, Oceania is home to the Koala, Kangaroo, Kiwi bird and the Platypus.
• The Haka ,a traditional dance of the New Zealand Maori people, is still continued to this day even by the nations rugby team to scare off an opponent!
• New Zealand is actually 7% of another continent, Zealandia...but the other 93% is submerged in the ocean!
• There are over 10,000 small islands as part of Oceania!
HERE ARE THE COUNTRIES THAT MAKE UP OCEANIA
Australia • Fiji • Kiribati • Marshal Islands • Micronesia • Nauru • New Zealand • Palau • Papua New Guinea • Samoa • Solomon Islands • Tonga • Tuvalu • Vanuatu
HERE ARE THE DEPENDENT TERRITORIES THAT MAKE UP OCEANIA
American Samoa • Cook Islands • French Polynesia • Guam • New Caledonia • Niue • Norfolk Island • Northern Mariana Islands • Pitcairn Islands • Tokelau • Wake Island • Wallis and Futuna