10 how many ocean and continent in the world Ideas

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nts And 5 Oceans – Science Trends

The 7 continents of the world are North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. The 5 oceans of the world are the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean.

One of the most fascinating scientific topics is the study of the 5 oceans and 7 continents. The reason for this is that, even though most of us study the world’s oceans and continents at school, very often we found ourselves in conversations where people do not seem to agree on the exact number of continents and oceans.

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty. – John Muir

Can you name the 7 continents of the world?

  • North America
  • South America
  • Antarctica
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Australia

And even when we know that the correct number is 7 continents and 5 oceans, it is more challenging than it may initially seem to name them all.

Why does studying continents and oceans so important? Because if you want to understand Planet Earth, you really need to understand the planet’s surface. Most of the surface is actually covered in water (about 70%). More than 95% of it is saltwater. This saltwater surface has been organized into 5 distinct oceans, whereas the relatively small land surface we have organized into 7 distinct continents.

Four Continents Five Continents Six Continents Six Continents (Alt.) Seven Continents
Afro-Eurasia Africa Africa Africa Africa
America Eurasia Asia Eurasia Asia
Antarctica America Europe North America Europe
Australia Antarctica America South America North America
Australia Antarctica Antarctica/Oceania South America
Australia Australia Antarctica/Oceania

What are continents? 

At its most basic, we could say that continents are the areas of our planet’s surface that are not underwater.

Anyone with a sharp mind would immediately pick holes in that definition. Why? Because the shapes and boundaries of continents are always changing. As oceans rise, continents become, by that definition, smaller.

But not only that, the land masses that we now call continents are the result of shifts that broke up a supercontinent that scientists have called Pangea. It would be a mistake to think that the shifts that created the 7 continents have stopped. These shifts continue and will create new continents in the distant future (we are talking about hundreds of millions of years from now).

How many continents are there?

Although the number seven is the most common for continents, there are two other widely spread and fairly accepted number of continents.

It used to be believed that there were only 5 continents. Indeed, some people still believe to be the case. The five continents would be the following:

  • Africa
  • America
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Europe

Other people believe that there are 6 continents, as follows:

  • America
  • Antarctica
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Australia (Oceania)
  • Europe

But, by far, the most commonly agreed number of continents is 7:

  • North America
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Antarctica
  • Australia (Oceania)
  • Europe
  • Asia

Whether you believe there are 5, 6, or 7 continents would largely depend on when and where (i.e., which country) you went to school. Some people would also take the landmass that encompasses Europe and Asia as one whole known as Eurasia. There is also a common misconception concerning Australia (the continent) and Australia (the country). The continent known indistinctly as Australia or Oceania should not be confused with the country of Australia, for Australia (the continent) includes Australia, Tasmania, New Guinea, and New Zealand, as well as Polynesian and Micronesian islands.

The Continents


This continent has a landmass of 11,670,0000 square miles or 28,489,869 square kilometers.

Africa is the second continent on the planet both in terms of size and population (1,119,307,147 as of 2016).

It is estimated that about 15% of the world’s population currently lives in Africa.

With the equator traversing the African continent roughly through its middle, Africa has distinct climatic regions. The areas immediately north and south of the equator have climates that vary from warm to tropical or a combination of both. The far north and the far south are, in contrast to the central areas, relatively temperate.

Because of this climatic diversity, Africa is home to many different animal and insect species that are unique to the continent. Elephants, hippos, and giraffes are just some of the animals that have made Africa globally famous.

From a historical perspective, Africa is hugely important as it is now credited to be the birthplace of humankind.

Present-day Africa is made up of 54 independent countries, most of which are the result of continent-wide independence and decolonization movements in the 20th century. Some of the arbitrary borders that were drawn by the former colonial overseers have resulted in bloody conflicts in many different parts of the continent.

  • Africa is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Indian Ocean to the east.
  • The largest city in the whole continent is Lagos, Nigeria inhabited by 15,188,780 people as of 2014.
  • Other large cities in Africa include Cairo, Egypt; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; Johannesburg, South Africa; Khartoum, Sudan; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; and Alexandria, Egypt.


This continent has a land mass of 5,405,000 square miles or 12,949,940 square kilometers.

Antarctica is, by far, the most sparsely populated continent on Earth, with a population of only 4,912 people as of 2015.

Antarctica is mostly known for being the southernmost continent on our planet. Because of its geographical position in the South Pole, Antarctica suffers the coldest temperatures on Earth, sometimes reaching -130°F (-90°C).

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With those harsh weather conditions, it is hardly surprising that this continent is so sparsely populated. Its largest “city” is the McMurdo Station where, as of 2013, only 1,258 people live.

Antarctica is one of the smallest continents on Earth, only larger than Europe and Australia. But, even though Antarctica is larger than Europe, its population is a lot smaller in size. In fact, Antarctica has the smallest population of all 7 continents.


With a land area of 17,210,000 square miles or 44,029,797 square kilometers, Asia occupies about 9% of our planet’s surface.

Asia is also the most widely populated continent on Earth with a population of 4,494,302,221 as of 2016. This means that almost 60% of the world’s population lives in Asia.

Because of the sheer size of its population and the rising economies of many of its countries (India, China, South Korea, Japan, etc.), Asia is one of the most important countries in terms of the world’s economy.

  • The largest city in Asia is also the largest city on Earth. The city in question is Tokyo, Japan with 37,126,000 as of 2012.
  • Other large cities in Asia include Jakarta, Indonesia; Delhi, India; Karachi, Pakistan; Seoul, South Korea; Shanghai, China; Manila, Philipines; and Mumbai, India.
  • Although a continuing landmass with Europe, Asia is the part of the landmass east of an imaginary line going north from the Aegean Sea all the way to the Black Sea, then on to the North West of the Caspian Sea, the Ural River and finally ending at the Arctic Ocean.
  • The Pacific Ocean is to the east of Asia, the Indian Ocean to the south and the Arctic Ocean to the north.


This continent has a land area of 2,970,000 square miles or 5,179,976 square kilometers. As of 2016, its population is 39,901,000, making it the second least populated continent on Earth, only behind Antarctica.

  • In Australia, the largest city is Sydney which, as of 2016, has a population of 5,029,768.
  • Other large cities in Australia include Melbourne, Victoria; Brisbane, Queensland; Auckland, New Zealand; and Perth, Western Australia.
  • Australia is also known for being the remotest continent on the planet as it is the farthest from any of the other 6 continents. Australia is also the smallest continent although, paradoxically harbors one of largest countries on earth (Australia) in terms of size if not population.
  • When talking about this continent, we must always combat the common misconception that conflates the Commonwealth nation of Australia and, specifically, its mainland, with the whole continent, which also includes New Zealand (with its two large islands), Tasmania, and several other smaller islands.
  • Australia (also sometimes known as Oceania) is located between the Indian Ocean to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West.

This continent has long fascinated botanists and biologists due to the uniqueness of the hundreds of different plant and animal species that are unique to this continent. The fact that the overwhelming percentage of animal and plant specifies present in Australia cannot be found anything else in the world is due to Australia’s remoteness.

Apart from its many different animal and plant species, this continent is also globally famous because it is home to the biggest reef in the world: The Great Barrier Reef.


  • With a land area of 3,931,000 square miles or 7,769,964 square kilometers, Europe is the smallest continent on Earth.
  • It is the westernmost area of the Eurasian landmass, which only makes up about 7% of the world’s land area.
  • The largest city in Europe is Istanbul, Turkey with a population of 14,657,434. Interestingly, the largest European city is also partially in Asia. Turkey is one of those nations that straddle two different continents (Russia is another important example). But its main city and Europe’s largest city also straddles both continents.
  • Other large cities in Europe include Moscow, Russia; London, United Kingdom; Saint Petersburg, Russia; Berlin, Germany; Madrid, Spain; Kieve, Ukraine; Rome, Italy; and Paris, France.
  • Europe is the most densely populated continent on Earth with a populated mainland stretching east from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains. The continent is bordered by the Mediterranean and Black seas to the south, and the Antarctic Ocean to the north. Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, The British Isles, or the Balearic Islands are also densely populated islands that are part of Europe.
  • Europe harbors both the largest and the smallest nations on Earth. The largest one is Russia (although most of its territory is, in fact, in Asia), and the smallest one is Vatican City in the Italic Peninsula.

Many different European civilizations have shaped the world because of their historical impact not just in Europe itself but also in every other continent on earth due to imperialistic expansion and its subsequent colonialism. Testament to this is that European languages (chiefly, English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Russian) are widely spoken in every other continent, mostly in North and South America (Spanish, English, French), Africa (English, French, Portuguese, Spanish), Asia (Russian, English, French, Portuguese), and Australia (English).

North America

  • This continent has a land area of 9,540,000 square miles or 23,309,892 square kilometers. As of 2016, its population is 579,014,000. This population is spread over 23 different countries including three that occupy vast lands, such as Canada, The United States, and Mexico.
  • This means that around 8% of the world’s population lives in this landmass, which is approximately 17% of the planet’s landmass.
  • Although ethnically diverse, its population is mostly of European descent, most of which live in the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada but also in the Caribbean islands and the nations of Central America.
  • The largest city in North America is Mexico City with a population of 20,400,000. This also makes it the third-largest city in the world behind Tokyo, Japan and São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Other largest cities in North America include New York City, New York; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Boston, Massachusetts; Toronto, Ontario; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Miami, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • North America presents a great variety of climate, from the extreme cold in Alaska, Canada, and most of the northern section of the United States, to tropical and subtropical on the East coast, or desert conditions in the southwest of the United States, and the northwest of Mexico.
  • North America is also home to the world’s largest lakes, straddling Canada and United States.

Mostly due to the global economic powerhouses that are Canada and, mostly, the United States, North America is the richest continent in the world. This is in terms of  Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, which is the largest of all the continents.

South America

  • This continent has a land area of 6,888,000 square miles or 15,539,928 square kilometers. Its population is 414,332,000 as of 2015.
  • The biggest city in South America is São Paulo in Brazil with a population of 21,242,939. This makes São Paulo the second largest global city, only behind Tokyo in Japan.
  • Other largest cities in South America include Lima, Peru; Bogotá, Colombia; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Caracas, Venezuela; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Salvador, Brazil; Brasilia, Brazil; Fortaleza, Brazil; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Quito, Ecuador.
  • This continent is the southern area of the landmass it shares with North America. Like North America, South America borders with the Atlantic Ocean to the West and the Pacific to the East. South America stretches all the way to the South Pole where its nearest neighboring continent, Antarctica, is located.
  • Despite its vastness, there are only twelve independent nations in South America. By far, the largest of them all is Brazil. Not only is Brazil the biggest country on the continent, but it also has the largest population of them all.
  • Because of the Amazon River, which is the longest river in the world, only followed by the Nile in Africa; and the Andes mountains, which is the longest mountain range in the world, South America has a fascinating level of biodiversity.
  • The ethnic diversity of South America is the result of southern migration of indigenous North American populations, followed by the arrival of Europeans who initially where the conquistadors, explorers, and colonists from Spain and Portugal and then immigrants from those countries and other European nations, and, chiefly, in Brazil the import of slaves from South Saharan Africa.
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The 5 Oceans:

Although for hundreds of years, the global consensus was that there were 4 oceans, in the 21st century this number was officially increased to 5 when in the year 2000 the International Hydrographic Organization decided almost unanimously to include the Southern Ocean.

So, the list of the 5 oceans is now as follows:

  • The Pacific Ocean
  • The Atlantic Ocean
  • The Indian Ocean
  • The Arctic Ocean
  • The Southern Ocean

Pacific Ocean

“The history of exploration has never been driven by exploration. But Columbus himself was a discoverer. So was Magellan. But the people who wrote checks were not. They had other motivations.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

  • This ocean covers an area of 63,784,077 square miles or 165,200,000 square kilometers.
  • The Pacific ocean covers the whole area between the eastern coasts of two continents: Australia (Oceania) and Asia, all the way to the west coasts of North and South America.
  • The Pacific ocean was discovered by Europeans in 1520 when Portuguese explorer Magellan accessed it from South America for the first time.
  • Two notable facts make this ocean world famous. On the one hand, the Pacific has the longest shoreline in the world. Taking into account all the different shorelines washed by the Pacific and add them together, the Pacific has 84,3000 miles or 135,663 kilometers of shoreline.
  • The other notable fact about the Pacific is that its seafloor holds the deepest point on the whole planet. Back in 1875, the HMS Challenger discovered it around the US territory of Guam, specifically in the Marianas Trench. The depth of the seafloor is close to 7 miles or 11,000 meters below sea level.

Atlantic Ocean

  • With an area of 41,081,270 square miles or 106,400,000 square kilometers, the Atlantic is the second-largest ocean on Earth behind the Pacific.
  • Like the Pacific ocean, the Atlantic stretches all the way from the Arctic to the Antarctic region. It covers the area between western Europe and Africa to western North and South America.
  • The Atlantic includes many seas, such as the Baltic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mediterranean seas.
  • Europeans were able to chart this ocean fully in the 15th century when they began sailing to North and South America. This makes it, together with the eastern portion of the Indian Ocean, the oldest ocean to be chartered by Europeans.
  • Since then, the Atlantic has become hugely important in world trade. The Atlantic ocean has played a key role in the imperialistic and colonialist enterprises by European states (Spain, Portugal, Great Britain, France, etc.).
  • The fertility of the warm waters of the North Atlantic specifically has also contributed to human development thanks to the abundance of whale sperm and cod.

Indian Ocean

  • Comprising the area between East Africa, South East Asia and the east of Australia, the Indian Ocean covers an area of 28,400,130 square miles or 73,556,000 square kilometers.
  • Washing the shores of some of the world’s most important civilizations, the Indian Ocean has been crucial in trade for several hundreds of years.
  • Historically, the Indian Ocean has been fundamental in the trade between Europe and Asia. Western (and, indeed, global) medicine and food preservation have greatly progressed thanks to the amazing spices that are found in the countries around the Indian Ocean, including its many islands.
  • Europeans recognized the importance of these species centuries ago, so the sailed throughout the Indian Ocean in search of them.

Arctic Ocean

  • Both the smallest and the shallowest ocean, the Arctic Ocean covers an area of 5,400,015 square miles or 13,986,000 square kilometers.
  • The Arctic Ocean is surrounded by North America, Asia, and Europe.
  • This ocean, which is mostly covered in ice for most of the year, includes the Barents, North and Hudson Bay seas.
  • Despite the freezing temperatures and the fact that most of the area covered in ice, different Northern civilizations from the three continents that surround it have inhabited for hundreds of years.
  • Perhaps this was what encouraged Europeans explorers to attempt to use the Arctic Ocean to access Asia. This was supposed to be a shorter pass that the already exploited one of the Indian Ocean. However, because of its incredibly harsh climatic conditions, this exploring enterprise was an utter failure.

Southern Ocean

  • The area covered by the Southern Ocean is 7,848,299 square miles or 20,327,000 square kilometers. This makes it the penultimate ocean in terms of size only in front of the Arctic Ocean.
  • The Southern Ocean is the “youngest” ocean on Earth, as it was only considered as such in the year 2000. Before then it was merely considered a southern extension of the Atlantic, the Pacific, and the Indian Oceans. This is because its waters are joined to the north with the southern portions of the Indian, the Atlantic, and the Pacific Oceans.
  • The Southern Ocean is hugely important in global weather patterns, and not just those affecting the southern hemisphere.

So, how many continents and oceans are there, really?

When it comes to the study of the continents and oceans on planet Earth, we need to recognize that the number of continents and oceans (and sometimes the terminology we use) has changed and new perspectives are put forward and new consensuses are reached by the scientific community. And, although, we must always acknowledge any possible discrepancies we have to always work on the basis of the current scientific consensus. And right now, in 2017, the scientific consensus is that there are 7 continents and 5 oceans.

role=”button” tabindex=”0″>10:13Educational video for children to learn the continents and oceans on planet Earth. Do you know how many continents and oceans there are?YouTube · Smile and Learn – English · Aug 24, 202110 key moments in this video

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Frequently Asked Questions About how many ocean and continent in the world

If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic how many ocean and continent in the world, then this section may help you solve it.

Which five oceans and seven continents are there?

Complete List: Seven Continents and Five Oceans

  • 7 Continents. The 7 continents are given below: Asia. Europe. Africa. North America. South America. Australia. Antarctica.
  • 5 Oceans. The 5 Oceans are given below: Pacific Ocean. Atlantic Ocean. Indian Ocean. Arctic Ocean. Antarctic Ocean.

How many oceans and continents are there on Earth?

Our planet’s surface is divided into seven continents and five oceans.

What are the world’s seven oceans?

The Arctic, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian, and Southern oceans are included in the Seven Seas.

How do you remember the five oceans and the seven continents?

Another phrase to help you remember the continents is “SEAN got three AAAs,” where “SEAN” stands for “South America, Europe, Asia, and North America” and “AAA” stands for Australia, Antarctica, and Africa.

5 or 6 oceans exist?

There is only one ocean in the world. Historically, there were four named oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. However, most nations, including the United States, now recognize the Southern (Antarctic) as the fifth ocean.

Exists a fifth ocean, if so?

The Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica, has been recognized as a fifth ocean by National Geographic, one of the most renowned and well-known mapmaking organizations in the world.

What is the world’s largest ocean?

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of the world’s ocean basins, with a surface area of roughly 63 million square miles and a volume greater than half that of the planet’s free water. All of the world’s continents could fit inside the Pacific basin.

Why are there five rather than one ocean?

Because of its distinctive characteristics, which scientists and geographers have long recognized, National Geographic decided to designate the Antarctic waters as its own ocean (instead of just the southern portions of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific).

What distinguishes an ocean from a sea?

Seas are found on the ocean’s margins and are typically partially enclosed by land. Here, you can see that the Bering Sea is part of the Pacific Ocean. Seas are smaller than oceans in terms of size and are typically found where the land and ocean meet.

Do we only understand five oceans?

It might come as a surprise to learn that only 5% of the ocean has been explored and charted by humans; the rest, especially its depths, are still unknown. In fact, most of the waters still remain unexplored, uncharted, and unseen by our eyes.

Why are we unable to travel to the ocean’s depths?

Even though you don’t notice it, the air pushing down on your body at sea level is about 15 pounds per square inch, and if you went up into space, above the Earth’s atmosphere, the pressure would decrease to zero. The intense pressures in the deep ocean make it an extremely difficult environment to explore.

Which ocean is the cleanest?

Scientists assert that the Weddell Sea, located off the coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, has the world’s clearest waters.

What ocean is the warmest?

The Pacific Ocean, which is the warmest ocean overall among the world’s five oceans (the others being the Arctic, Antarctic, and Indian Oceans), is by far the world’s largest heat reservoir.

Which ocean is the bluest?

The South Pacific contains some of the clearest, bluest ocean waters on the planet.

The coldest ocean is, where?

The Southern Ocean, the world’s coldest and most untamed ocean, is also referred to as the Antarctic Ocean because it surrounds Antarctica.

Which sea has the lowest temperature?

Under the Antarctic sea ice, scientists have discovered the coldest seawater ever recorded using a “supercoolometer,” a device that sounds like it should be used to gauge hipsters.

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