A continent is considered as an extensive portion of land or continental plate that emerges above the water level towards the surface.
Continents are mostly delimited by oceans or seas that make the difference between one continent and the other. However, this rule is not always fulfilled as we will see below since there is no consensus regarding said definition and there are several models.
The different models of continent
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is possible to find different names, quantities and interpretations of the definition of container.
The traditional model
Currently six (6) continents can be recognized:
The model with eight (8) continents
In this model, it is stated that America is divided into three parts and they make up 3 different continents. So, following this model, the continents would be eight in total:
- North America
- Central America
- South America
The Eurasia continent
The Asian continent is bordered by the European by an extensive portion of land. It is for this reason that the continent is often referred to as Eurasia .
The Euphrasia continent
Following the strict definition of continent Asia, Europe and Africa constitute a single continent called Euphrasia .
Formation of the continents: Pangea
The geological formation of the continents indicates that in ancient times all the continents belonged to a single block of land on the water. This continent was called; Pangea. The division of Pangea is due to the movement of the plates as a consequence of magma, (viscous fluid) on which the same continental plates float.
There are many islands around the planet and, although these do not belong to a particular continent, dominance is attributed to the continent closest to where these islands are.
6 Examples of continents
To continue, we will address the classic model of continents in which it is indicated that there are 6 continents and their bordering characteristics:
1 – Europe
It is a continent located in the northern hemisphere and, as explained above, it is not completely surrounded by water.
To the north it borders the North Sea, to the west is the Atlantic Ocean and to the south the Mediterranean Sea is observed. However, to the east it borders Asia and its limits are not entirely exact.
2 – Asia
Asia is the continent with the largest surface area and is located in the southern hemisphere. In turn, it is the continent with the largest number of inhabitants. As a curiosity it is important to say that this tectonic plate presents a great variety of earthquakes.
In the north it limits with the Arctic Glacier oceans, in the south with the Indian Ocean, in the east with the Pacific Ocean and in the west with Europe, more precisely with the Ural Mountains.
3 – Africa
Africa is a continent that is linked to Europe by the Strait of Gibraltar. However, in the north its maritime boundary is with the Mediterranean Sea, to the west with the Atlantic Ocean, to the east with the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and with Asia.
4 – Oceania
Oceania is the smallest continent of all. Within Oceania it is possible to distinguish 5 large groups: Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia.
To the north its limits are with the Timor Sea, the Arafura Sea and the Torres Strait; to the east with the Tasman Sea and the Coral Sea; in the south it borders the Indian Ocean and the Bass Strait. Finally to the south it also limits its limits with the Indian Ocean.
5 – Antarctica
It is the coldest and driest continent of all. Being constantly covered by a layer of ice, its surface varies depending on the time of year. Thus, when the summer season arrives, certain ice sheets melt and refreeze when winter arrives. However, it is never possible to defrost completely. As for its limits; to the north, south, east and west it borders the Arctic Glacial Ocean.
6 – America
America can be sub-classified or divided into three: North, Central and South America. However, we will approach this as a single continent.
Its limits are: to the north with the Arctic Glacier Ocean, to the west with the Pacific Ocean, to the east with the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south with the confluence of the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic.