How Many Continents Are There in the World?

Home World 01 April 2011 149543 Views
How Many Continents Are There in the World?

There are seven 7 continents in the world. Continent means one of the principal land masses of the earth.If you count Europe and Asia continent as one continent (Eurosia) there are 6 continents.There are several number of continents as you can think.

List of continents:

1. North America
2. South America
3. Europe
4. Asia
5. Africa
6. Antarctica
7. Australia (Oceania)


Number of continents

7 continents : North America , South America , Antarctica , Africa , Europe  , Asia , Australia

6 continents : North America ,South America , Antarctica , Africa ,Eurasia , Australia

6 continents : America , Antarctica , Africa , Europe , Asia , Australia

5 continents : America , Africa , Europe , Asia , Australia

5 continents : America , Antarctica , Africa , Eurasia , Australia

4 continents : America , Antarctica ,Afro-Eurasia ,Australia

Number of Continents

Source : Wikipedia

96 responses to “How Many Continents Are There in the World?”

  1. Pleaze says:

    North America and South America belong to the same Continent: America

    • MimasCrater says:

      I agree with you, north and south America are not continents, they are super continents, but all of America is a continent.

      • CliffHanger says:

        What third would country are you from. There are seven continents in the would.

        • Christian says:

          let me guest!! well educacted North American citizen. there is one American continent them you have the North, South ,and Central

  2. Dylan Cole says:

    Actually, no they are 2 seperate continents!

    • Rick says:

      Based on whom?? By the way which is the international recognized institution that defines how many continents we have??

      • Biff says:

        Continents are defined by Geographers and based on plate tectonics. North and South America sit on two different plates, hence they are two different continents. That’s also why Europe and Asia are one continent not two, they are on the same plate. Europeans of old separated the continent simply because they didn’t want to admit they were on the same continent as the Asians. There are six Continents with Eurasia replacing the old Europe and Asia. That is the consensus of Geographers worldwide.

        • anon13333758392 says:

          Continents are not defined by plate tectonics, if they where the continents would be Eurasian, North America, South American, Indo-Australia, Nazca, Antartica, Pacific and African. If you include the smaller plates, by your definition there’s 49 continents.

        • MimasCrater says:

          No, that’s like saying India is a continent, or Arabia is a continent, because they are plates. North and South America are super continents, not continents.

      • EADLKY says:

        Only in the United States teach that there are 5 continents. The res of the world teaches 5: America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. antartica is a block of ice not a continent.

        • EADLKY says:

          lol i meant the US teaches 7 continents.

        • Amy says:

          I can’t stand the arrogance and ignorance people show to America. Firstly, there are many competing ideas on what a continent is, and the US is one of many who teach the 7 continent theory as standard public academia. Seven continents is a particularly popular concept outside of Europe, as it is based on a less vague definition of what a continent acually is.

          There are four principle theories, 7 6,, 5, and 4. Seven continents split North and South America, while the 5 continents combine both Europe, Asia, and the Americas into the continents of America and Eurasia. the six continents is what most Europeans outside France are taught. This definition finds that while the Americas are combined for form America, Europe and Asia are separated.

          France is taught a variation of the five continents in which America is combined and Europe and Asia are not joined, but Antarctica is not a continent. The Four continent theory combines the Americas into a single continent, whilst also combining Europe, Asia, and Africa.

          Do they not teach geography where you’re from?

        • MimasCrater says:

          Antarctica isn’t a block of ice, that’s the Antarctic. The Middle East is also a continent. The Olympics has 5 rings because of continents, well back in the olden days, schools used to teach 5 continents, but now 2 more have come.

        • Carey says:

          You would do well to encumber yourself with some knowledge by reading Wikipedia’s article on the subject .

          In addition to the United States, apparently a few small, lightly populated countries like China and India also teach the 7 continent model. In other words, countries that don’t share the eurocentric view of the world.

        • Donna says:

          FYI there’s land under the ice

        • ethel mary cross cuadra says:

          as far as I have known for 67 years of my life there are 5 continents…..America(North, Central(I am from Central America) and South America),Africa(lived in Nigeria), Asia(stayed 3 months in Thailand),Europe(lived in Italy for 2 years) and travelled throughout Europe), and Oceania which includes Australia(lived there for 45 years),New Zealand, Papua New Guinea(lived there for 2 years….so, as far as I am concerned there are 5 continents…..

    • Octavio says:

      What are you mean on “Actually no”
      AMERICA is a ONE piece on land mass. So where it becomes two separated lands?

    • Enrique says:

      Actually, nope, the USA is the only country that teach their students that, the rest of the world believe in America as just America, every continent is divided by north, south, east and west, but I respect the way you were taught, as the same way USA measure and weight different then the rest of the world.

      • Jay says:

        No the rest of the world don’t. Not in Europe. Not in the Far East. Not anywhere I’ve been sonny boy. Where the heck were you raised?

        • Maria says:

          “Jay” only USA and China are the countries that teach that there are “two” Americas. When Americo Vespucio discovered the continent, he discovered ONE. And I live in NORWAY, I can assure the the world doesn’t think like you or your countrymen. The virtual division of America (the continent, NOT a country) is based on prejudice, ignorance and ARROGANCE.

      • Sam says:

        Enrique, you are correct about the United States of America teaching 7 continents. From people I have met in South America and Central America they say they have been taught that there is 6 continents because America is one not two.
        Reza, all of those are correct. It depends on who and where in the world you ask, as shown by what Enrique has said.
        Mark, this is one interpretation. Some countries still teach that these are the 5 continents. In the USA they say that this was the 5 continents that existed at the time the Olympic games were created. That since this time the plates have shifted and land masses have separated enough to define 7 continents.

      • Cindy says:

        @Enrique you are correct, no need for me to say anything else cause you said it all

  3. MIMI says:

    I wonder when central American becomes part of South America?

    • Biff says:

      Central America is a region, not a continent, and is part of North America.

      • David says:

        Central America is not part of North America it never has been. Mexico North is North America. South of Mexico is Part of South America. There are differing opinions on continents and I agree it can be seen differently every where. Not sure why Europe and Asia are separate continents since they are connected in every way. Just cause the Americas were founded together and are the youngest ( as far as written history is concerned) does not make them the same continent just as just because Europe and Asia are two different cultures does not make them two separate continents. I also believe tectonic plates define continents. The amount of Land above Sea Level also determines whether a plate is a continents just as Pluto was downgraded and no longer a Planet. It is ever changing as new info is discovered. Those who do not recognize this are the stubborn ones. As far as humanity and knowledge are concerned we know nothing of this world other then what we think. Theories are abundant but actually knowledge is lacking and so many areas. This is the reason clinging to every word a person spills out as gospel is stupid cause it could change at the next rising of the sun.

  4. Octavio says:

    You just show me how “IGNORANT” you are.


  5. musa sarki says:

    continent of the world

  6. Claudia says:

    what about Central America ?

  7. Daniel Cortes says:

    Hey everybody!

    I just want to point out that the maps used in this post are quite old and are rarely used today, mainly because they do not show the world’s real proportions. This tipe of map is called “Mercator map”, which shows the north and south way out of its real proportions. For example, look at Greenland’s size, (which is 836,109 sq mi) compared to Africa (which is 11,668,599 sq mi), or compare Alaska (663,268 sq mi) with Mexico (761,606 sq mi) and Alaska looks way much larger than Mexico.

    I would suggest, if possible, to change it to other maps that are more accurate, such as Peters map. I know it has nothing to do with the topic, but it’s much more clear on Peters map to see why Europe is considered as part of Asia, and therefore understand why most geographers consider Eurasia as one continent. Besides, Peters map is a much more fair projection (with all it’s flaws) for the southern part of the world, which looks quite small on Mercator map when is almost twice as big as the north. 😀 —-Hope that was not too offtopic.—

  8. Bob Nixon says:

    *thank you

  9. Franzue says:

    Sorry all you guys a pissing out of the toilet!!
    3.- Europe
    4.- Africa
    5.- Oceania
    The rest is bull….the political implications play a crucial mafia to divide the planet between Christians & muslims if you don’t believe me dig the ONU, they are in charge to make the changes under the orders of the more powerful. Each change take about 25 to 30 years they just playing superiority that’s all.

  10. Joseph de Nicola says:

    The Urals were created when the European plate crashed into the Asian plate, and the Himalayas were created when the Indian sub-continental plate crashed into the Asian plate. There is also an Arabian plate, a Phillipine plate and a Carribean plate, By that reckoning, you could count up to 10 continents, not mentioning the submerged oceanic plates.

  11. Pokefan says:

    There are actually only 5 continents because North America and South America are one continent and because Antartica does not count as a continent because it has no population so therefore there are only 5 continents. The United States is the only country that I know that say there are 7 on other countries they say it is only 5

    • Jpovedapu says:

      You’re right, I’m from Central America, and I was taught that America is count as only one continent, not two, and that Antartica is sometimes considered as a continent, but because it is only ice, and has no population, it is not referred as a continent, US teaches that there are seven continents because US says that America is divided into South America and North America, because they think they are superior than the rest of America, and they don’t want to be counted as if they were one continent, the rest of America, and some of the other continents teach 4 or 5 continents. 5: America, Africa, Australia, Eurasia, Antartica , 4: America, Africa, Australia, Eurasia. But Us teaches 7: North America, South America, Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia, and Antartica.

  12. Chris Levine says:

    Your question also depends on time. If you were asking for current number of continents, the currently accepted answer (according to geographers in the USA) would be 7, as listed above. If you were asking about millions of years ago, the answer would be 1 – Pangea.

  13. Pokefan says:

    Chris Levine,

    7 is not correct ask any person from another country

  14. The Ceej says:

    Europe and Asia are not separate continents. The line between them is almost completely land. The line is an archaic property line. They’re separate regions but the same continent. Eurasia is a single continent. There are only six.

    Physiographically speaking, there is no debate here. Eurasia is a single continent and this is accepted by people in the field.

  15. Tim says:

    Guys, calm down. This is how wars start.
    They’re just labels. They are what you make of them.
    By the way, Antarctica IS a continent. It’s a massive land mass. I would know, I’ve been there 😉
    And South America and North America are 2 large land masses connected so lightly. BUT WHO CARES. Like with the Euro-Asia thing. If you want to argue about that, you might as well argue about ‘how China and Russia are the same country because they’re connected’, or something else stupid, ignorant and childish.

  16. jansween says:

    i was just confused because I am teaching the continents to my kindergarten class and first of all i thought there were 7 but i did think central america was part of south america. I thought north america only contained 3 countries..USA Canada and Mexico. These are all very interesting points though and it made me realize I cannot simply rely on my “old” information. I will share these views with my class and see what they say.Thanks to you all…

    • Mark says:

      There are 5 (FIVE) Continents. They are as follows:

      1) Europe
      2) America
      3) Africa
      4) Asia
      5) Oceania

      That is also why the Olympic Games logo is represented by 5 rings with 5 different colours representing the 5 continents in the World.

  17. Nomishan says:

    i like it,it’s very educative.

  18. Nomishan S.T says:

    education is enhance without stresses through you people.

  19. Jayhawk says:

    If you can make the argument that North and South America are one continent then why would Africa be a seperate continent? and if it is Eurasia then why would Africa not be incorporated in one way or another????? Are we seperating Africa because of the primarily racial differences?????after all they are all connected………..

  20. Reza says:

    which one is the correct one? this information was pulled from Wikipedia.
    7 continents
    North America
    South America
    6 continents
    North America
    South America
    6 continents
    5 continents
    4 continents[dubious – discuss]

  21. zakwan ibrahim says:

    is good to tell us which is true among them 7,6 or5 continents are there in the world.

  22. kenny says:

    Euro-Asia if such does exist would have been a long time ago categorising europeans and asians as one sounds totally wrong would jus stick to the fact that they are 7 continents due to the various ethnic groups we have

  23. Auspy says:

    Listen to everyone that has something to say but believe what you think is the correct number of continents, you must be objective anyway.

  24. marty says:

    i came here looking for answers just to find out everyone is as clueless as myself. internet arguement, cant beat em

  25. Big bang theory stand the clearance explanation of continents…..

  26. priyanka.T says:

    There are 7 continents in the world They are 1.Asia, 2.Africa, 3.Antarctica, 4.Australia, 5.Europe, 6.North America and 7.South America.

  27. Mark says:

    There are 5 (FIVE) Continents. They are as follows:

    1) Europe
    2) America
    3) Africa
    4) Asia
    5) Oceania

    That is also why the Olympic Games logo is represented by 5 rings with 5 different colours representing the 5 continents in the World.

    • kel says:

      How can you argue that North America and South America constitute one continent and then argue that Europe and Asia constitue two continents? What is your definition of continent? Either North America and South America = America and Europe and Asia = EuroAsia or they don’t. But, just by looking at illustations provided, therre is no way Europe and Asia are considered seperate continents but North America and South America are not…

  28. Angie says:

    There are 5 Continents and I agree. The USA is the only one that teaches 7. Although, the color on the rings represent the colors of the flags of the countries that participate on the games. the 5 rings reprensent the 5 continents. Look it up for those who don’t believe on 5 continents.

    1) Europe
    2) America
    3) Africa
    4) Asia
    5) Oceania

  29. cory says:

    When they made the olympic rings they based it off of the continents from which people would be competing and since Antarctica does not have any established country let alone athletes it was not included in the rings so dont base your argument about it not being a continent on the olympic symbol and also its not just a giant clump of ice theres actually land under that ice

  30. peter-london says:

    I think Asia and Europe is one continent as it is one mass of land. In my opinion this whole one continent can be divided in to West Eurasia ,Middle East ,East Eurasisa and the Far east Eurasia.
    Which is the right way to describe.


  31. Mortificus says:

    For those of you who live outside of the U.S,, you can’t have it both ways. If North America and South America are one continent, then you should count Europe and Asia as one continent also. In fact, by your logic, Europe, Asia, and Africa should be consider as the same continent.

  32. alex says:

    Going back the Olympic rings point they would have had six but the penguins are crap at badminton!

  33. bepu says:

    We are at the same plate of the earth therefore we stayed in the world/earth. So there must have to be only one continent.

  34. _-cHecK-MaTe-_ says:

    I think there are really 7 , it is based on tectonic plates and territories…….!

  35. _-cHecK-MaTe-_ says:

    The old number of continents is the most correct and the original, therefore you cannot change it

  36. Don says:

    North America is completely separated from South America by the Panama Canal, as is Africa separated from Asia by the Suez Canal. Hence the reason we in North America do not believe we are one continent with South America. It’s also the reason Africa is not considered part of Asia. The definition from the Webster’s New World Dictionary for continent is a follows: any of the main land areas of the earth, conventionally regarded (with or without outlying islands) as units; Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America, and sometimes, Antarctica. And yes, it was discovered that Antarctica is a land mass. Last, but not least, the Olympic Rings have nothing to do with the actual number of continents. The Greeks didn’t even know the Americas existed at the creation of the Olympics! So, we can come up with different numbers, but let’s be properly informed about the facts.

    • Pedro says:

      Canal de Panama is artificial as Canal de Suez. Continents come from a mix of tradition, territories and is just a division to categorized the world.

      When Columbus discovered America he though it was Las Indias (East Asia) and for that reason native people is called Indios (Indians). But someone realiased it was a completely new continent (Americo Vespucio) and in honour of this person the whole new land was called America. So America is just one continent.

      I understand the disccusion about Eurasia but here comes the tradition, old europeans and asiatics didnt stay in touch a lot. Also they have different cultures and are different races so it’s not bad to consider them as different continents.

      For Africa is the same, Europeans just get in touch with North Africa as Romain Empire and other countries wanted to controlled the mediterranean sea. But they didn’t go to South until XV or XVI century.

      If pepople base continents from tectonic plates it would be a lot of them as someone has already said.
      Also you should think when America was discovered there were not too much differences between North and South; similar culture, similar races. Not the same just similar.

      So I think we should say:
      !. Europe
      2. Asia
      3. Africa
      4. America
      5. Oceania
      6. Antarctic

      They didnt teach me Antarctica as a continent but I assume people is right and there is land below the ice so in that case we should count it as a continent.
      One question, what about the Artic? Is just ice or the is land below the ice?

      Just to clarify, I am from Spain, Europe. 🙂

  37. MimasCrater says:

    The continents are America, Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Oceania (Australasia) and Antarctica.

  38. Jose says:

    What amazes me about this discussion is that the people who seem to have trouble believing that there is a difference between North and South America(separated by a canal just like Africa) are the same ones that believe soo heartily that Europe and Asia are obviously two sepreate continents even though they’re one big clumped together land mass with only an imaginary line drawn between them…

  39. Lone says:

    @Jose, I am also amazed by that. Surely, by the same rule that America is one continent, so must Africa, Asia, and Europe also be one (that is, Africa is separated from Eurasian [which must be one because there is no separation] by only a canal).

  40. Lone says:

    *Eurasia – sorry about the typo. And I think I liked Don’s answer from August 22nd. His answer makes sense because it separates North and South America for the same reason it separates Africa, Asia, and Europe. In other words, it is a consistent application of one principle to all the large landmasses of Earth.

  41. Dennis Kemnitz says:

    You’ve made some good points there. I looked on the web to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

  42. ana kopscarti says:

    thanks, this was really helpful PS stop arguing!

  43. Carey says:

    Clearly the problem here is that “continent” has several, somewhat conflicting, definitions.

    The 5 continent argument is based on a eurocentric geopolitical map frozen in time 300+ years ago. It’s archaic and backwards looking, but that’s just fine for Europeans who themselves are stuck in time. You could come up with 5 continents with a fairly simple definition, i.e. “a major tectonic plate that has one or more large, populated land masses.” The 5 continents under that definition, however, are not the same as the eurocentric continents as Eurasia would be only one continent, and the Americas would be two.

    As I see it, the 7 taught in the US comes from a combination of the two approaches, accepting the eurocentric definition but adding Antartica and splitting America based on a combination of history and culture (and more recently defended with plate tectonics). In fact, North and South America have always behaved as two continents in particular because there has never been a viable land route connecting the two through Central America. I believe this distinction makes sense and is comparable to the geographic barriers separating Europe, Asia and Africa.

  44. fco guadalupe says:

    I do not know who invented all these stupidities that are 7 continents, 90% of people in the whole world knows that there are 5 continents …what they are.. America, Asia, Australia, Africa, and Europe. Here in the school they tell children that they are 7 …. but as I say are 5 continents as we all know… north america and south america are only one continent…

  45. Gülizar says:

    orange color in this picture, why not turkey between countries? ^_^ 🙁

  46. Gülizar says:

    Turkey caught my eye …. 🙂
    Did you see the shape of turkey?
    hopefully you find! hehe.. 😉

  47. morrisw says:

    How about Hollywood that’s a continent.

  48. Ángela says:

    People say that there is actually four continents but i keep on telling them there are seven but no they roll their eyes at me like iam the wrong one

  49. littleJack says:

    All this rhetoric is making me incontinent

  50. juanito says:

    the only reason white people on north america split the american continent its cos
    they make the panama canal so the ships from the atlantic ocean can cross

    • Mad money says:

      Well The “white” people that decided that they’re separate I don believe did so.. I think it takes a little more than “white” people

  51. Mary Ann says:

    Only on the Internet are there so many experts, even when so many people disagree with each other…LOL… I’m from Chicago, U.S.A. no need to tell you my “number”.

  52. Martins says:

    This topic is very interesting,5 continents of the world,1.Africa,2.America,3,Asia,4.Europe,5.Oceania.simple

  53. Michael says:

    This is an utterly ridiculous debate, much like arguing for the validity of Race. It is all based on old ‘science’. The surface of the Earth is composed of 15 major tectonic plates (with dozens of minor plates), 8 of these have large landmasses extending above sea-level. They are, North America, South America, Eurasia, Africa, Arabia, India, Australia, and Antarctica. How about when we teach our kids geography, we start with science, then politics.

    As for thinking North Americans are racists because we accept that the two American plates are sufficient grounds for reasoning that they are also two separate continents, how are Europeans not racist for insisting that Europe IS a separate continent from Asia… it’s one large landmass with a very long and interconnected history.

  54. Mad money says:

    I think you are all fucking stupid….who cares? Is this subject that important that you feel like you have to argue over what defines a continent? How about you look it up in a book. (Ugh, the things you fuck faces cry about) go do something productive with your time…

  55. ian liggett says:

    could we not hop on a plane and fly to the country we wish to go to, as long as we are on dry ground we can have as many continents as a person wants , i am happy to visit the more splendid countries and cultures

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