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Continents in the World

What is a mainland? How many are there in the world? What oceans wash them?

A continent or continent is a large massif of the earth’s crust, most of which is not covered by the world’s oceans. In the geological sense, the concept of a continent includes the underwater continental margins, as well as the continental shelf and the islands located on it. Continents, like the entire earth’s crust, are in constant motion, but move only a few centimeters a year, which is negligible by human standards. In a few million years, they can move hundreds of kilometers. History of the continents In the Permian period, about 335-200 million years ago, there was one supercontinent Pangea on Earth, washed by a huge single ocean. During the Triassic period, about 200 million years ago, Pangea split into two huge continents, Gondwana and Laurasia.

Continents in the World

Laurasia later split into Eurasia, North America and Greenland. Gondwana – to Africa, South America, India, Australia and Antarctica, as well as the Arabian Peninsula and Hindustan.

The theory of continental drift that substantiated this was put forward only at the beginning of the 20th century. However, much earlier, scientists noticed that the outlines of modern continents can be attached to each other so that a single whole is obtained. For example, the east coast of South America obviously approaches the west coast of Africa. How many continents are there on Earth? This simple, at first glance, question is not so easy to answer. Classically, it is customary to distinguish six continents : Eurasia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica.

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The concept of a mainland or continent is often confused with the term “part of the world”. This is a more descriptive concept, reflecting the history of the discovery of the world by Europeans. Europe and Asia are considered different parts of the world, and America (North and South together) is one. The fact is that Europeans have long considered Asia a distant mysterious land, and at the end of the 15th century they discovered both Americas at once.

Thus, there are six parts of the world, like the continents, but they are not identical. Modern scientists often put forward new continental models. They talk about four, five and even seven continents, in particular about Afro-Eurasia or Oceania. However, these are rather scientific curiosities than a worthy reason to reconsider existing ideas about the world. Continents and oceans Continents are separated from each other by oceans. The classical school distinguishes four oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic.

Recently, more and more talk about the fifth Southern Ocean. It includes the southern sections of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, which wash Antarctica.

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