Daily Top Responders
Answer A Question
What are the seven continents in order from largest to smallest area?
Asked by anonymous -
This question can also be asked as:
What are all seven continents in order from the largest to the smallest area?
how many continents are their?
Highest Rated Answer
Actually, depending on how you define continent there are either 8, 7 or 6 continents. Essentially, the below is the currently accepted list of continents by geographers, 8 continents with Asia as the largest.
"Continents are understood to be large, continuous, discrete masses of land, ideally separated by expanses of water." However, many of the seven most commonly recognized continents are identified by convention rather than adherence to the ideal criterion that each be a discrete landmass, separated by water from others. Likewise, the criterion that each be a continuous landmass is often disregarded by the inclusion of the continental shelf and oceanic islands. The Earth's major landmasses are washed upon by a single, continuous World Ocean, which is divided into a number of principal oceanic components by the continents and various geographic criteria".
from - "Ocean". The Columbia Encyclopedia (2006). New York: Columbia University Press. Retrieved 20 February 2007. and "Distribution of land and water on the planet." UN Atlas of the Oceans (2004). Retrieved 20 February 2007.
See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continents for some fascinating information about the history of the naming of the continents and their origins as well as some really good links for further information.
Here is the list of continents the figures are area in square kilometers
Americas 42,330,000 (North America 24,490,000, South America 17,840,000)
Australia-New Guinea 8,500,000
Australia mainland 7,600,000
If you are wondering why the artic is not listed, well, that's because it isn't a land mass just a huge big floating ice cube.