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2006 CountriesThe term continent is a closed land mass that is completely or at least almost completely surrounded by water. The seven continents together make up almost 30 percent of the earth's surface. The rest are oceans, seas and islands.


The Asian continent is the supercontinent on the earth's crust in many ways. It occupies 8.7 percent of the surface area and is 44.5 million square kilometers larger than any other continent. Over four billion people live in Asia. That is around 60 percent of the world's population, almost eight times as many as in North America. Asia is also home to the highest elevations in our earth's crust, including every fourteen eight-thousanders. The Mount Everest is 8,848 meters, the highest elevation. Second highest mountain is in the Karakorum lying K2, which is also known as the mountain of the mountains and is certainly the biggest challenge for a mountaineer.


Africa is the second largest and so-called "black" continent. Over a billion people live there, which is 14.2 percent of the world's population. Africa is considered the cradle of modern mankind and Egypt was one of the earliest civilizations. Nowhere else is the diversity of large mammals so diverse and nowhere else in the world do people speak as many different languages ​​as in Africa. Over 2000 languages ​​are registered in the 53 different countries of the African continent. The highest mountain is the Kilimanjaro massif at 5895 meters in Tanzania. Mount Kenya in neighboring Kenya, 325 kilometers away as the crow flies, is just 700 meters lower, but much more difficult to climb.

North America

Almost 540 million people currently live in North America. After all, that's almost 7.6 percent of the world's population. North America is only about half the size of Asia and the third largest continent on earth. In 1492, Christopher Columbus discovered the “New World”, which is only connected to the South American continent by the approximately 80 kilometers narrow isthmus of Panama. The highest mountain in North America is Mount McKinley in the Alaska Range at 6,149 meters. The second highest peak and just under 200 meters lower is Mount Logan in the Elias chain of Canada, which is considered one of the most inhospitable mountains in the world.

South America

Based on, the fourth largest continent is South America with an area of ​​almost 18 million square kilometers and almost 400 million people. With over 7,500 kilometers, the Andes are the longest mountain range in the world. Aconcagua, at 6,962 meters, is the highest peak in South America and the highest elevation outside of Asia, right on the border between Chile and Argentina. The Ojos del Salado on the edge of the Atacama Desert also lies on the border between Chile and Argentina. The highest but long since extinct volcano on earth, like the Aconcagua, is not considered technically very demanding.


With an area of ​​13.2 million square kilometers, Antarctica is the fifth largest continent on earth and larger than Europe, but practically no one lives there. The more than 80 research stations have around 4,000 people in summer and barely a thousand in winter. The areas surrounding the South Pole are called Antarctica. How much mainland actually exists is not known, because an ice sheet up to three thousand meters thick lies over the Antarctic. It is the land of penguins and seals, sea lions and whales. Mount Vinson is 4,896 meters, which is about as high as Mont Blanc in the Alpsthe highest elevation in Antarctica. Only 44 meters lower and just 13 kilometers as the crow flies, Mount Tyree is the second highest mountain. It was climbed for the first time in 1967 and has not been climbed since 1997.


Although Europe, as a land mass, is directly connected to Asia for thousands of kilometers, due to historical and cultural developments, it is still regarded as an independent continent. One speaks however also of Eurasia. Europe is the most densely populated continent on earth with over 700 million people; an average of 65 inhabitants live in one square kilometer. After Australia, Europe is the second smallest continent. There are different opinions as to whether the inner Eurasian border makes the Caucasus mountains entirely Asia or whether the part beyond the northern watershed is part of Europe. However, if you take the geographic watershed as a yardstick, the two highest elevations in Europe are in the Caucasus: the Elbrus at 5642 meters and the neighboring one Dychtau with 5204 meters as the second highest peak in Europe.

Australia and Oceania

34 million inhabitants, 8.5 million square kilometers total area and 1.7 percent share of the total earth surface - Australia and Oceania together form the seventh and smallest continent on earth. Tasmania, New Guinea, New Zealand and the island states in the Pacific make up the continent with Australia. The Carstenz pyramid in New Guinea is the highest mountain at 4884 meters. Then comes the Puncak Trikora with a height of 4730 meters.

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