The Continents

Updated September 9, 2022 | Infoplease Staff

The World's Building Blocks



Continents are the biggest building blocks people use to describe the shape of the world. A continent is defined as a large unbroken landmass completely surrounded by water, although in some cases continents are (or were in part) connected by land bridges. The seven continents are usually given as North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica.

See: The Seven Continents

Political considerations have often overridden geographical facts when it came to naming continents. Geographically, Europe, including the British Isles, is a large western peninsula of the continent of Asia; and many geographers, when referring to Europe and Asia, speak of the Eurasian continent. Because of that, there are many different competing models of the continents. To learn more about these different continent models, you should check out our article below.

See: How Many Continents Are There?

Sources +

About the author

Infoplease Staff

Infoplease staff work hard to create, curate, and edit a variety of content for all audiences.

Infoplease: your gateway to knowledge and enriching minds, one fact at a time.

View More About Our Editors, Experts, Authors, & Advisors