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Continents and Oceans

Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
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  34

In another thread,

Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
For fun, ask people from different countries how many "continents" there are, and what they are. Answers can vary substantially.


So, I'm asking! I'll also ask how many oceans there are in the world.

In the U.S., we generally count 7 continents (North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia) and divide the earth's waters broadly into the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Indian Oceans.

So what do they say in your neck of the woods?


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Paul Bourdeaux
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Joined: May 24, 2004
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I was taught seven (being from the US), but I also think that many geologists refer to Europe and Asia as one continent because they are one land mass made up of subcontinents (similar to India and Asia). So the arguement goes, from a geologist point of view, that there are six continents (Europe and Asia combined) or eight continents (India and Asia seperated).

A friend of mine from europe also told me that they sometimes refer to N and S America as one continent, although this seems a little far fetched to me... Can anyone else confirm or deny this?


“Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.” - Rich Cook
Axel Janssen
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I am used to see North and South America as 1 continent. I allways found it a bit odd that in Fifa North America and South America form 2 different qualification groups. Thought that reason was that North American teams would have had no chance to ever participate in World Cup if they were together with South Americans in 1 quali group.
One could argue that Mediteranean Sea (or how its called)..., but it doesn't qualify as an ocean. Baltic Sea even less.
Asia and Europe are different continents.
India belongs to Asia. Doesn't matter if it were swimming alone in Indian Ocean long time ago.
Australia and Oceania form their own continent. Tahiti and New Zealand belong to this Australia/Oceania.
Antartica is a continent, too. I am not sure if Arctic Sea qualify as an Ocean. How would you call the water around Greenland (North-Atlantic or Arctic Sea?).
[ August 02, 2005: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
Mark Fletcher
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In the UK we're taught seven continents and four oceans.

Mark


Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
Jayesh Lalwani
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I'm from India, and if I remember correctly, we were taught 7 continents too

BTW, I had this argument with an American friend:- Which continent does Middle East belong to? She said Europe, and I thought it was Asia. I'm confused now because apparently, Turkey is in Europe
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Jayesh Lalwani:
I'm from India, and if I remember correctly, we were taught 7 continents too

BTW, I had this argument with an American friend:- Which continent does Middle East belong to? She said Europe, and I thought it was Asia. I'm confused now because apparently, Turkey is in Europe


The Middle East is in Asia. Turkey, like Russia, lies both in Europe and Asia, although the majority of each is in Asia.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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  16

And Egypt is in Africa...


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Axel Janssen
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If you interpret the term continent from a cultural-historic perspective the whole thing gets a bit more messed up. A lot of important ancient greek cities were located at the turkish coast (sometimes refered to as Small Asia here). Now cultural heritage of those cities is seen as "European", because greek culture is European. And often played a point of reference in the european history.
Istanbul (or Kostantinopel as called earlier) was the eastern center of the Roman Empire (also European).
And I don't think there is a big cultural gap between Mexico (North America) and Argentine (South America).
Alan Wanwierd
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Joined: Jun 30, 2004
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Originally posted by Axel Janssen:
If you interpret the term continent from a cultural-historic perspective the whole thing gets a bit more messed up. A lot of important ancient greek cities were located at the turkish coast (sometimes refered to as Small Asia here). Now cultural heritage of those cities is seen as "European", because greek culture is European. And often played a point of reference in the european history.
Istanbul (or Kostantinopel as called earlier) was the eastern center of the Roman Empire (also European).
And I don't think there is a big cultural gap between Mexico (North America) and Argentine (South America).


But nobody uses cultural lines to differentiate continents - otherwise Australia would be considered European with enormous percentages of the population having British, Greek and Italian heritage and culture. Only relatively recently has Australia begun to slide its culture slowly towards its Asian neighbours.

Tectonics is strictly also an unreliable definition of continents since we would end up with all sorts of problems. Look at the map below and you can see that India and Australia share a plate - so is India part of Australiasia? Is the Arabian peninsula a continent in its own right? I dont think so!
http://volcano.und.edu/vwdocs/volc_images/tectonic_plates.html
Ashok Mash
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Posts: 1936
And Israel is in Europe; well at least in Eurovision song contest!


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Ashok Mash
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Originally posted by Adrian Wallace:
Is the Arabian peninsula a continent in its own right?


Australasian plate moving into Eurasian caused the Himalayas, clearly Indian plate is not a part of Euroasian plate, and may be that�s why it�s considered a sub-continent?
Axel Janssen
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Posts: 2164
Originally posted by Ashok Mash:
And Israel is in Europe; well at least in Eurovision song contest!


Turkey won that contest 2 or 3 years ago
Israel also participates in European quali group for FIFA World Cup. They were in Asian group before. It became more and more impossible, because of riots when they had to play in arabic countries.
Roger Johnson
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i see 3 concepts here: geographical, political, cultural (including racial).

geographically, europian and asian border goes through turkey, russia. most mideast country (including isarel) lie in asia

politically, i heard turkey just join EU. many mideast country form AU (arabic union?), isarel is the biggest receipt of US aids

culturally, i think there is not clear boundry, races is not clear cut like "category A, B, C, D". somehow i feel northern european is the sterotype of White race, then other european are in transition. pan midterrain people (europe, asian, africa) are similair to me in a sense. that makes sense to me. regarding isareli, maybe because jews live in europe for so long, exposed more to interracila marriage, culture influence of europe, their appearane are more europe-like than her arabia neighbor.

however, i do not understand, since jews integraeted into european society so well, why they do not become part of it. maybe jews have their reason. on the arabian part, they have their reason. Well,...

when people move to california or new york, they often got a feeling: wow, the house are so expensive. no matter how much you make, you still feel poor, you are probablly thinking: "i wish i lived here for a couple of generation already, so i will be better off now."

in a long run, the earth is just like CA or NY, land is not reproducable resources, compared to land, money is nothing.
Kishore Dandu
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And India is the only country which has a ocean named after it


Kishore
SCJP, blog
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:
And India is the only country which has a ocean named after it


Or... India is the only country named after an ocean.
kayal cox
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Joined: Aug 19, 2004
Posts: 376
Originally posted by Jason Menard:


Or... India is the only country named after an ocean.


Nope. History says the country was named first
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by kayal cox:
Nope. History says the country was named first



I think I read 5 continents and 5 Oceans.

Continents are :
America
Europe
Asia
Africa
What was the last one Australia or Atlantica ... I remember correctly then it was Australia.

I think we all agree for 5 Oceans... at least for Indian Ocean


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
Ådne Brunborg
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Posts: 208
Continents:

Antartica, Australia and Africa are all clearly separate continents. In addition, there are America and Eurasia, both of which can be divided into North and South America, and Europe and Asia, respectively, totalling either five or seven. I'm fot the seven continents-model.

Oceans:

Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Antartic, making five.

But what are the seven seas?


Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Dave Lenton
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by �dne Brunborg:
In addition, there are America and Eurasia, both of which can be divided into North and South America, and Europe and Asia


While I agree that Europe and Asia are geographically one continent, North and South America are not really. They're about as joined together as Africa and Asia i.e. by only the smallest amount. I'm sure I read somewhere that its only relatively recently (in geographical terms) that the two bumped into each other. Apparently this had rather a large effect on the global climate as previously some large temperature changing sea currents flowed between the them, and were blocked when the two continents touched.
[ August 05, 2005: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]

There will be glitches in my transition from being a saloon bar sage to a world statesman. - Tony Banks
Anand Prabhu
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Joined: Dec 19, 2003
Posts: 299
Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
In another thread,



So, I'm asking! I'll also ask how many oceans there are in the world.

In the U.S., we generally count 7 continents (North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia) and divide the earth's waters broadly into the Atlantic, Pacific, Arctic, and Indian Oceans.

So what do they say in your neck of the woods?

To my knowledge, 7 continents (North and South America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia and Antartica) and 5 Oceans (Atlantic,Pacific,Arctic,Antartic and Indian).
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Regarding a fifth ocean...

Prior to Spring 2000, the International Hydrographic Organization only recognized four oceans: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic. At that time though, the IHO decided to recognize a fifth ocean: the Southern Ocean. This ocean extends from Antarctica north to the 60 degree South parallel, and is larger than the Arctic Ocean.

http://geography.about.com/od/learnabouttheearth/a/fifthocean.htm
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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