|Geographically, it is customary to divide the world into
parts that cover not only the continental masses, but also
the islands adjacent to them. These large
sets are also called continents.
In decreasing order of
magnitude, the continents of the world are Asia,
America, Africa, Antarctica
(also called Antarctica), Europe and
Oceania. America is subdivided into three
subcontinents: South America,
Central America and North America.
Oceania is a large island, Australia, in
addition to an immense number of archipelagos and isolated
islands in the Pacific Ocean.
Europe and Asia are part of a single continental mass,
known as Eurasia. The set formed by these two parts of the
world is connected to Africa by a narrow strip of land;
therefore, Europe, Asia and Africa are also given a name
together: Old World. America is known as the New World, and
Oceania is sometimes called the Brand New World or Brand New
The continents have different climates,
landscapes and populations. Antarctica, for example, is
freezing and has very few plants and animals. Africa, in
turn, tends to be very hot and has a wide variety of fauna
Most continents are also divided into political units
called countries. Parts of Antarctica are
claimed by several countries, but there are no permanent
settlements on that continent. Australia is the only mass of
continental dimensions (that is, of large size) occupied by
a single country. However, it is considered part of a larger
continent, Oceania, which also includes the islands of the
In 1912, the German scientist Alfred Wegener raised the
hypothesis that in the past all continents were connected
and gave this great landmass the name of Pangeia. According
to this hypothesis, more than 200 million years ago, Pangeia
broke up to form the current continental masses. These then
headed individually to their current location.
Since then, scientists have found evidence that this idea
is correct and now believe that the continents are located
on large moving plates.
The African continent and its main physical, human and
regional characteristics. According to Countryaah,
the African continent is the third largest
in the world. It is bathed on the east by the Atlantic Ocean
and on the west by the Indian Ocean. To the north, it is
separated from the European continent by the Mediterranean
Sea; and to the northeast, it is separated from Asia by the
Red Sea and the Suez Canal, located in Egypt.
Many people know Africa for its extreme poverty and
misery, but few know why. According to the UN (United
Nations), of the countries considered to have a low HDI
(Human Development Index), all of them are African. This
situation was caused mainly by the colonial and imperialist
exploitation that took place in these countries.
First, there was a colonialist domination that began at
the end of the 15th century, when the black population that
formed the diverse ethnicities of that continent was
enslaved and taken to other places, including Brazil. This
domination remained that way until the 19th century, when an
imperialist wave (also called neocolonialist) decided to
take over the continent, dividing its territory among many
Because of this, many internal conflicts started to
happen, either in search of independence, or between rival
peoples in search of controlling the same territory.
Although there were also territorial disputes in Africa
before colonization, they were not as bloody and intense as
they are today.
The relief of the African continent is marked by the
presence of two great deserts: the Sahara Desert
and the Kalahari Desert. The first is located in
the north of the country and the second is further south.
Most of Africa's surface is made up of plateaus with medium
and high altitudes. In the central and northern regions,
there are large rivers that are among the largest in the
world, such as the Nile, Congo and Niger rivers.
Regarding vegetation, there are several types, such as
desert plants, equatorial forests and steppes. However, the
most common types are savannas, which are very
similar to the vegetation of the Brazilian Cerrado, with
medium and small trees with very twisted branches.
Africa is divided into two main regions:
Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa.
The first comprises the entire region of that continent that
lies below the Sahara desert, characterized by a population
of black majority and greater ethnic diversity. The second
is further north and comprises the African Arab populations.
Despite the fact that most of the African territory is
formed by independent countries, that is, without the
colonial rule of another country, its economy is quite
subordinate. In addition, many internal guerrillas and
bloody dictatorships exist or have recently existed in most
Countries in Latin America