The Earth formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago, according to National Geographic. If the world was captured all those years ago, the land masses would’ve been structured completely different to how they look now. Most continents were scattered chunks of land, located south of the Equator.
These chunks joined to form a single mass of land due to Earth’s inner tectonic activity. This single supercontinent was named “Pangaea” by geologists, which means “all lands” in Greek, National Geographic reports. Millions of years later, the same forces that formed Pangaea started breaking the supercontinent into parts that formed today’s continents.
But which continent is the largest by area?
What is the biggest continent?
Earth is covered by three-fourths ocean waters. The remaining land is mostly split into seven main divisions. These continents are Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Antarctica, Africa and Australia. Among the seven, Asia is the biggest continent by land size.
Asia stretches from the East Mediterranean Sea to the Western Pacific Ocean, with an area of approximately 45 million square kilometers, Guinness World Records report. The continent holds more than 40 countries, including China and India which are world’s two most populous countries.
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What are the 3 largest continents?
Following Asia, Africa holds the title for the second largest continent in the world. It has an area of 30 million square kilometers. Although Africa houses 56 countries, only 14% of the world’s total population reside there unlike Asia, which holds 60% of world's total population.
North America is the third largest continent in the world by area. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the south and west. North America is home to just three countries: Canada, the United States and Mexico.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: What is the biggest continent? The full list from largest to smallest.