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I'm 13+ years out of High School. I don't know how many continents the Earth has.

Dec 31, 2017
898
I grew up knowing there are 7 continents.

The farthest I've gone out of the US is Canada. Never really had a reason to just look at a map.

Watching a random YouTube video, had nothing to do with maps or geography, with a shot of the globe.

How is Europe a continent?


I don't know why in 30+ years I've never questioned it but it doesn't really make sense. Africa is often split I to subsaharan and North but it's all o e land mass.

It also appears other parts of the world teaches things differently.


Of course this doesn't include the lost continent of Lemuria.

And do you include the United States sized subterranean cave system under Antarctica?
 

Rhomega

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,155
Arizona
I see things like Eurasia as a region, not a continent. Europe's borders are fuzzy, but I say Europe includes:

-Russia up to the Ural mountains
-Turkey northwest of Istanbul
-The Caucasus region (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan)
-Cyprus
 

The Adder

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,201
Africa. Antarctica, Australia, Asia, Europe, North America, South America

Or

Africa. Antarctica, Australia, Eurasia, North America, South America

Or

Africa. Antarctica, Australia, Eurasia, America

I will argue any day of the week that there is no basis for any map that considers both Americas a single continent while also considering Europe and Asia separate except for eurocentrism.
 

DiipuSurotu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,378
France
'Continent' is a completely arbitrary concept. Therefore, it has different definitions depending on the different viewpoints.

It's not a scientific concept like 'tectonic plate' or anything.
 

killerrin

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,066
Toronto
To be fair. Not even scientists have settled the score on the definitive number of continents there are. There is no real popular answer, and if you go off of the supposedly commonly cited definition then there are a couple dozen continents.

As a result, every culture teaches their own version of the continent model based off of geopolitical reasons
 

jph139

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,764
Massachusetts
Yeah it's all pretty arbitrary. Like, you can say that Europe is separate from Asia because geographical divisions (mountains and seas) forced them to develop separately, but then you look at stuff like the steppe cultures that penetrated into Europe on one hand, the Greek and Romans conquests of the Middle East on the other... doesn't make sense.

Really it's just that in antiquity Greece divided the known world based on water divisions in their locality, and we sort of expanded that far beyond its breaking point. And even they were like, man, Africa and Asia are connected, are they REALLY different landmasses?
 

chezzymann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,895
There's absolutely no reason to say Europe is a continent but not India. Every argument you can make for Europe is also there for India. But India also has it's own tectonic plate. I don't get it.
 

djplaeskool

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,721
This is the best definition I can find that describes the physical divide between Europe and Asia:

The boundary between Asia and Europe is often defined to follow the Aegean Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Turkish Strait, the Black Sea, the Greater Caucasus, and the Ural River.
As others have mentioned, a lot of geopolitical wrangling over the past 150 years is also involved, largely by the then Russian Empire and Soviet Union being in constant flux.
 

ibyea

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,973
Because the conception of continents is partly geopolitics based, partly historical usage, and partly some vague definition that we sort of feel, but never clearly define.
 

Serif

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
1,435
Finally, a thread where I can spread the good word:





Bring her baaaaack
 

Tawpgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,906
I only recognize the geologic continents thank you very much. Everything else is a social construct.

 

chezzymann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,895
The notion of 'continent' has NOTHING to do with 'tectonic plate'.
I'm just saying it's the icing on the cake of the argument. There's lots of factors people can include and that's just one more. (In my opinion thats more significant than sociopolitical). India actually has more reasons to be a continent then Europe lol.
 

TwinBahamut

Member
Jun 8, 2018
724
There really is so little justification for Europe being a continent that I sometimes wonder how the idea has stuck around this long.

I mean, look at some of these old maps from medeival Europe. The raw magnitude of ignorance about the world that lies at the root of Europe being a continent is kind of staggering.

India and Arabia both have better claims to being continents than Europe does.

There are really only two continent counts that make sense: six or four. Either you have the six continents of Eurasia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, and Antarctica, or the four continents of Afro-Eurasia, America, Australia, and Antarctica.

If you want to start adding continents past six, you quickly get into tough questions about whether micro-continents like Cuba should count or not.
 

chezzymann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,895
There really is so little justification for Europe being a continent that I sometimes wonder how the idea has stuck around this long.

I mean, look at some of these old maps from medeival Europe. The raw magnitude of ignorance about the world that lies at the root of Europe being a continent is kind of staggering.

India and Arabia both have better claims to being continents than Europe does.

There are really only two continent counts that make sense: six or four. Either you have the six continents of Eurasia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, and Antarctica, or the four continents of Afro-Eurasia, America, Australia, and Antarctica.

If you want to start adding continents past six, you quickly get into tough questions about whether micro-continents like Cuba should count or not.
This guy gets it. Its also annoying to me how people group together North and South America into America but keep Africa separate.
 

Hollywood Duo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,500
I love how in Europe, North and South America is often 1 continent yet someone Europe isn’t a part of Asia
 

Jasup

Member
Oct 25, 2017
661
Yurop
There really is so little justification for Europe being a continent that I sometimes wonder how the idea has stuck around this long.

I mean, look at some of these old maps from medeival Europe. The raw magnitude of ignorance about the world that lies at the root of Europe being a continent is kind of staggering.

India and Arabia both have better claims to being continents than Europe does.

There are really only two continent counts that make sense: six or four. Either you have the six continents of Eurasia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia, and Antarctica, or the four continents of Afro-Eurasia, America, Australia, and Antarctica.

If you want to start adding continents past six, you quickly get into tough questions about whether micro-continents like Cuba should count or not.
Well to be fair, they were not seen as continents in modern sense. They're a representation of geopolitical regions that became known as continents.
 

TwinBahamut

Member
Jun 8, 2018
724
We can’t even agree on what the fuck a planet is lol
No, that one is generally seen as settled. We have eight planets, a whole lot of dwarf planets, and Pluto is one of the latter. It is not scientists' fault if other people are ignorant of or disregard scientific consensus and official designations.
 

SkyOdin

Member
Apr 21, 2018
1,236
India is often defined as a sub-continent though.

In the end it is all arbitrary.
Yes, it is arbitrary. However, that doesn't mean that one arbitrary can't be weighed or compared against a different arbitrary. I was responding to someone who was defending Europe's right to being a continent over India's on the basis that Europe has more countries in it. This gets to the heart of why Europe is at all considered to be a continent: a traditional view that elevates the importance of Europe above other parts of the world. Saying that Europe is a continent of its own is a symptom of a Eurocentric world view that minimizes the importance of other cultures and countries outside of Europe and North America.

Yes, sub-continent isn't a bad categorization for India. However, by that same logic, Europe should also be considered a sub-continent of Asia. There isn't any self-consistent definition of continent that includes Europe as a full continent but excludes India.
 
Oct 25, 2017
75
I always taught my elementary students the difference between political and physical continents. You just have them draw a line where they think a continent ends and it becomes clear pretty quickly that Europe is bullshit. Conquerors make the maps.