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Asia

china continent india ocean

Asia, world's largest continent, more than 17,139,000 sq mi/44,390,000 sq km (nearly 1/3 of the earth's land), with about 3.1 billion people (more than 60% of the world population). It extends from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, and from the Pacific Ocean to the Mediterranean. Its traditional border with Europe is formed by the Ural Mountains. Asia is separated from Africa by the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. The combined land mass of Europe and Asia is sometimes treated as a single continent, Eurasia.

Asia is a continent of physical contrast, with Mt. Everest (29,028 ft/8,848 m), the world's highest mountain, and the Dead Sea (1,292 ft/394 m below sea level). At its heart is the system of mountain chains and high plateaus that includes the Karakoram Range, Himalayas, Kunlun Shan, Tien Shan, Altai Mountains, Hindu Kush, and Sulaiman Range. The major rivers include the Ob and its tributary, the Irtysh, the Yenisey, and the Lena, all flowing to the Arctic Ocean; the Indus (Pakistan), Ganges (India and Bangladesh), and Brahmaputra (China and India); and the Yellow and Yangtze rivers (China). Lake Baikal (Russian Federation) is the largest freshwater lake. Deserts include the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and the Great Sandy Desert of Arabia. The cultural regions of the continent are East Asia (China, Korea, Japan), South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.), and the Middle East.

The countries of Asia are Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Byelorussia, China, Cyprus, part of Egypt, Georgia, India, part of Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kampuchea, Kazachstan, Kirghizstan, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tadjikistan, Taiwan, Thailand, part of Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and the Republic of Yemen.

Asia Minor [next] [back] Ashurbanipal

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