According to Chambers, there are seven of these: Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Australia and Antarctica.
But it’s RUBBISH!
First, Europe and Asia. Any twit can see that they are only ONE land mass. Someone just drew a line on the map and designated them as two continents for POLITICAL reasons. This is the same kind of thinking that has led to Britain calling Pakistanis, Indians and Bangladeshis (SOUTH Asians) just “Asians” while America reserves the same term for those from South-EAST Asia – despite the fact that actually, about half the population of the WORLD are, essentially, Asian. Including ME!
Then Africa. Apart from a small join at the top right (which, technically, disappeared when the Suez Canal was completed) it does SEEM to be a large, separate land-mass – except that the Mediterranean Sea is in reality a large inland lake, which was formed when the ocean burst through at Gibraltar. The Med has virtually no tidal rise and fall. Which means that ACTUALLY, Africa is part of Europe/Asia.
Next, we have North and South America. The New World. But apart from the Panama Canal, they TOO are joined. So what about the countries of Central America – which continent are THEY in?
(Incidentally, did you know that due to the Moon’s gravity, the Pacific is about 20 feet higher than the Atlantic? Or the other way round, I can’t remember which. Anyhay, if you blasted a wide enough trench between the two – one would empty into the other! Wouldn’t THAT make a great movie!)
Okay, but what about Australia? Sure, it’s a single land-mass – but really, it’s just a bloody big ISLAND.
Which brings us finally – and not a moment too soon – to Antarctica. This place crops up elsewhere in these ramblings. And as stated there, it is a continent without COUNTRIES – being only used for (allegedly) peaceful scientific research and penguin-hunting. (Not). And whilst it’s a pretty big place NOW – how big will it be when all of the ice has melted (in about five years, according to some people).
Are we actually in the process of REDUCING the number of continents?