Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people () constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.
In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.
China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)
Pinto at the Youth For Change event in July 2014
Freida Selena Pinto (born 18 October 1984) is an Indian actress who has appeared mainly in American and British films. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, she resolved, at a young age, to become an actress. As a student at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, she took part in amateur plays. After graduation, she briefly worked as a model and then as a television presenter.
Pinto rose to prominence with her film debut in the drama Slumdog Millionaire
(2008), which is a loose adaptation of the novel Q & A
(2005) by Indian author Vikas Swarup
. She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
, the MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
, and the Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress – Drama
, and won the Palm Springs International Film Festival Award for Breakthrough Performance
for Slumdog Millionaire
. Her biggest commercial success came with the science fiction film Rise of the Planet of the Apes
(2011). Her performance as the title character in Michael Winterbottom
(2011) garnered her widespread recognition and praise. She portrayed Cretan princess Phaedra
in the epic fantasy action film Immortals
(2011), narrated the documentary Girl Rising
(2013), and starred in the biographical drama Desert Dancer
(2014), for which she received critical acclaim. In 2017, she starred in the Showtime
, and in 2018 she had starring roles in the Indian drama Love Sonia
and the fantasy adventure film Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle
. (Full article...
Sumatran rhinoceros at Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Lampung, Indonesia
The Sumatran rhinoceros, also known as the hairy rhinoceros or Asian two-horned rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), is a rare member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant species of rhinoceros. It is the only extant species of the genus Dicerorhinus. It is the smallest rhinoceros, although it is still a large mammal; it stands 112–145 cm (3.67–4.76 ft) high at the shoulder, with a head-and-body length of 2.36–3.18 m (7.7–10.4 ft) and a tail of 35–70 cm (14–28 in). The weight is reported to range from 500 to 1,000 kg (1,100 to 2,200 lb), averaging 700–800 kg (1,540–1,760 lb), although there is a single record of a 2,000 kg (4,410 lb) specimen. Like both African species, it has two horns; the larger is the nasal horn, typically 15–25 cm (5.9–9.8 in), while the other horn is typically a stub. A coat of reddish-brown hair covers most of the Sumatran rhino's body.
Members of the species once inhabited rainforests
, and cloud forests
in India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. In historical times, they lived in southwest China, particularly in Sichuan
. They are now critically endangered
, with only five substantial populations in the wild: four in Sumatra
and one in Borneo
. Their numbers are difficult to determine because they are solitary animals that are widely scattered across their range, but they are estimated to number fewer than 80. The species was completely extirpated from Malaysia in 2019, and one of the Sumatran populations may already be extinct. In 2015, researchers announced that the Bornean rhinoceros
had become extinct from the northern part of Borneo
, Malaysia); however, a tiny population was discovered in East Kalimantan
in early 2016. (Full article...
Did you know...
- ... that Chinese bandit Ma Xiang raised a thousands-strong rebel army in just one or two days, conquered three commanderies, and declared himself emperor, only to be killed by a much weaker opponent?
- ... that the Htupayon Pagoda in Sagaing, Myanmar, has been hit by at least five major earthquakes and rebuilt three times?
- ... that Filipino footballer Neil Etheridge is the first Southeast Asian to play in the Premier League?
- ... that Peng Shilu, the "father of China's nuclear submarines", was jailed at age eight?
- ... that the Jewish Democratic Committee and the Romanian Communist Party together sent Romanian Jews to Israel, hoping to make it a communist ally?
- ... that clinical trials in India must have government-regulated ethics committees oversee their research?
- ... that in 1674, the Dutch East India ship Wapen van Rotterdam was captured in Ronas Voe, Shetland, by three English men-of-war?
- ... that Lim Ban Lim, Singapore's most wanted fugitive, stole at least $2.5 million in his career but was found with only $1.40 on him when he was killed by police?
- ... that the death of Tony Renna and major accidents involving four other drivers led the Indy Racing League to lower car speeds and engine horsepower from the 2004 Indianapolis 500 onward?
- ... that Lu Youquan's book on Piaget's theory of cognitive development won a national education award in China?
Updated: 12:33, 18 April 2021
In the news
The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.
Korean peninsula in 476 AD. There are three kingdoms and Gaya Union in the picture. This picture shows the heyday of Goguryeo
Byzantine and Sassanian Empires in 600 AD
Contemporary political map of Asia
Language families in South Asia
Detail of Chinese silk from the 4th century BCE. The characteristic trade of silk through the Silk Road connected various regions from China, India, Central Asia, and the Middle East to Europe and Africa.
The Russian Znamensky Cathedral in Tyumen built in 1768
India's middle-class population of 300 million is growing at an annual rate of 5%. Shown here is an upmarket area in South Mumbai.
The global contribution to world's GDP by major economies from 1 AD to 2003 AD according to Angus Maddison's estimates. Before 18th century, China and India were the two largest economies by GDP output.
The Qing Empire in 1820, marked the time when the Qing began to rule these areas.
The third Inter-Korean Summit, which was held in 2018, between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un. It was a historical event that symbolized the peace of Asia.
Projected GDP of 7 largest economies in 2050.
Daian-ji temple at Nara, Japan
Projected shares of global GDP by region to 2050
Chicken tikka, a well-known dish across the globe, reflects the amalgamation of South Asian cooking styles with those from Central Asia.
Map of Marco Polo's travels
The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, which was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010.
Map of Asia for early 20th century
Population concentration and boundaries of the Western Zhou dynasty in China
Sun temple at Konarka, Odisha
A Confucian ritual ceremony in Jeju, South Korea
Here a Jesuit, Adam Schall von Bell (1592–1666), is dressed as an official of the Chinese Department of Astronomy.
East Asian cultural sphere
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
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