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...)
A scene from the Ramayana
, an ancient Sanskrit epic
. Depicted here are several stages of the War of Lanka, with the monkey army of the protagonist Rama
(top left, blue figure) fighting the demon army of the king of Lanka, Ravana
, to save Rama's kidnapped wife Sita
. The three-headed figure of the demon general Trisiras
occurs in several places – most dramatically at the bottom left, where he is shown beheaded by Hanuman
Yemen (; Arabic: ٱلْيَمَن, romanized: al-Yaman), officially the Republic of Yemen (Arabic: ٱلْجُمْهُورِيَّةُ ٱلْيَمَنِيَّةُ, romanized: al-Jumhūrīyah al-Yamanīyah, literally "Yemeni Republic"), is a country at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. It is the second-largest Arab sovereign state in the peninsula, occupying 527,970 square kilometres (203,850 square miles). The coastline stretches for about 2,000 kilometres (1,200 miles). Yemen's constitutionally stated capital is the city of Sanaa, but the city has been under Houthi rebel control since February 2015 as well as Aden, which is also controlled by the Southern Transitional Council since 2018. Its executive administration resides in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
In ancient times, Yemen was the home of the Sabaeans
, a trading state that included parts of modern-day Ethiopia
. In 275 CE
, later the Jewish
-influenced Himyarite Kingdom
arrived in the fourth century. Islam
spread quickly in the seventh century and Yemenite troops were crucial in the early Islamic conquests. Several dynasties
emerged in the 9th to 16th centuries, such as the Rasulid dynasty
. The country was divided between the Ottoman
empires in the 1800s. The Zaydi Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen
was established after World War I
before the creation of the Yemen Arab Republic
in 1962. South Yemen
remained a British protectorate
as the Aden Protectorate
until 1967 when it became an independent state and later, a Marxist-Leninist state
. The two Yemeni states united
to form the modern Republic of Yemen (al-Jumhūrīyah al-Yamanīyah
) in 1990. President Ali Abdullah Saleh
was the first president of the new republic until his resignation in 2012 in the wake of the Arab Spring
. (Full article...
Chan Kong-sang (listen) SBS MBE PMW (Chinese: 陳港生; born 7 April 1954), known professionally as Jackie Chan, is a Hong Kong actor and martial artist, who is known for his slapstick acrobatic fighting style, comic timing, and innovative stunts, which he typically performs himself. He has trained in Wushu or Kung Fu and Hapkido, and has been acting since the 1960s, performing in more than 150 films. He is one of the most popular action film stars of all-time.
Chan is one of the most recognizable and influential cinematic personalities in the world, gaining a widespread following in both the Eastern
hemispheres, and has received stars on the Hong Kong Avenue of Stars
and the Hollywood Walk of Fame
. He has been referenced in various pop songs
, cartoons, and video games. He is an operatically trained vocalist
and is also a Cantopop
star, having released a number of albums and sung many of the theme songs
for the films in which he has starred. He is also a globally known philanthropist and has been named as one of the top 10 most charitable celebrities by Forbes
magazine. In 2004, film scholar Andrew Willis stated that Chan was perhaps the "most recognised star in the world". In 2015, Forbes
estimated his net worth to be $350 million, and , he was the second-highest-paid actor in the world. (Full article...
Gangtok (, Nepali: [ˈgantok]) is a city, municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It is also the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Gangtok is in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town's population of 100,000 are from different ethnicities such as Bhutia, Lepchas and Indian Gorkhas. Within the higher peaks of the Himalaya and with a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim's tourism industry.
Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage
site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery
in 1840. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal
, Thutob Namgyal
, transferred the capital to Gangtok. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route
and cities such as Kolkata
(then Calcutta) in British India
. After India won its independence from Britain
in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. In 1975, after the integration with the union of India, Gangtok was made India's 22nd state capital. (Full article...
Did you know...
- ... that the 1990 Bijnor riot was the most destructive event during concurrent Hindu nationalist campaigns in India, which eventually led to the demolition of the Babri Masjid?
- ... that Ruby Mazur, who designed the cover for the Rolling Stones' "Tumbling Dice", once sold a painting to a Saudi Arabian prince before the paint had even dried?
- ... that Arab cryptologist Ibn 'Adlan wrote about the cryptanalysis of ciphers with no space symbol, three centuries before it was first done in the West by G. B. Porta?
- ... that the first known paravian dinosaurs were from China, but they now live on every continent?
- ... that a section of Japan National Route 114 that was closed following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster has since been reopened?
- ... that the annual Indian sports awards ceremony at the Presidential Palace includes awards for adventure, for the top-performing university, and for sports promotion?
- ... that after traveling through India, Tibet, and the Qing Empire for more than 20 years, 18th-century Dutch explorer Samuel van der Putte ordered his notes and journals to be burned rather than accept their misuse?
- ... that as the film negatives used for the first Indian feature film were of limited spectral sensitivity, the colour red was avoided in sets, costumes, and make-up?
- ... that shortly after the arrest of the leaders of the Indonesian National Party, Sartono disbanded it and founded the Indonesia Party?
- ... that the newly reported 6th-century Devunigutta Temple in Telangana, India, only came to international scholarly attention when images were posted on social media in 2017?
Updated: 12:33, 19 April 2021
In the news
The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.
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 Russian Znamensky Cathedral in Tyumen built in 1768
Map of Asia for early 20th century
Language families in South Asia
The Taj Mahal, Agra, India
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 Qing Empire in 1820, marked the time when the Qing began to rule these areas.
A Confucian ritual ceremony in Jeju, South Korea
Korean peninsula in 476 AD. There are three kingdoms and Gaya Union in the picture. This picture shows the heyday of Goguryeo
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.
Projected GDP of 7 largest economies in 2050.
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.
Chicken tikka, a well-known dish across the globe, reflects the amalgamation of South Asian cooking styles with those from Central Asia.
Byzantine and Sassanian Empires in 600 AD
Population concentration and boundaries of the Western Zhou dynasty in China
Projected shares of global GDP by region to 2050
Here a Jesuit, Adam Schall von Bell (1592–1666), is dressed as an official of the Chinese Department of Astronomy.
Contemporary political map of Asia
Daian-ji temple at Nara, Japan
The Taipei 101 skyscraper in Taipei, Taiwan, which was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010.
East Asian cultural sphere
Sun temple at Konarka, Odisha
Map of Marco Polo's travels
||Central Asia, Conflicts, East Asia, Imperialism, Kamboja-Dvaravati Route, Mesopotamia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia
||Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, East Asia, Far East, Himalayas, Indian subcontinent, Malay peninsula, North Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, Suez Canal, Tibetan Plateau, Ural Mountains
||Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, Commonwealth of Independent States, Imperialism, Silk Road, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
||Cinema, Cuisine, Eastern philosophy, Films, Film festivals, Literature, Music, Religion
||Indigenous peoples, Languages, Politics, Studies