Template talk:Continents of the world

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Geography (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject iconThis template is within the scope of WikiProject Geography, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of geography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

Order of continents[edit]

As far as the ordering the continents goes, it seems to me that we have two options: 1) by size (current) 2) alphabetically (my revision).

  • In contest of the first, although size does provide a method of ordering, I would argue that it needlessly defers to some arbitrary second criterion. Why not population size, for instance? Or maybe average ascending altitude? Perhaps even descending altitude for that matter?
  • In advocacy of the second, alphabetical ordering is most well-known and common method of ordering lists. Any other method would be duly noted as arbitrary and confusing. If, for instance, the index of book listed contributing authors by the size of their reputations (or their egos at that), we would be utterly dumbstruck. By doing so alphabetically, however, a common, non-biased standard is used.

Therefore, I have reordered the Continents template alphabetically.

Lucidity 06:42, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Oceania and Australasia[edit]

Aren't they both more or less the same terms. Then why have two articles on them? Fine, have two articles on them but why mention both of them on this template? I think either Australasia or Oceania should be removed and replaced by the Indian subcontinent. --Deepak|वार्ता 08:39, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

They are not the same. Just read the two articles. If one is to be removed, there'd have to be a different reason ... like, for example, Oceania is not a continent. The removal of one of these is not connected to the addition of Indian subcontinent. I see no reason why a subcontinent ... the subcontinent should not be included ... except, of course, that it's not a continent either. But continent, subcontinent, are we not splitting hairs here? We've included Europe which (so we're told) "is just a peninsula since it is on the Eurasian Plate." Jimp 24Jan06
I really do not understand how 'Oceania' is in the table at all, its a region in every sense of the term, the continent known as 'Australia' should be in both sections of the table in my opinion, it will then not contradict http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent#Models where the 4 continents model lists 'Australia', so i have changed it accordingly--Nirvana- 09:18, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
Oceania is an equally common term as Australia as continents go. Anyway, the continent article switches Oceania and Australia in an out. So I think we should also list them both. 15:25, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Australia is not a continent, Oceania is, I suggest the deletion of "Australia" from a list of continents. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:04, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Australia a continent?[edit]

While it is true that by "definition" it is not a continenet, it is also true that by definition Iceland, Greenland, Cuba, etc are not part of their respective continents. Yet, they still appear on the maps. In the same way, Oceania is not by definition a continent however it acts as one, and is considered one by many as shown by the continent article. This is why I argue for its inclusion. 02:18, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Oceania is definitely a geographical region, as Template:Regions of the world reflects, but it is not a geological continent. New Zealand and the myriad islands in the Pacific are part of the Oceania region, but they are not part of any continent. On the other hand, India is a geological continent, so perhaps it should be added. -- bcasterlinetalk 03:11, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
My point is should be go the technical way with continents, by removing Iceland Greenland, Cuba, Falklands, etc or should we go the way the general public perceives contienents. 15:21, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
The way they're currently organized is technical -- Greenland and Cuba are part of continental North America. The Falklands and Iceland are not part of a continent, but they aren't on the maps. -- bcasterlinetalk 19:15, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Iceland is on the Europe map and the Falklands are on South American map. According to wikipedia "A continent is a large continous land mass" meaning that Cuba would not be part of North America technically. 20:05, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Quoting the Greenland article "associated with the continent of North America" meaning it is not part of the continent if we go by technical definitions becasue it is just as easily, and often considered part of Europe. 20:06, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
You're right, they are on the map. I would say that's geologically incorrect -- same as putting New Zealand on the Australia map. But those maps are used for articles that define regions geographically, not geologically, in which case the Falklands are part of South America and Iceland is part of Europe. Greenland and Cuba, however, are considered to be part of the North American continent geographically and geologically -- Cuba is part of the of an accretionary belt, and Greenland is part of the Canadian Shield. Both have been part of the North American continent for 600+ million years. -- bcasterlinetalk 20:20, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
If however we are going by "geological continents" or plate techtonics, it should probably be labeled that way, and the images need to be fixed. Arabia, India,and the caribbean would be their own.(would we also add the Nazca, Scotia, etc. I don't know) Burma should be removed, as should Japan. I suppose this is why I prefer classying according to geography and culture instead of geology. Also Europe, and Asia should be removed as they are part of one continent. 20:12, 14 July 2006 (UTC)
Continents aren't necessarily the same as tectonic plates, which you seem to be referring to. Sometimes different plates are each considered their own subcontinent, but not usually. Since there is already a separate template for regions of the world -- which is definitely geographic -- this template should focus on a geologic perspective. -- bcasterlinetalk 20:20, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Kerguelen Plateau & Zealandia[edit]

Kerguelen Plateau & Zealandia have recently been added in the section "Mythical and theorised continents". This is an inappropriate section for them as they are real places. If they are to remain, they need their own section called perhaps "Submerged continents". However I wonder whether there are other similar places or whether the likes of Madagascar and New Caledonia should be added too, perhaps in a section called "Submerged and fragmentary continents". These places are all now mentioned in the continent article. Nurg 09:59, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Australia and Australia-New Guinea[edit]

There is currently discussion happening at Talk:Australia (continent) regarding changes to Australia (continent) and to Australia-New Guinea. In line with my proposals WRT those articles, I have produced a new draft of this template, which also includes a solution to the Kerguellen Plateau & Zealandia issue. Implementation of the draft template is dependent on what conclusion is reached at Talk:Australia (continent) so it may be well to discuss the draft there rather than here. The draft template would need a world map in the same dimensions as the others and with the Australian mainland alone coloured. Nurg 03:11, 7 January 2007 (UTC)


Is there a way to shorten the width of this template? It looks too long. 01:24, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Its width is auto-resizing. Don't know what you mean... MadMaxDog 22:37, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Historical continents[edit]

What are they??? It directs to Continent in the template.--Redtigerxyz 12:10, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Fictional Continents?[edit]

This section should be removed from the template. They are not Continents "of the world". Each of the three listed is on a different, fictional, non-Earth planet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:29, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

maps of the supercontinents[edit]

It would be really nice if there were maps of the supercontinents since most people are unfamiliar with them. I started to do it myself but a quick search through wikimedia shows that there really are no suitable maps there and the few that are there have some kind of strange license. Considering my own lack of knowledge about this subject, the uncertainties that probably exist about the exact shapes of the continents, and the fact that I don't have any map making software and its probably best if I just let someone who knows more about it do it. Lemmiwinks2 (talk) 11:05, 28 August 2010 (UTC)


How about a microcontinents section for Madagascar etc? Or is it too much of an open question which they are? — kwami (talk) 08:03, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

A comprehensive list could be quite long, and there could be many grey areas. My initial feeling is that it's probably too off-topic to deserve inclusion here. Instead I think it would be better to expand the list we have in continental fragment. (I see you've done some work there lately.) --Avenue (talk) 00:04, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
I've tried, but it's not my area and I don't have the sources. I asked in a local geology dept. a few years ago and was told there isn't any real dividing line, and I haven't found out a whole lot since, even for basics like the Caribbean. The impression I get is that if they aren't fragments, it often is a grey area, and even if they are, it's sometimes a matter of how many slivers of continent are embedded in how much igneous rock. And then of course we simply don't know in many cases. But it would be nice to try to expand the article: accepted fragments, micro-fragments embedded in oceanic matrix, incipient microcontinents which are not fragments, suspected or unclear cases. — kwami (talk) 00:56, 20 October 2010 (UTC)


Why the adding link to Arabic page is not listed here and here...???.ترجمان05 (talk) 10:59, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Bering Land Bridge Dependent[edit]

My perspective is that if India or Arabia or Turkey are considered part of Eurasia or the Caribbean or either North or South America or Central America being part of a combined Americas despite floating on their own plates, then the term "continent" or "supercontinent" must not necessarily be limited by the existence of plate boundaries. During ice ages for the last few million years, Afro-Eurasia and the Americas are linked via the Bering land bridge, and there is a history of an permanent to intermittent connection between the Americas and Eurasia going much further back. Should these very large and relatively recent entities be included on the list at all?

I independently added Afro-Eurasia-America to the template under the "Geological supercontinents" section. It is undeniable that there is a common continental shelf connecting the Americas to Afro-Eurasia and that as recently as the last glacial maximum or so one could walk on dry land from the Southern Cone of South America to the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa by first traversing the Bering Land Bridge. If considered a continent, that land mass which constituted about 26 or 27% of the Earth's surface area and 85% or so of its surface area above sea level, would it not be considered a super-continent?Nanib (talk) 01:15, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

The question is whether anyone covers this. Yes, Africa and S.America are both solidly linked to Laurasia, and we should definitely cover this in the continent and supercontinent articles, but a separate article is motivated by use in the literature. — kwami (talk) 08:16, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Americas or America[edit]

I agree that in English we speak of "the Americas", and use "America" for the USA. My point here is different: When we say "the Americas", as when we say "the Dakotas", "the Carolinas", or "the Californias", we mean two entities with the same name taken together. That is, "the Americas" refers to two continents, North America and South America.

When, however, we refer to the New World as a single continent, it's simply the continent of America. Thus in this template, the New World should be labeled "America", not "Americas". I am in no way arguing that we should move the Americas article to the singular: in the common conception, the Americas are two continents and so the plural is appropriate. I'm not trying to establish a precedent; I'm happy with where that article is (except that I would add a "the", as we do for the Carolinas etc.) It is only in this specialized situation, that of the relatively uncommon conception of the Americas as a single continent, that we should use the singular.

A search of Google Books for "continent of Americas" from the last 20 years returns 8 hits. However, some turn out to be misreadings by the Google scanner, and some (such as Consolation of Mind) are written what might be charitably described as Indian English (the relevant paragraph of that book starts out "Man has committed more number of crimes and injustice"), and so are not relevant for standard (or American) English. What remains are 3 hits, two of them in journals. "Continent of America", on the other hand, returns over 400 hits (45 pages – this is about where GBooks maxes out these days). I haven't reviewed them all, of course, but they include a number of well-respected modern writers writing in impeccable style. Surprisingly, "continent of the Americas" also gets few hits: 63, of which only 14 check out. (Others speak of "the southern continent of the Americas" etc.; only 14 refer to the continent as a single entity, as simply "the continent of the Americas".)

It seems clear then, that when speaking of the Americas as a single continent, the common form in modern English is singular "America". — kwami (talk) 06:48, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

PS. Adding "the" to the search, we get:

  • The continent of Americas: 4 hits (of which 2 check out)[1]
  • The continent of the Americas: 18 hits (of which 6 check out)[2]
  • The continent of America: 313 hits (the phrase is displayed in the preview of 164, not counting a couple dozen more where it's found in the title)[3]

The OED, BTW, has examples of "the continent of America" but nothing for the other two. — kwami (talk) 19:47, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

  • See Talk: Americas#Move request
  • It seems clear then, that when speaking of the Americas as a single continent, the common form in modern English is singular "America". When talking about a America English speakers usually mean it as an abbreviations of the United States of America, as they will usually refer to the two continents as North America and South America (and if needed group the countries of the isthmus as central America).
  • In English, Americas is not a single continent it is the landmass of two continents North and South America or the conglomeration of the countries that reside upon the two continental land masses.
  • Once also writes the British Isles or the Channel Islands, but that does not mean that the title on a map has to be "The British Isles" or "The Channel Islands". See for example the article on the British Isles or the Channel Islands, and many other similar geographical entities.
-- PBS (talk) 10:29, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
I agree with everything you just said, but what does it have to do with the point? — kwami (talk) 02:06, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
However, linking to a page named Americas using a link stating America sounds counter-intuitive to me. I know there's no consensus on naming, but consistency would be great. -- Luk talk 18:27, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
The names are different because they're different things. "America", as we present it in this template, is a single land mass. "The Americas" are two distinct continents. When we say Columbus sailed to "America", it makes no difference whether he made landfall in North or South America, because we aren't differentiating them. This is analogous to "Dakota", meaning the unitary Dakota Territory, and the Dakotas, meaning the two states. We don't link to the exact name because we've merged the two concepts, "America" and "the Americas", into a single article. — kwami (talk) 22:53, 12 May 2013 (UTC)