Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Continents...and all those little islands... ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Continents...and all those little islands...
Category: Science > Earth Sciences
Asked by: answerthis-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 29 Aug 2005 18:55 PDT
Expires: 28 Sep 2005 18:55 PDT
Question ID: 562000
Is all land mass part of a continent?
Subject: Re: Continents...and all those little islands...
Answered By: justaskscott-ga on 29 Aug 2005 19:29 PDT
Hello answerthis,

Would you accept the answer "probably not"?

In all seriousness, the answer to your question seems to be largely a
matter of definition.  (It's much like the question whether Pluto and
more recently discovered objects in the distant solar system are
"planets.")  Is a continent any land surrounded by water?  Or is a
continent what we conventionally consider to be a continent?  (To
complicate matters, I suppose we could say that "land" includes land
under water; but I think that would mean that there are no
continents!)  There are scientific rationales for calling Antarctica a
continent, and Greenland part of North America.  But there seems to be
an opening for an argument that they are both continents, at least
according to the general definition.

"Why is Australia considered an island and a continent, but Greenland
is not?" (Apr. 9, 2004)
Ask Yahoo!

"Re: Are Antarctica and Australia both considered islands and if not,
why not?", by Steve Williams (Nov 25 2000)
MadSci Network

In general conversation, I wouldn't suggest calling Greenland a
"continent."  However, to a geographer, you could raise the
possibility, even though I suspect that most geographers would
disagree.  And the disagreement would presumably grow stronger for
smaller masses of land.

- justaskscott

Search strategy --

Searched on Google for:

geography island continent
There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy