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Geographically, it is customary to divide the world into parts that cover not only the continental masses, but also the islands adjacent to them. These large sets are also called continents.

1997 CountriesIn decreasing order of magnitude, the continents of the world are Asia, America, Africa, Antarctica (also called Antarctica), Europe and Oceania. America is subdivided into three subcontinents: South America, Central America and North America.

Oceania is a large island, Australia, in addition to an immense number of archipelagos and isolated islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Europe and Asia are part of a single continental mass, known as Eurasia. The set formed by these two parts of the world is connected to Africa by a narrow strip of land; therefore, Europe, Asia and Africa are also given a name together: Old World. America is known as the New World, and Oceania is sometimes called the Brand New World or Brand New Continent.

The continents have different climates, landscapes and populations. Antarctica, for example, is freezing and has very few plants and animals. Africa, in turn, tends to be very hot and has a wide variety of fauna and flora.

Most continents are also divided into political units called countries. Parts of Antarctica are claimed by several countries, but there are no permanent settlements on that continent. Australia is the only mass of continental dimensions (that is, of large size) occupied by a single country. However, it is considered part of a larger continent, Oceania, which also includes the islands of the Pacific Ocean.

In 1912, the German scientist Alfred Wegener raised the hypothesis that in the past all continents were connected and gave this great landmass the name of Pangeia. According to this hypothesis, more than 200 million years ago, Pangeia broke up to form the current continental masses. These then headed individually to their current location.

Since then, scientists have found evidence that this idea is correct and now believe that the continents are located on large moving plates.

AFRICAN CONTINENT

The African continent and its main physical, human and regional characteristics. According to Countryaah, the African continent is the third largest in the world. It is bathed on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Indian Ocean. To the north, it is separated from the European continent by the Mediterranean Sea; and to the northeast, it is separated from Asia by the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, located in Egypt.

Many people know Africa for its extreme poverty and misery, but few know why. According to the UN (United Nations), of the countries considered to have a low HDI (Human Development Index), all of them are African. This situation was caused mainly by the colonial and imperialist exploitation that took place in these countries.

First, there was a colonialist domination that began at the end of the 15th century, when the black population that formed the diverse ethnicities of that continent was enslaved and taken to other places, including Brazil. This domination remained that way until the 19th century, when an imperialist wave (also called neocolonialist) decided to take over the continent, dividing its territory among many other countries.

Because of this, many internal conflicts started to happen, either in search of independence, or between rival peoples in search of controlling the same territory. Although there were also territorial disputes in Africa before colonization, they were not as bloody and intense as they are today.

The relief of the African continent is marked by the presence of two great deserts: the Sahara Desert and the Kalahari Desert. The first is located in the north of the country and the second is further south. Most of Africa's surface is made up of plateaus with medium and high altitudes. In the central and northern regions, there are large rivers that are among the largest in the world, such as the Nile, Congo and Niger rivers.

Regarding vegetation, there are several types, such as desert plants, equatorial forests and steppes. However, the most common types are savannas, which are very similar to the vegetation of the Brazilian Cerrado, with medium and small trees with very twisted branches.

Africa is divided into two main regions: Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa. The first comprises the entire region of that continent that lies below the Sahara desert, characterized by a population of black majority and greater ethnic diversity. The second is further north and comprises the African Arab populations.

Despite the fact that most of the African territory is formed by independent countries, that is, without the colonial rule of another country, its economy is quite subordinate. In addition, many internal guerrillas and bloody dictatorships exist or have recently existed in most African countries.

Countries in Latin America

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