Slash Boxes
NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

use Perl Log In

Log In

[ Create a new account ]

cog (4665)

Journal of cog (4665)

Tuesday August 31, 2004
05:51 AM

How many continents are there?

[ #20652 ]

This may sound stupid, I know, but the truth is that there is not much consensus around this subject.

A friend of mine, while playing a game, was asked "How many continents are there?" The possible answers were 5, 6, 7, 8. I told him: "Wait! That one is tricky... it all depends on what you consider a continent... There's Europe, Asia, Africa... America... North and South... Antarctica, Artic... Oceania..." :-)

He said: "Hell no! I learned in school that there are five continents! And the Olympic rings are five!"

He answered five...

He lost...

The correct answer for the game was 7...

Now, I wonder... how many continents are there really? What would you consider a continent to be?

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
More | Login | Reply
Loading... please wait.
  • I learned (in the USA) that it was 7: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica. However, in my French class, my teacher said she thought there were 5; I think she counted North and South America as one (joined by an isthmus) and maybe Europe and Asia as one. Or maybe Australia was just an island. Or Antarctica wasn't one. I don't remember.

    According to `dict continent`, there are 6:

    Note: The continents are now usually regarded as six in number: North America, South Amer

    • I remember some teacher saying something about 5 continents... Europe, Asia, Africa, North America and South America...

      I guess he/she never looked that way down on the map :-)
    • Was the French teacher's name Evette, who had a wealthy husband who was nervous?
  • All possibilities are covered at Wikipedia [].
  • Eurasia, Eastasia and Oceania.
  • There are only five continents which have any nations: Africa, Australia, Eurasia (which could count as one or two depending on who you ask), North America, South America. I don't think the IOC will count Antarctica until the penguins send an olympic team.
    • According to this Wikipedia article [] (which is not the same as the one posted in another comment here), one of the rings represents both Americas.

      Either the Americas or Eurasia are getting shortchanged by having two continents represented with only one ring. :) I propose we move to four or six rings to eliminate the confusion. ;)

      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • Going by political or historical definitions doesn’t make much sense to me. I go by a mostly geological definition, for which the answer is 8:

    • Europe
    • Asia
    • Africa
    • North America
    • South America
    • India
    • Australia
    • Antarctica

    However, that’s not truly consistent: the Arabias and the Carribean are on their own small tectonic plates; moreover there are three small plates that harbour no large land mass of their own.

    So the answer should probably be 10, possibly 13.