What continent is Australia in?

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<blockquote>Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world, with a landmass of 2,969,907 square miles, but what continent is it part of? You would think the answer would be a simple one. After all, it’s not as if the island can just drift off if it fancies and join up with another landmass. However, there is a great deal of dispute about what continent is Australia in, let’s investigate the options.

What Continent is Australia in

Australian continent

The idea that Australia is actually on the continent of Australia is a popular answer to the question if a somewhat confusing one. To help with this confusion other names have been suggested to distinguish the content from the country. The names Australinea, Sahul and Meganesia have all been used and adapted to varying degrees within different circles. The continent of Australia comprises of the landmasses of Australia (rather obviously), the island of New Guinea, Tasmania and smaller nearby islands. These islands are defined as being on the same continent as they are part of the same continental shelf. However, sometimes the continent of Australia is considered to comprise just Australia and nothing else.


A point of view which has been gaining more traction over recent decades is that Oceania is a continent. Oceania consists of Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Australasia. It covers an area of 3,291,903 square miles and a population of 40 million. It was named Oceania as the ocean links the island nations together, unlike other continental regions that are linked by land borders. Even though these island groups aren’t on the same continental shelf, Oceania is still considered a continent by many. Australasia is a region consisting of New Zealand, as well as Australia and neighboring islands. The island of New Guinea is sometimes considered to be part of Australasia too. New Zealand and Australia are on different continental shelves so that would normally preclude it from being a continent. However, Oceania is often considered a continent even though the same is true. The difference here is that Governments around the world aren’t making the case for Australasia being a continent. So no, Australasia isn’t the continent in which Australia sits. Ultimately, the answer to the question of which continent Australia is incomes down to who you ask. Different countries identify the continents differently and there is no universal agreement on the definition of a continent. From the earliest concept of the world is divided up into continents, there have been disagreements as to how these areas should be defined. There are five different main models for the number and composition of the continents of the world. For example, the four continent model consists of Afro-Eurasia, America, Antarctica as well as Australia. This model defines Africa, Europe, and Asia as the same continent since they are connected by land.
The Governments of the US, the UK, Canada, and France, among others, consider Oceania to be a continent. However, the Australian Government says that Australia is a continent itself as well as a country. Since there is no worldwide consensus on the matter, it is probably better to go with what the people of Australia themselves believe – Australia is on the continent of Australia.


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