Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Geography of Asia
Asia is the central and eastern part of Eurasia, comprising approximately fifty countries. It has an area, including islands, of roughly 49,694,700 km². Asia is joined to Africa by the Isthmus of Suez and to Europe by a long border generally following the Ural Mountains.
Main Geographical Features
The mean elevation of the continent is 950 m (3,117 ft.), the largest of any in the world. The plateau and mountainous areas broadly sweep SW-NW across Asia, climaxing in the high Tibetan Plateau, rising to the highest peaks in the world in the Himalaya. To the north west lie plains, while to the south lie the geologically distinct areas of the Arabian peninsula, Indian subcontinent and Malay peninsula. Large numbers of islands lie south east of the continent.
The following table gives the approximate altitudes of the chief mountains and lakes of the continent:
National Parks and Game Reserves
- List of National Parks in Asia
The Hydrographic Systems
Basins and rivers
Besides its mainland, Asia includes a large number of islands, including some of the world's largest islands, such as Borneo and Sumatra, and some of the world's most populated islands, such as Java and Honshu.
Other famous islands include Bali, Madura and Sulawesi of Indonesia; Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu and Okinawa of Japan; Luzon, Cebu and Mindanao of the Philippines; Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui of Thailand; as well as Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Singapore, Hong Kong island and Sakhalin.
The Asian nations of Indonesia, Brunei, East Timor, Singapore, Japan, Philippines, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Cyprus are solely made up of one or more islands, and have no territory on the mainland, although some claim to do.
For a comprehensive list of Asian islands, see List of islands of Asia.
- Northernmost Point — Fligeli Point , Rudolfi Island , Franz Josef Land, Russia (81°52'N)
- Southernmost Point — Pulau Dana , Indonesia ¹
- Westernmost Point — Cape Baba, Turkey (26°4'E) ²
- Easternmost Point — Big Diomede, Russia ³
- Northernmost Point — Cape Chelyuskin, Russia (77°43'N)
- Southernmost Point — Cape Piai , Malaysia (1°16'N)
- Westernmost Point — Cape Baba, Turkey (26°4'E)
- Easternmost Point — Cape Dezhnev (East Cape), Russia (169°40'W) ³
¹ If the Cocos (Keeling) Islands are included as part of Asia, then South Island (12°04'S) is the southernmost point.
³ According to the International Date Line.
Climate and Health
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