Top Answer
User Avatar
Wiki User
Answered 2009-09-19 07:30:51

Many people have responses for what an "island" is, but don't often describe what a "continent" is. One definition from

  • (a.) One of the grand divisions of land on the globe; the main land; specifically (Phys. Geog.), a large body of land differing from an island, not merely in its size, but in its structure, which is that of a large basin bordered by mountain chains; as, the continent of North America.

By that definition, it is not an island's size that makes it also a continent, but what separates it from its surroundings. It is also what helps Europe be considered a continent, even though there is no way it could ever be considered an island itself).

To answer the specific question regarding Australia and Greenland, see

  • Why should Australia be considered a continent and Greenland an island? The answer is not clear-cut, but there are rational reasons behind it.

It is surrounded by water, so yes - but it is so big it is a continent. Being a continent is deemed to mean that it is no longer 'considered' an island.

Australia is not the only part of the Continent. Borneo and a whole slew of other islands are also part of the "Australian Continent"
User Avatar

Your Answer


Still have questions?

Related Questions

Is the concept of continent questionable?

Sure. Continents have been conceptualized by convention only. It is accepted that Australia is a continent, but that Greenland is an island. (Greenland has been determined to be a part of the North American continent, a shelf-like extension, so to speak.) However, if Greenland were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, for example, it could easily be conceived to qualify as a continent.Sure. Continents have been conceptualized by convention only. It is accepted that Australia is a continent, but that Greenland is an island. (Greenland has been determined to be a part of the North American continent, a shelf-like extension, so to speak.) However, if Greenland were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, for example, it could easily be conceived to qualify as a continent.

What is a nonexample of a continent?

Greenland would be a non-example of a continent, or the Middle East.

Give an example of an island?

Greenland Iceland Madagascar Australia

Find an example of an area of land that is smaller that a continent and is completely surrounded by water?

Um... Greenland?

What is the difference between an island and continent?

Geographically speaking, continents are bigger than islands.Geologically speaking, they are different in their rock density. Continents are made up of low-density rock, so they float high on Earth's molten mantle like big rafts. Ocean crust is denser, so it floats low on the mantle. Most islands are really extensions of the ocean floor - undersea volcanoes pump out dense lava that cools into ocean floor crust and sometimes piles up above sea level.An example often quoted is that of Australia (a continent) and Greenland (an island). Geographically, Australia is a continent, not an island. As a landform, it could be considered an island as it is entirely surrounded by water and not joined onto any other land mass. For this reason, it is often referred to as an island continent. Australia is too big to be formallyclassified as an island. The world's largest island is actually Greenland.Another reason why Australia is also considered a continent is because it sits on its own tectonic plate. This is different from Greenland, which uses the same land mass as North America. That is why the geological appearances are much different in Australia than anywhere else. A place like Greenland shares the same geologic attributes as North America.

Why are so many plants and animals only found in Australia?

Australia is isolated and is considered by many to be a very large island although it is called a continent. The plants and animals there have adapted to it. It is what you see as an example of evolution.

How is Australia a country and a continent the same time?

'Continent' refers to the geographical arrangement of the land itself, and Australia is a continent because it is too large to be an island.'Country' refers to the political organization of an area, and Australia happens to have one Australian central government. There are six states and two mainland territories which federated in 1901 to become the nation of Australia.This is the classical definition however life is often more complicated than it should be. For example, Greenland, the world's largest island is not a continent of its own. This is probably due to population levels. Also, Australia is a continent in most places but in some parts of the world that continent is called Australasia or Oceania which is more inclusive of News Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

An example of land that is smaller than a continent and is surrounded by water?

Hawaii. It is smaller than Australia, a continent, and is surrounded by water.

Since New Guinea is part of the Australian Continent are they considered Australian too?

No. Just because someone is from the same continent it doesn't mean that they are the same nationality. Example England and France are in Europe but the people are either English or French. New Guinea is not part of the continent of Australia.

How many countries are located on each individual continent?

it depends. For example Australia is a country but it's also a continent. This means that the continent of Australia has really only one country. On the contrary, Africa has approximately 52 countries.

Why is Australia a Continet and a country?

Australia is considered to be one of the seven continents. It is also a country because it does not have any separate countries within itself. For example, Asia is a continent, but it is not a country because it has separate countries inside of itself such as China and Japan.

What ia a continent?

Continents are the large areas of land that make up the earth's dry surface, not including non-continental islands. The definition of the continents are rooted in historical convention, as there are no fixed criteria that can be systematically applied to define what a continent is, and where the boundaries between adjacent continents lie. For example, the dividing lines between Africa, Europe, and Asia are quite convoluted and arbitrary. Similarly, there is no steadfast rule preventing Greenland from being considered a continent, or requiring Australia to remain a continent.The largest continental landmasses, in order from large to small, are as follows:Afro-Euroasia (includes Africa, Europe, and Asia),the Americas (including North America and South America)Antartica, andAustralia.

Why sub continent is called sub continent?

A subcontinent is a landmass that is a subregion of either a continent or on its own. For example, the Middle East is a subcontinent of Asia and is physically attached to Asia. However, Greenland is too a subcontinent of North America, although it is not physically attached.

Why is Greenland an example of an extreme environment?

Greenland is an example of a extreme environment because the weather conditions and the arctic deserts that surrond it.

What example of an area of land that is smaller than a continent and is completely surrounded by water?

If you accept that ice is a form of water the answer is Greenland - otherwise check out a retputable on-line atlas

What is an example of a continent?

There are seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica.

Can you give me an example of a continent?

Yes, Africa is an example of a continent

What is a country on each continent?

An example from North America is the United States. Germany is a country in Europe. Brazil is a country in South America. Kenya is a country in Africa. Thailand is a country in Asia. Australia is a continent with only one country, which is called Australia. Antarctica has no countries, but many countries have some rights to parts of it, an example of which is Russia.

What is a continent name the continent on planet earth?

a continent is sort of like a country except its like for example instead of just france its europe, there are 7 continents and they are North America, South America, Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia and Antarctica.

Which country does not belong to any continent?

There are numerous countries, all islands, which do not belong to any political continent. New Zealand, for example, does not belong to any continent, although there is a mistaken belief that it is part of Australia. New Zealand belongs to the region of Oceania which, despite being reported by some sites as a continent, is not a continent in the geographical sense.

How are continents determined?

Continents are decided by size and placement on the planet. There are truly only four continents: America, Afroeurasia, Australia, and Antarctica. This is based off geographical location and size. For example, Greenland is the largest island but is much too small to be considered its own continent. A continent is a continuous, connected piece of land. However, there are seven political continents, in which are mostly used: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica. Political continents are the geographical continents broken down based on culture. You see North America and South America separated from America based on culture. You see Europe, Africa, and Asia separated from Afroeurasia because of culture. Australia and Antarctica are not broken down any farther.

Which is an example of a peninsula Greenland Italy Indonesia?

Italy is a peninsula.

Use continent in a sentence?

for example South America is a continent

How do you put continental climate in a sentence?

Continental climate is, essentially, the climate from the middle of a continent. An example sentence is: The continental climate of Australia is actually quite pleasant.

Who were the founding fathers of Australia?

Sir Henry Parkes and Sir Edmund Barton are two examples of figures who are considered to be Founding Fathers of Australia. Another example is Arthur Phillip.