Asia is the largest continent of the world with approximately 17,000,00 square miles surface area. Covering almost 30% of the total surface area of the Earth. It is vast beyond your imagination and is popular for some of the world’s largest and oldest civilizations. It is also the continent with more than 60% of the total population of the world. That figure makes it the continent with highest population. It is divided into five regions of South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, and Central Asia. If West Asia is considered a separate region, that makes a total of six distinct regions of Asia.
The Pacific Ocean surrounds Asia to the East, the Red Sea with several inland seas of the Atlantic Ocean to the Southwest, the Indian Ocean to the South, and Europe to the West. The Suez Canal (The Isthmus of Suez) unites Asia with the African continent. Asia is as vast as one can expect and it is next to impossible to contract the geography of Asia to a few lines, yet we have tried to provide you as much information as possible.
Its geography is mainly subdivided into the following five main regions:
Asia is famous for its high grounds. The Iranian Plateau occupies 3,700,000 square kilometers. It encompasses major portion of Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Deccan Plateau covers most of the Southern area of India. The Tibetan Plateau is among the most famous plateau that is known as the highest and largest region in the history of the universe. Asia is also home to other plateaus as well such as Bagua Plateau, Dadu Plateau, Bolaven Plateau, etc.
Plains, Steppes, and Deserts
A huge mainland of Asia is occupied by plains. West Siberian Plain with an area of about 1,200,000 square miles is one of the largest regions in the world having plains with continuous flatland. Abeno Plain, Al-Jazira Plains, Chengdu Plains, Doaba Plain, and Changhua Plains are few of the most famous plains of Asia.
A steppe landscape with a huge flat and unforested grassland is the trademark of Central Asia. Asia also shares with Europe the world’s largest steppe region known as “the Great Steppe.” Mongolia, Tibet, and China are among the major countries with huge steppe biomes.
There are several huge deserts in the Asian continent, although they are much different from other deserts of the world featuring trees, plantations, occasional frost, and mountains. The Gobi desert is the largest desert of Asia occupying 500,000 square miles. Karakum Desert, Kyzylkum Desert, Takla Makan Desert, and Thar desert are among the most famous deserts of Asia.
A variety of freshwater lakes exist in Asia that vary in size and origin. The Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world. Lake Baikal, Balkhash, Taymyr, etc. are among other large lakes that are located in Asia.
The Persian Gulf with 234,000 square kilometers is extremely salty. The Sea of Okhotsk 611,000 squire miles and the Bay of Bengal are among other saltwater environments in Asia.
There are some huge mountains in Asia. The Himalaya is extended to 1550 miles and is consists of three mountain belts. This mountain system owns some highest mountains of the world including Mount Everest, K2, etc. The Tien Shan and the Ural mountain systems are among other famous mountain systems of Asia.
Culture and Cuisine of Asia
Asian inhabitants are progenies of numerous ethnic races and followers of religions from Islam and Hinduism to Buddhism and Christianity. Such diversity of races and ethnic groups make Asian culture one of the most diverse and rich cultures of the world. Although it is home to a huge number of great cultures, the most famous among them are of East Asian, the Indian, and the Muslim culture.
The East Asian culture prevails in the communities that use chopsticks. This culture is also known as Confucian culture. The Chinese communities, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnam, and a major portion of Singapore share this chopstick culture. These nations and societies have huge differences between themselves, yet there are significant conformity and collectivism. Education lies at the very center of this culture. Scientific researches and technological advancements are also important pillars of this culture. Moreover, it is one of the most ancient cultures that comes with several traditions, rituals, and festivals that are difficult to contain in a few lines.
The Indian culture is more or less an Umbrella term that covers a lot of cultures itself. Indian culture is also very old with a rich history. Greeks, Arabs, Turks, and colonists left a great impact on the culture and civilization of the sub-continent. However, Dharmic religions greatly shaped Indian culture, art, music, architecture, philosophy, and literature. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and many other religions fall under the umbrella of Indian culture.
Asian cuisine is also as diverse as the culture of Asia. Central Asian countries have cuisines that are similar. Pilaf, horse meat, and mutton are among the most favorite foods in Central Asia. Staple food like rice, mung beans, soya beans, noodles, seafood, mutton, bok choy, and tea is most famous in East Asia. A variety of Chinese food is popular all across the globe. Curries of different types and spicy food are trademark of South Asia that are flavored with chilies, black pepper, cloves, and other spices. Southeast Asian people are fond of lightly prepared dishes along with fish sauces, galangal, tamarind, and lemongrass. West Asian countries have a very diverse cuisine that revolves around frequent use of olive oil, pitas, dates, parsley, sesame seeds, etc.
Some Interesting Facts about Asia
- Asia is the biggest continent covering 30% of the surface of the land and 60% of the world’s population.
- The lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea, and the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest, are in Asia.
- Asia is the only continent that shares borders with two other continents, Africa and Europe.
- Asia also shares a border with North America but only during winter through the frozen Bering Sea.
- Four Asian countries China, Japan, Russia, and India, are included in the world’s top ten largest economies.
- Some of the rarest animal species are found only in Asia such as the giant panda, komodo dragon, king cobra, etc.
- The two world’s largest populous countries, China and India, are also part of Asia with a combined population of over 2.5 billion people.