How many continents are there?
This video is a fun summary of the perpetual (unsolvable?) debate surrounding the simple question of “how many continents are there?” 5, 6, 7, 9, or 13? I remember first encountering this dilemma in some far off hostel’s travel lounge, where grizzled and less than grizzled backpackers were swapping travel tales when one piped up to say that he had been to all 5 continents. I had always thought that geography, at least, was known and agreed upon, though language, religion, sport, and art divided us. Not so, not so.
My answer to the question? Though brought up believing in 7, I’d vote now for 6 (N. America, S. America, Eurasia, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica). Canals amplify what was already true: two big distinct landmasses held on by the most slender of slivers of land. I can see why Asia used to be thought separate, since travel between it and Europe (the rest of its continent) was faster and easier by sea, but that is no longer reason to ignore that they are one great landmass.