From time immemorial, many people have wrongfully believed that Australia is a country and continent, all rolled into one.
But just how true is this? This post shall try to uncover the country of Australia in relation to its continent.
Which Continent Is Australia In?
Australia is found within the content of Australia. It is probably the only country that also shares a name with its continent, at least word for word. We have countries like South Africa and the United States of America that only share part of their names with the names of their respective continents.
When distinguishing Australia the continent from Australia the country, you will often come across words such as Australinea, Sahul or Meganesia. Of course, many of us simply refer to it as Australia, probably because of the wrongful assumption that the continent is expressly made up of a single country.
What Is The Continent Made Up Of?
The continent of Australia is the world’s smallest size, geographically speaking. Geographically, it shares the region of Oceania, among other countries and islands like Micronesia, Polynesia, and Melanesia. Inlay terms, the continent is made up of landmasses that are situated on the Australian continental-plate. Essentially, these landmasses comprise of countries such as mainland Australia, the New Guinea, and Tasmania.
The New Guinea is a collection of islands comprising of two Indonesian provinces and Papua New-Guinea.
The continent of Australia is also made up of a continental shelf that features shallow seas seamlessly splitting it into various landmasses. Some of these landmasses include the Torres Strait and the Arafura that is situated between New Guinea and mainland Australia. There is also the Bass Strait that is located between Tasmania and mainland Australia.
These landmasses are believed to have been part of a huge mainland before the rise of sea level.
The continent of Australia is also considered the lowest and flattest point on Earth, as well as one of the most ancient landforms. It lies in various time zones depending on the country where you find yourself in. These time zones range from GMT + 8 to GMT + 10.
More Facts About Australia
The geographical size of the Australian continent is 8,600,000 km2, or 3,300,000 sq mi. The estimated population of the continent is 38,000,000. The country of Australia takes a huge chunk of this population, with about 25 million people. Papua New-Guinea comes second with a population of slightly over 8 million.
The rest of the regions covered under the Australia continent, such as the two districts of Indonesia, share the rest of the population.
Interestingly, all the top 5 largest cities in the continent of Australia are actually found in the country of Australia. These include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide.
The dominant language in Australia is English. English is predominantly spoken in Australia and Papua New Guinea while Indonesian is widely used in Indonesia. Apart from English, other common languages in the country of Australia include Mandarin, Punjabi, Arabic, and Filipino. Interestingly, up to 18 percent of people in the country of Australia are not native English speakers. This means the country is one of the most permissive in the world, in terms of immigration. In Papua New Guinea, Hiri Motu and Tok Pisin are two of the most popular languages after English.
In conclusion, Australia is both a country and a continent. As a continent, it encompasses up to three different countries.