Determining How Many Continents Are on Earth

Comedians Jay Foreman (previously) and Mark Cooper-Jones of Map Men use their sharp humor to find the logic in determining the number of continents on Earth. They first used a straight dictionary definition, but it was too specific as to what constituted a continent and wound up with a count of four. They then looked towards the placement of the tectonic plates, but the logic was a bit faulty and gave them a count of six continents. They tried other methods, but each one ended up with a different count, so the pair just gave up entirely.

The underlying question in all of this is, why does it matter how many continents there are?
Should we even care which one we belong to? Well… no. Not really. What the continents really represent is a human desire to use broad generalizations to categorize the world into arbitrary subdivisions. So whether it’s seven, five, or even six continents these subdivisions will remain as useful as they are argued about.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.