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divides the world into
and sub regions
Asia is the world's largest and
most populous continent. It
covers 8.7%of the Earth's total surface
area (or 29.5% of the total land area)
and with approximately 3.879 billion
people (2011 est) it hosts 60% of the
world's current human population.
Namesake: Reported by many sources, the word "Asia" first originated from the
Ancient Greek word Ασία, and used in 440 BC.
Population Density: 87 km² (225 mi²)
Largest City (by metro population): Tokyo, Japan, 34,607,069
Largest Country (by population): People's Republic of China, 1,357,022,986
Smallest Country (by population): Maldives, 306,000
Major Languages: The four major ones are Mandarin, Hindi, Russian and Arabic. As
for the rest... that's an almost impossible question to answer as most Asian
countries have more than one language that is natively spoken. For instance, more
than 600 languages are spoken in Indonesia, more than 800 languages spoken in
India, and more than 100 are spoken in the Philippines.
Continent Size: Asia is the largest continent in area at 43,820,000 sq km, (16,920,000 sq miles)
Largest Country: Russia, including European
Russia, at 17,075,200 sq km, (6,592,768 sq
Highest Point: Mt. Everest in Nepal at
Percent of Earth's Land: 29.5%
Lowest Point: Dead Sea, Israel and Jordan at
-1.388 ft (-423m) below sea level.
Geographic Center: Located in China at
approximately 43° 40´ N 87° 19´ E.
Horizontal Width: (as the crow flies) From
Ankara, Turkey east to Tokyo, Japan: 5,515
miles (8.876 km)
Vertical Length: (as the crow flies) From
Vorkuta, Russia, south to Jakarta, Indonesia:
5,465 miles (8,795 km)
The Arabian Desert is a vast desert wilderness stretching from
Yemen to the Persian Gulf and from Oman to Jordan and Iraq.
This desert is located in the Middle East,
The largest desert in Asia, covering 500,000 square miles.
Extending from northern China into Mongolia
Kara Kum Desert
It covers 135,000 square miles, nearly 70 % of Turkmenistan's land.
Because of the desert's location along the Caspian Sea, the
weather in Karakum is milder than many Asian deserts,
Kyzyl Kum Desert
Crossing over Kazakhstan into Uzbekistan, this 115,000 square
mile desert features a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Takla Makan Desert
China's largest desert extends over 123,550 square miles. Composed
primarily of shifting crescent sand dunes, one of the largest sandy
deserts in the world.
Covering 77,000 square miles in India and Pakistan, the Thar Desert
is Asia's only subtropical desert. Primarily occupying the Indian
state of Rajasthan
The Caspian Sea, located in western Asia on the eastern edges of
Europe, is the largest lake on the planet
Lake Baikal is positioned in southeastern (Siberia) Russia, directly
to the north of Mongolia. Recognized as the oldest (still existing)
freshwater lake on the planet, it is also measured as the deepest
continental body of water at 5,315 feet
Positioned in far-western Asia, just to the east of the Caspian Sea.
Aral Sea is disappearing (evaporating) and is today almost totally
polluted by fertilizer runoff, weapon testing residue
The Urals are 1,640 miles (2,640 km) in length and extend from
the northern-edge of the Russian Federation down through
Kazakhstan. They form a natural border between Asia and
Several significant mountain ranges stretch across Asia. Here
we highlight on the map and describe the major
ones, including the Altay, Gahats, Himalayan, Kunlun, Tien
Shan, Ural and Zagros Mountains
Altay (or Altai)
The Altay Mountains are a mountain range in East-Central
Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan.
The Western Ghats are a mountain range along the western
side of India with an average elevation around 1,200 m, (3,900
The Himalayas, a huge mountain range immediately at the
north of the Indian subcontinent, is the world's highest
mountain range, and home to the world's highest
peaks, including Mount Everest at 8,848 m (29,029 ft),
The Zagros are the largest mountain range in Iran and Iraq
spaning the whole length of the western and southwestern
Iranian plateau and ending at the Strait of Hormuz.
The Kunlun Mountains are one of the longest mountain chains
in Asia, extending across western China and the Tibetan
Tien (or Tian) Shan
The Tian Shan is a large mountain system located in Central
Asia. It's positioned to the north and west of the Taklamakan
Desert near the border region of Kazakhstan,
Dozens of significant rivers rise in Asia. Here we highlight a few on the map and (briefly)
describe some of the most significant ones, including the
Ganges, Indus, Lena, Mekong, Ob, Yangtze and Yellow.
The Ganges is the most sacred river to Hindus and is also a lifeline
to millions of Indians who live along its course and depend on it
for their daily needs.
The Lena is the easternmost of the three great Siberian rivers that
flow into the Arctic Ocean (the other two being the Ob River and
the Yenisei River). It is the 11th longest river in the world
The Indus River originates in Tibet and flows through India and
Pakistan. It provides water resources for the economy of Pakistan
The Mekong is the world's 10th-longest river and the 7th-longest
in Asia. Its estimated length is 3,050 (4,909 km) and it provides
inland transportation for the millions
The Ob is a major river in western Siberia, Russia. The Ob is used
mostly for irrigation, drinking water, hydroelectric energy
China's Yangtze is the longest river in Asia, and the fourth longest
in the world at 3,915 miles (6,301 km). The Yangtze drains one-
fifth of the land area of the People's Republic of China
The Yellow River is the second-longest river in China and the sixth-
longest in the world at 3,395 miles (5,464 km) in length. It's called
"the cradle of Chinese civilization" as its basin – specifically, the
Wei valley – was the birthplace of ancient Chinese civilizations
Angkor Wat, built by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, is a
temple located in Angkor, Cambodia
The Great Wall of China at 3,889 miles (6,259 km) stretches
along the entire northern part of China, from Shanhaiguan west
to Lop Lake.
Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, located in central
Honshu, Japan, is home to Mt. Fuji, and draws over 100 million
Ha Long Bay in Quang Ninh, Vietnam, features stunning views of
towering limestone formations rising from the sea.
Hikkaduwa Beach on the coast of Sri Lanka is well known for its
surfing, corals, and nightlife, and is an ideal place for those
looking for a bit of relaxation under the sun
Hermitage Museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia
is one of the world's oldest and largest museums in the world,
Jerusalem is a volatile spot within the Middle East, as it is
significant for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike recognized as a
holy city by all three faiths
Petra, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is an
ancient city in Ma'an, Jordan. Famous for its rock cut
Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, is located on
the border of Nepal and China, and peaks at 29,029 ft.
Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, Russia, is a Russian Orthodox
church that was constructed in the late 1550'
The Taj Mahal was constructed in 1632, in Agra, India, in
memory of the third wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, and
attracts close to 4 million visitors each year
Taman Negara National Park, in the Titiwangsa Mountains of
Malaysia, is known as the world's oldest tropical rainfores
Victoria Peak in Hong Kong offers breathtaking
views, and is home to numerous species of
birds and butterflies
Puerto Princesa Underground River was
provisionally chosen as one of the New7Wonders
Native to China, the Giant Panda is an
endangered species, and emblem to the
country, appearing on many coins.
The national symbol of India, the Bengal Tiger is
also classified as endangered, and appears on
coins and works of art throughout the country.
The culture of Asia is human civilization in Asia.
It features different kinds of cultural heritage of many nationalities, societies, and ethnic
groups in the region, traditionally called a continent from a Western-centric
perspective, of Asia. The region or "continent" is more commonly divided into more
natural geographic and cultural sub regions, including the Central Asia, East Asia, South
Asia (the "Indian subcontinent"), North Asia, West Asia and Southeast Asia.
Geographically, Asia is not a distinct continent; culturally, there has been little unity
or common history for many of the cultures and peoples of Asia.
Asian art, music, and cuisine, as well as literature, are important parts of Asian culture.
Eastern philosophy and religion also plays a major role, with
Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam; all playing major roles.
One of the most complex parts of Asian culture is the relationship between traditional
cultures and the Western world.
Current Dates and Times
Standard Time is used across all of the North Asia
The only exception is Russia, as its time zones
utilize Daylight Saving Time during the spring and
summer months of the year
When Daylight Saving Time is in effect in an area of
North Asia, an individual time bar will be marked
with a (DST)
The worldwide standard for coordinated universal
time, formerly known as GMT (Greenwich Mean
Time), is now abbreviated as UTC (Coordinated
Some sources still refer to it as UTC/GMT and some
web browsers, e.g. Mozilla Firefox, still display it as
The UTC Time is the standard time zone upon which
all other worldwide time zones are based. It never
observes daylight saving time.
To describe weather conditions across the continent of Asia in specific terms is difficult in
such a small space, as conditions vary widely across this huge landmass.
The Climate of Asia is moist across
southeast sections, and dry across much of
the interior. Some of the largest daily
temperature ranges on Earth occur in
western sections of Asia.
Siberia is one of the coldest places in the
Northern Hemisphere, and can act as a
source of arctic air masses for North
The monsoon circulation
dominates across southern and eastern
sections, due to the presence of the
Himalayas forcing the formation of a thermal
low which draws in moisture during the
summer. Southwestern sections of the
continent are hot.
The most active place on Earth for
tropical cyclone activity lies northeast of the
Philippines and south of Japan, and the phase
of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation modulates
where in Asia landfall is more likely to occur.