The continent of Asia boasts the oldest civilizations, the largest population, and the most populous cities. Asia is the largest of the 7 continents with over 4.4 billion people calling it home and speaking nearly 2,200 languages.
It’s never too early to start learning about Earth’s continents. Because we’re all in favor of early education at Science Trends, we’ve assembled 50 amazing facts about the continent of Asia, all of which will be suited for kids who are just learning their geography! Heck, we’re even willing to bet that quite a few adults will find these trivia-tidbits enjoyable. They glean an important understanding of Earth’s largest continent, as well as important facts about the people that populate it. And the information doesn’t end there, either!
If we’ve piqued your curiosity, read on to hear 50 amazing facts about one of the critical foundations of human civilization on this planet!
We regularly tackle every region of the world that our readers want to learn more about. And though Asia is our focus today, that could shift entirely tomorrow! If there’s a particular area of the world that you’d like us to shed some light on, let us know in the comments section at the end of this article! We’re always receptive to feedback, and happy to serve our readers’ interests!
Asia — the Continent
Before we dig deep into the 50 amazing facts that we’ve assembled below, let’s take a look at this continent in the broader sense. As you’ll soon learn, it’s the largest on our planet, in more ways than one. It contains many sovereign countries and territories, as well as some that are dependent.
Ironically, one disclaimer we have to offer with lists such as these has to do with being comprehensive. Even though we’ve endeavored to assemble a diverse collection of information, by no means is this all that you might want to know about Asia! The country is home to many diverse cultures, unique environments, amazing cities, and more that we cannot possibly pack into 50 questions! That said, everything that we have included is topical and up-to-date. So if you’re ready to learn, it’s time to dig in!
Location, Location, Location
Though most have a basic understanding of where the Asian continent is on our planet, there are many interesting facts about its boundaries and position that are worth further inspection. As a point of fact, many don’t realize that the borders of Asia don’t necessarily dictate the borders of the countries in Asia!
- Asia is bordered by three of the world’s oceans — the Indian Ocean to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
- The continent of Asia shares borders with Europe and Africa. We’ve written about both of them on Science Trends, too!
- Because of where the continent is located on the planet, Asia is very diverse when it comes to climate. Southern regions, closer to the equator, can reach tropical temperatures, while northern regions, closer to the arctic circle, are quite frigid!
- Indians, Japanese, and Chinese frequently garner the most pop-culture attention, when it comes to Asian representation. But did you know that Iraqis, Siberian-Russians, and even New Guineans are all considered people of the Asian continent?
- The country of Bhutan, found in Asia, is the only country in the world to have exclusively banned the use of tobacco.
- China is the planet’s third-largest country. In spite of this fact, it only has one single time-zone!
- Asia is the center of the world’s most advanced economic growth and urbanization efforts. In spite of this, poverty resulting from wealth disparity is a problem that continues to grow.
- Both the highest and lowest points on Earth’s landmasses can be found in Asia — those being Mt. Everest and the Dead Sea, respectively.
- Due to widespread pollution in the heavily urbanized (and industrialized) areas of China, packaged air is actually available for purchase.
- The Asian continent has been the birthplace and cradle of the world’s most prominent religions, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, and many others.
Cities of Asia
We’ll speak more, below, about the vast and massive population living on the continent of Asia, but before that, let’s take a look at the place with a wider lens — let’s examine the cities themselves, and the points of interest attached to many of them. After all, the population density in the largest of Asia’s cities is positively overwhelming, when you stack it up against the rest of the wider world.
- Remember, Asia is the biggest continent in more ways that one! It has the largest cities on the planet, as well!
- The largest city in the world belongs to the continent of Asia! That would be Tokyo, Japan, at approximately 39,800,000 people within the metropolitan area.
- Other major metropolitan areas in Asia are no slouch, either — Jakarta, Indonesia has 30.5 million people, Delhi, India has 25 million people, and Karachi, Pakistan has 24.3 million people.
- The largest cities of Asia boast some of the greatest population densities in the world.
- Seven of the ten largest cities in the world are located on the Asian continent.
- Ever wonder which cities in the world are most-toured? In 2013, it was Bangkok, Thailand!
- Think you’re pretty shopper-savvy? The ten largest shopping malls are all located in Asian cities! Better start packing!
- However, the largest shopping mall in Asia is tantamount to a ghost town, with a majority of its 2350 storefronts vacant.
- Interested in buildings and architecture? It might interest you to know that nine out of the tallest ten buildings in the world are located on the Asian continent!
- Due to skyrocketing obesity rates, Japan introduced laws meant to curb the trend in 2008. Now, it’s technically against the law to be fat. Men and women are required to have their waistlines checked yearly, and excess numbers result in citizens receiving weight-loss guidance.
When people say “the biggest continent on the planet,” they can mean that in quite a few different ways. Landmass? Population? City sizes? Population density? There are quite a few ways to measure “biggest,” but in the case of Asia, it tops many of these lists, regardless.
“Asia: four little letters, three billion little people.” — Stephen Colbert
- Asia is the largest continent on the planet Earth. It has a greater landmass than any other, by a significant margin.
- The continent covers almost 9% of the planet’s total surface area!
- Though many calculations of Asia’s landmass are approximations, they’re all relatively close to each other. Nearest estimates suggest that Asia is about 17,000,000 square miles or about 44,000,000 square kilometers!
- Asia also has the largest coastline of any of Earth’s continents.
- Only two countries in the world have populations of over 1 billion people, and both of them are in Asia!
- The population of China is approximately 1.37 billion people. In terms of population alone, this makes it the largest country in the world!
- Coming in second, the population of India is approximately 1.34 billion people! It has some of the most compact population density on the planet, and if population trends continue the way that they are, it will soon surpass China as the world’s most populous city.
- In total, the population of the entire continent is also considerably massive! How massive? Think over 4.4 billion people! Stack that up against the other continents of the world, and you’ll see what we mean by “biggest.”
- Just because China and India are the most populous countries doesn’t mean they cover the largest area of the continent, though. Russia is actually the country possessed of the greatest amount of the continent, at approximately 17,125,000 square kilometers.
- Combine the population of the entire rest of the world. Then compare it to Asia’s. Asia is still bigger.
Putting the “Wild” in Wildlife
Of course, the massive numbers of diverse peoples living in Asia aren’t the only aspect of “life” that we’re interested in. There’s a massive proliferation of unique flora and fauna living in the continent’s varied regions. Some of them, you probably know about. Tigers? Check. It’s important to remember just how vast the continent is compared to the other landmasses on Earth. In doing so, one can truly appreciate the wild diversity of Asia’s biomes.
“Southeast Asia has a real grip on me. From the very first time I went there, it was a fulfillment of my childhood fantasies of the way travel should be.” — Anthony Bourdain
- Though the Asian elephant isn’t as big as the African elephant, it is the largest land animal in Asia!
- Asian countries are largely responsible for perpetuating the practice of shark-finning—an act that threatens hundreds of species of sharks, bringing them ever-closer to extinction.
- The tiger, the giant panda, the king cobra, and other highly unique (and highly recognizable) animal species are native to Asian territories.
- The rhinoceros is popularly associated with Africa, but Asia is home to the single-horned Indian rhinoceros.
- Because urbanization is so prevalent (and spreading) across the Asian continent, there are more endangered species here than in other regions of the world.
- You likely know all about single-hump camels, but what about the two-hump Bactrian camel? It’s native to both desert and mountainous regions of Asia.
- Because of oceanfront development across the species’ critical habitats, the green sea turtle is on the verge of extinction.
- High commercial value around the world has spurred the illegal hunting of Asian pangolin species. In spite of legality issues, the animals are being severely threatened across nearly every region in which they’re found.
- At one point, tiger subspecies could be found across the Asian continent. Now, they’ve been made extinct (or nearly so) in as much as 93% of those territories.
- Once prolific in the wild, Asia’s giant pandas are now thought to have less than 2000 total surviving members of the species. It’s unclear if this unique animal will ever recover from the poaching and other destructive human acts that have irreparably changed its habitat.
A Numbers Game
Here are more fun facts about the continent of Asia. They’re not organized by topic, so much as they’re united by being impressive numbers that you’re sure to remember!
- Though the largest economy in the world isn’t in Asia, the second and third largest are! China and Japan occupy those ranks, respectively.
- Many countries throughout the world are home to a plethora of languages, belonging to very different cultures. India, a single country in Asia, has over thirty different languages!
- English is a popularly-spoken language around the world, and it’s what we publish in at Science Trends. But the world’s most popularly-spoken language is actually Mandarin Chinese!
- Asian countries — and by association the continent itself — are growing rapidly in terms of population. In twenty years, it’s predicted that another billion people will be added to the total population numbers on the continent!
- Calling all mango fans! Did you know that India produces over 12 million tons of mangos!
- The country of Japan has the highest median age of any country in the world, at 44!
- That’s not the only way that growing old in Japan can be a great thing — there are over 50,000 people in the country over 100 years of age!
- Children in China are frequently named after significant events, values, and other items of high cultural importance. Knowing this, perhaps it will surprise you less that thousands of children are named Aoyun, which translates to “the Olympic Games.”
- Within the continent of Asia, there are 48 different countries!
- In spite of Asia’s size, its impressive populations, and the rest of these interesting facts, there are two countries that have part of their borders in Europe — Russia and Turkey.
“In Asia, red is the color of joy; red is the color of festivities and celebration. In Chinese culture, blue is the color of mourning.” — Vincent Tan
That about settles it, doesn’t it? Of course, there’s far more to learn about the Asian continent than these 50 fun facts have indicated. And if you want to learn more, whether you’re a kid or an adult reader, check back with us at Science Trends!