Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Island and Continent

Island vs Continent

Looking at a world map or a globe, one could easily identify a continent from an island. The difference does not only lie on the size but also on many aspects.

The foremost difference between a continent and an island is the size. Continents can span a huge amount of land mass that can include countries inside that particular land mass. Continents can also be separated by countries with respect to physical and political borders. In contrast, an island has the generic description as a small land mass that is surrounded by bodies of water on each side.

Drifting away from the obvious difference in size, the continents are also different from an island since they have various landforms and wildlife like flora, fauna (animal species). Since the land mass is so large, many people of different cultures can live together on the same continent with their own borders. An island can only accommodate a small group of people and not large groups of people at the same time.

An island can be given its own name while continents which are close to each other can be considered and called as one. This often applies to Europe and Asia since both continents are linked together by land. The name “Eurasia” both combines Europe and Asia though each continent is not always treated this way due to the political and cultural differences.

Most of a continent’s culture is different from another continent. This makes a continent distinct from each other. Islands might also have a culture that is entirely different from the continent or might be ascribed to the continent’s governance and culture if the said island is part of the continent or a specific country’s territory.

In other terms, a continent can be defined due to its placement. Continents sit on a tectonic plate and occupy a large portion of that plate. Islands often are scattered toward a plate or sometimes in-between plates.

Another obvious difference is the number between the two. Obviously, there are more islands compared to continents. There are approximately 18,995 islands in the world while there are only 7 recognized continents The continents’ names are easier to remember: Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, Australia and Antarctica.

A major factor to consider is the fact that continents cannot be made by man or disappear within a certain level of tide. The reason for the approximate number of islands is that the Earth is constantly changing – making and disappearing islands along the way.

Humans, in order to sustain and make use of space for an overwhelming population, can now create man-made and recreational islands. These islands are a marvel of technology and human ingenuity. These islands can accommodate structures and a number of people to live in that particular space. In contrast, continents cannot be man-made due to their sheer size. There will be no more space left on Earth if humans have the technology and the time. Some people have often considered continents as islands with only bigger sizes and larger masses of land.


1.Continents are different from islands in terms of size. Continents are bigger and wider than islands.
2.Islands are also more in number, approximately 18,995, compared to only 7 continents.
3.Islands can also be man-made with the proper technology and equipment while continents will be a challenge to be made by human hands and technology.
4.Continents can contain unique cultures as well as flora and fauna to other continents in great abundance while an island can only contain features in a smaller scale and scope.

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