Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Island And Peninsula

islandIsland vs Peninsula

The term Island refers to any piece of land surrounded by water on all the four sides. The term Peninsula refers to a piece of land that is surrounded by water on the three sides but connected to the mainland on the fourth. Islands necessarily need to be accessed either by air or by water but the peninsula’s have a land access as well.

A big land mass surrounded by a narrow body of water like a river cannot be called an island whereas a landmass connected to the mainland even by a narrow strip called isthmus will be called a peninsula.

Islands are of two types Continental and Oceanic. Continental islands are situated on the continental shelf and the Oceanic are beyond the continental shelf. These oceanic islands are generally volcanic or coral in origin. Such volcanic or coral islands would generally be uninhabited due to the uninviting terrain. However, no such differentiation exists in peninsulas. Due to their characteristics they are always connected to the mainland, hence, almost always as inhabitable as the mainland.

Islands can be found in groups like the Maldives, Trinidad & Tobago, Tonga, etc. Peninsulas are never found to be in groups.

Due to the scenic beauty that is generally abundant in the islands almost always the local economy of islands or even small island countries depends on the income from tourism. Peninsulas do not enjoy any such boons.

There is no restriction of size and the islands can be very small to large continents like Australia. The peninsulas, however, will only be recognized as a peninsula if they are of a decent size. Very small fingers in the ocean would generally not be call a peninsula.

1. Islands are surrounded by water on all the four sides whereas peninsulas are surrounded by water on three sides.
2. Islands are of two types continental or oceanic whereas peninsulas can only be continental.
3. Islands can be found in groups whereas peninsulas are always single.
4. Islands have generally very high tourism whereas no such boon exists for peninsulas.
5. Islands can be very small in size however very small fingers in the sea would not be called peninsulas.

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  1. But what about land that is an island at high-tide, but a peninsula at low tide? Is that land both an island and a peninsula, depending on the tide, or is it just an island that sometimes pretends to be a peninsula, or vice-versa?

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