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Lying on the northern side of the Mediterranean, the continent of Europe is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on its western border and by both the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea on its northerly axis. Many of the world's most visited and influential countries reside within Europe, grouped as the Baltic states, Benelux, Britain and Ireland, Caucasus, Central Europe, France, Iberia, Italy and Scandinavia, as well as Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, and Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
The planet's second-largest and second-most densely populated continent, Africa is currently called home by more than one billion people, which equates to roughly 12 percent of the global population. Africa covers some 30 million square km / 11.6 million square miles and comprises just over 60 different territories, which are grouped in Central, Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western regions. In Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is a record-breaking free-standing mountain and features no less than three volcanic cones. At the other end of the scale, Lake Assal in Djibouti is actually the lowest point in the whole of Africa, while the sweeping sand dunes of the Sahara Desert offer something completely different.
The biggest of all the world's continents, Asia covers just under 30 percent of the total landmass and is considered by some to encompass the western section of Russia. Asia is made up of seven individual regions, each of which is further divided into territories and countries, numbering roughly 50 in total. The continent is really too large and sprawling to be considered as one single tourist destination, with some of the most notable and largest Asian countries being China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
Latin America contains a diverse selection of countries, which are spread amongst three main regions - the Caribbean, Central and South America. With a population now topping 600 million, many residents of Latin America speak either Spanish or Portuguese, often being direct Native American descendants. After the famous voyages of Christopher Columbus at the end of the 15th century, Europeans began to colonise areas of the Americas, bringing with them their own religious beliefs and lifestyles.
Australia ranks as not only the smallest of all the continents, but it is also the most southerly. The country of Australia forms the biggest landmass, being accompanied by Fiji, the Malay Islands, New Guinea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Regularly referred to as Australasia and also Oceania, the continent of Australia resides within the Southern Hemisphere and comprises in the region of 10,000 islands, which are all surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. The Commonwealth of Australia (the country) was originally inhabited only by the Aborigines and now has numerous nationalities living here, including many of British and European origin. This huge island is divided into a series of eight states.
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