Sunday, December 03, 2006

Geography Lesson 004 - Continents and Europe

Well, as usual, if I should be studying for my Jap paper, everything else is suddenly so much more interesting. Taking a break from my 日本語の勉強。。。。。I'm once again back to looking at maps. Big interesting world.....

Although some listed in the World Atlas cannot really be considered as continents, we have 7 continents: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antartica, Europe and Australia/Oceania. (ranked from largest to smallest)

In terms of population, Asia has the largest followed by Africa and then Europe. Taking another slice at the data, terms of countries per continent, the largest would be Africa (53), followed by Europe(46) and then Asia (44 - including middle east).

Having a closer look at Europe today.

From the map above, we can see that Europe is separated from Asia by Russia's Ural Mountains on the right, Caspian Sea and Black Sea from the bottom.

For a nice list of countries by continent, please refer to:
World Atlas - Countries by Continent

One of the interesting things about Europe is the formation of the Euro which is the attempt by Europe to have a single currency. The euro is the currency of 12 European union countries namely Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland. As of 1 Jan 2007, Slovenia will adopt Euro as their currency as well.

The Euro banknotes are managed by the Eurosystem which consists of the European Central Bank (ECB) and the national central bank of the 12 countries. The Eurosystem has the exclusive right to issue banknotes. Meanwhile, the 12 euro-area member states are allowed to issue their own euro coins. This is managed by the eurosystem that allocates the total value of euro coins issued by each country. So the next time, you see a euro coin, you can find out which EU country produced it!!

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