Asia is vast continent with diverse and dynamic landscapes, numerous countries and cities, and most of the world's population. A large chunk of the entire human race calls this continent home, and it's where many of the world's most populous countries are. From mountains that jut high into the sky to winding rivers, lush jungles and expansive deserts, you can find almost anything and everything in Asia. There is everything from futuristic megacities to vast slums to fantastic and dangerous wildlife in Asia.
Whether your interest lies in tropical archipelago nations or vast frozen wastelands, Asia is a truly fascinating and complex place. This continent has more than could be seen in 20 lifetimes worth of travel. It combines the most modern ways of living with some of the oldest we know of. Each and every country is incredibly unique when it comes to culture, food, history, geography and more. In fact, some countries are technically Asian countries and many people in the West might not even know they are.
So, are you a global geography buff who knows Asia inside and out? Put your knowledge to the test and see if you know enough to take on the Great Wall of China with this quiz!
Asia is subdivided into 48 countries, however several of these countries, such as Turkey, straddle multiple continents. More famous Asian countries include China, Japan and India, while Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are lesser known.
Purely geographically, there is no separation between Europe and Asia, which is why several countries are physically present on both continents. Some refer to them as the single continent Eurasia, or smaller parts of the supercontinent called Eurasia. The exact borders are debated.
Sri Lanka is an island country off the southern tip of India. Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Russia all straddle the continents of Europe and Asia. The famous Turkish city of Istanbul is an ancient port city that is known for straddling the continental divide.
Asia is the world's largest continent. It takes up about 30% of the world's total land. It encompasses more than 17 million square miles of land. The next biggest continent is Africa, at over 11 million square miles in size.
Roughly 60% of the total population of the world lives in Asia. While some places in Asia are quite sparsely populated, it is home to many of the world's most populous countries, such as China and India.
The Maldives is made up of 26 atolls in the Indian Ocean, all of which only take up about 116 square miles. That is less than 1/10th the size of Rhode Island. The Maldives have a vibrant ecosystem that draws tourists from around the world.
Mongolia is the least densely populated country on earth, with only about 1.9 people per square kilometer. While this landlocked country between Russia and China is the 19th largest country by land, it has the fewest people of any independent country.
The Maldives is the smallest Asian country both by area and population. Made up of more than a thousand small coral islands, it has a population of about 436,000 according to data collected in 2017.
The Middle East is a transcontinental region which can include North Africa and Western Asia. It roughly corresponds with the part of the world considered the Arab world, which revolves around a series of cultural identities.
Bhutan is a small mountainous kingdom that exists largely hidden from the modern world. Due to its place in the mountains, it has never been conquered. It is one of the least populated countries in Asia, with less than 800,000 people living there.
Asia is the largest continent on earth and incredibly diverse in terms of climate and geography. It contains mountain systems, plains, steppes, plateaus, deserts, freshwater environments and saltwater environments.
The Himalayas extend for over 1,500 miles through the Asian continent and form a natural border between the Indian subcontinent and the rest of Asia. Because the Indian subcontinent is always crashing northward into the rest of Asia, these mountains grow about 2 inches taller every year.
The Himalayas are so vast that they are comprised of 3 separate mountain belts. Mount Everest is a part of the belt known as the Great Himalayas. At over 29,000 feet tall, it is the tallest mountain peak in the world.
The Tien Shan Mountains contain almost 4,000 miles of glaciers. The biggest known glacier is called the Engil'chek Glacier. It is about 37 miles in length. Their name means "Celestial Mountains" in Chinese.
There are numerous plateaus throughout Asia. These include the Iranian Plateau, which is more than 1.4 million square miles in size. It takes up most of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The Tibetan Plateau is often called the "Rooftop of the World." This is because it is the highest large plateau on earth. It is about half the size of the United States and has more glaciers and ice outside the poles than any place on earth.
Central Asia, for example the country of Mongolia, is dominated by steppe landscape. Steppe landscape is generally flat and grassy. However, in Mongolia there are different steppe zones. These include forest, arid and desert steppe.
The Gobi Desert is vast and arid. It spreads between Northern China and Southern Mongolia. It is famous for its rare animals, mountains and dunes. The Khongoryn Els dunes specifically are said to sing when the wind blows.
Lake Baikal, which is situated in Southern Russia, is the deepest lake on earth. It reaches a depth of over 5,000 feet. This 25 million-year-old lake contains 20% of the world's unfrozen fresh water.
At over 3,900 miles in length, China's Yangtze River is the third longest river on earth, after the Amazon and Nile rivers. 1/3 of China's population lives along this river and it is a critical player in China's growing economy.
The Tigris and Euphrates rivers begin in the highlands of Eastern Turkey and join in Iraq before flowing into the Persian Gulf. The land between these two rivers was historically known as both Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent. It was the center of early civilizations, like Sumer.
The seabed beneath the Persian Gulf is estimated to contain about 50% of the total oil reserves on earth. The sea itself above is over 90,000 square miles in size, shallow and salty.
The Sea of Okhotsk is over 600,000 square miles in size and sits between mainland Russia and the Kamchatka peninsula. Between October and March much of it freezes over, making navigation almost impossible.
The Bay of Bengal is over 830,000 square miles in size, making it the largest bay in the world. It borders Bangladesh, India, Burma and Sri Lanka. Many of the Indian subcontinent's largest rivers, including the Ganges, empty into the Bay of Bengal.
China has incredibly diverse landscapes and a sweeping size, which has led to it having more flowering plant species than the entirety of the Americas. It is thought by some to be the birthplace of numerous fruit trees, such as peach and orange trees.
Lake Baikal is incredibly isolated, which has allowed the life within it to evolve undisturbed for millennia. Hundreds of the plant and animal species it supports are endemic to the lake, meaning that they can be found nowhere else on earth.
Japan is an East Asian country comprised of an archipelago of over 6,800 islands. It stretches into the sea for more than 1,900 miles. It is the largest island country in East Asia and its main islands are Hokkaido, Shikoku, Kyushu and Honshu.
Mount Fuji is a dormant volcano and the highest peak in Japan, at over 12,000 feet in height. It is located on the Japanese main island of Honshu and is considered both a sacred place and a place of artistic inspiration.
North Korea and South Korea occupy the Korean peninsula. North Korea sticks out of East Asia, while South Korea shares a border with it, but is largely surrounded by the Yellow Sea, The East China Sea and the Sea of Japan.
Thailand is right in the middle of Mainland Southeast Asia. It shares land borders with Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Malaysia. Northern Thailand is dominated by high mountains, and the country has extensive coastline.
Taiwan is a sovereign nation nation that is a part of the Republic of China. This mountainous East Asian Island is located about a hundred miles off the southeastern coast of mainland China.
The Philippines consists of over 7,000 islands. Most of its landmass is in its 11 largest islands, the biggest and most populous of which is Luzon. Luzon is the home of the country's capital city, Manila.
Indonesia is a massive archipelagic nation that straddles major sea lanes that connect East Asia, South Asia and Oceania. Experts cannot agree on how many islands it has, as different sources proclaim different numbers. It shares islands with several other southeast Asian nations.
Sumatra is one of the main inhabited islands of the Southeast Asian country, Indonesia. The others are Java, Madura and Kalimantan. Sumatra has a tropical rainforest, but over half of it has been destroyed.
Pakistan borders India to the northwest. Four Indian states are along the border. These are Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Locally known as the International Border (IB), it is considered to be a very dangerous border.