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Does anyone remember there only being five continents? Or are you abroad and there are still only 6?

(60 Posts)
littleducks Thu 08-Apr-10 23:30:03

Domestic argument here atm.

According to dh he was taught there are 5 continents, he combines the Americas and ignores Antartica.

I was taught 7 (Asia, Antartica, Africa, Australasia, Europe, South america and North America).

Seven appears to be the textbook answer now, but apparently in some parts of the world 'America' is one continent.

mrz Fri 09-Apr-10 20:30:24

Apparently China and English speaking countries generally teach 7
North America
South America

Latin America Russia and large parts of Europe teach 6

and Spain & Portugal teach 5 America Antarctica

Hulababy Fri 09-Apr-10 20:33:21

DH says 6 or 7 depending on whether you group the Americas. He also added that there are 5 rings on Oylmpic flag as Antartica isn't included, noone living there, etc.

I had seperated them all into 7.

DH is 36y and I am 37y (same academic year, same LEA, different schools).

sherby Fri 09-Apr-10 20:36:09


taught in 80s/90s


ByTheSea Fri 09-Apr-10 21:48:08

I was taught seven and I grew up in the USA and am in my mid-forties now.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 09-Apr-10 21:57:21

5. I seem to remember reading about it in a children's encyclopedia in primary school, so late 1970s. And Australasia was called Oceania in that I'm sure.

NadiaWadia Sat 10-Apr-10 00:18:24

It's seven I'm sure. It just makes sense. North American may be joined to South America but that is just an accident. Millions of years ago it was joined to Antarctica and Australasia, so that's why you have some marsupials living in S America.

(or so I read once)

OzMama22 Sat 10-Apr-10 12:49:04

Australia is a country, an island AND a continent - at least that's how I was taught! grin

Though I truly believe Australia is not a "country" but a federation of states - no national curriculum, different laws in different states and the only place you can truly get away with anything is in the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) where they invented Canberra to avoid the fight between Sydney and Melbourne as to who should be the capital?! Crazy "country"!

I could only think of 6 (North and South America and forgot Antarctica!) but don't ask me what I was taught...too long ago! grin

On a similar topic - how many planets are there these days? Have they finally decided? smile

ihavenewsockson Sat 10-Apr-10 13:28:58

I love how Australia settled the dispute!! Priceless!

mathanxiety Thu 15-Apr-10 17:19:36

It depends on the continental plates, I was taught (in Ireland, 70s) and there were 7 -- N & S America, Asia, Africa, Europe, Antarctica, Australasia, with India being a 'sub-continent' as it has its own plate and is bashing into Asia even as we speak (hence the Himalayas).

strandedatsea Thu 15-Apr-10 17:25:30

So which continent do the Caribbean islands belong to?

mathanxiety Fri 16-Apr-10 15:19:57

Map of various plates in the Caribbean area. There's a Caribbean plate, which is moving eastwards into the N. American plate (Haiti is on a plate boundary). I think the Caribbean islands are lumped in with N. America, but they may be divided between N & S America.

strandedatsea Sat 17-Apr-10 11:33:02

Thanks, I have often pondered this....

LittlePushka Thu 28-Feb-13 00:05:34

Five, taught in mid plenty time for platectonics to slip in another couple since then wink

mymeatballishorse Thu 28-Feb-13 00:13:59


bulletpoint Thu 28-Feb-13 07:19:49

Five! same as what bucharest listed.

Vietnammark Thu 28-Feb-13 07:27:06

In Vietnamese the word for continent is "luc dia" which literally translates as "six lands"

bruffin Thu 28-Feb-13 07:29:38

Zombie thread
Strange one to bump

BeckAndCall Thu 28-Feb-13 07:32:26

Well now that we've sorted continents and oceans, what about 'KiNGDOMS'??

When I was at school there was the ANIMAL kingdom and the PLANT kingdom. Sorted.

Now I find there are 5 or it might even be 7!!

Plants, animals, fungi, squirmy little things you see under a microscope and more squirmy things you see under a microscope! Where were they when I was little!

PoppyAmex Thu 28-Feb-13 07:33:02

I was taught 7 in the early 80's abroad.

We were told Oceania, not Australasia.

LittlePushka Thu 28-Feb-13 20:51:12

Bruffin, bumped by accident looking for someone!

2rebecca Thu 28-Feb-13 22:43:09

I was taught 5 in the 1970s. Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australia (can't remeber calling it Australasia at school although NZ was incorporated into the Australia continent.
I remember my son having this as a homework question 10 years ago and arguing with him about it and being amazed they had invented a few extra ones, it's not like the land mass has changed since the 1970s..

AutumnMadness Mon 04-Mar-13 13:46:56

In my memory, a "continent" is defined as a very large land mass (as opposed to an island). Considering that the Americas are joined by a rather thin strip of land that is now cut through by the Panama canal, we can count 6 continents:

1. North America
2. South America
3. Eurasia
4. Africa
5. Australia
6. Antarctica

Islands could be incorporated into continents, esp. if they are close by and are part of the tectonic plate that the continent is sitting on.

littleducks Mon 04-Mar-13 13:51:33

This just came up in active convos, I came on to post about my dh (still adamant 5) only to realise its actually my OP! grin

Timetoask Mon 04-Mar-13 13:53:49

America is one continent.

BackforGood Mon 04-Mar-13 13:57:57

Defintely 5 when I was at school.
I too, am very old....

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