ASIA

Asia is the world’s biggest continent and covers almost a third of the Earth’s land surface. The landscape includes the frozen tundra in the north, the baking deserts of the Middle East, a vast coniferous forest, and the Himalayas—the world’s highest mountains. Large areas of Asia are uninhabitable, but there are huge grassy plains and fertile valleys beside the Indus, the Mekong, and other mighty rivers. In the southeast of the region, there are thousands of tiny, volcanic islands, many of which are covered by tropical rainforests. Two-thirds of the world’s population lives in Asia, reflecting a great variety of cultures, lifestyles, and religions.

MOUNT EVEREST, HIMALAYAS

Standing tall at 29,035 ft (8,850 m), Mount Everest is the world’s highest peak. It lies in the Himalayas, a mountain range that forms a natural barrier between the Indian subcontinent and northern Asia.

FACTFILE: ASIA

Total land area: 16,838,365 sq miles (43,608,000 sq km)

Total population: 3.81 billion

Number of countries: 48 (including Russian Federation)

Largest country: Russian Federation (Asian section) 5,065,471 sq miles (13,119,582 sq km)

Smallest country: Bahrain 239 sq miles (620 sq km)

Largest country population: China 1.3 billion

Largest lake: Caspian Sea 143,205 sq miles (371,000 sq km)

Longest river: Yangtze, China 3,965 miles (6,380 km)

Highest point: Mount Everest China/Nepal, 29,035 ft (8,850 m)

Major desert: Gobi Desert, Mongolia

Largest island: Borneo 292,220 sq miles (757,050 sq km)

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley