Asia is the largest continent in the world with an area of 17,212,048 square miles. The continent is home to some of the biggest countries (Russia) and the smallest countries (the Maldives). The continent of Asia has diverse physical and climatic conditions ranging from deserts to heavily forested areas. The topology also differs from one country to another. The continent covers about 8.66% of the Earth’s Surface and 30% of the Earth’s land. The continent has a total of 53 countries including Russia and Turkey which are partly in Asia and Europe. Taiwan is regarded as a country by the UN.
The Largest Country In Asia: Russia
The Russian Federation is the biggest country in Asia with a total area of approximately 6,612,077 square miles that cover some parts of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Russia is also the world’s largest country and one of the most powerful nations in the world. The area was larger before the fall of the Soviet Union as some regions seceded in its dissolution. More territories have been claiming independence, but are still technically under Russian control. The country displays diversity in climatic conditions, topography, and plant and animal species. Russia borders Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, China, and North Korea. Lake Baikal is Russia’s largest lake while River Yenesi-Angar-Selenge is the longest in Russia. The country has a coastline of approximately 23,396 miles, and 4.2% of the total area is covered by water. The lowest point in Russia is located in the Caspian Sea at 92 feet below sea level while Mount Elbrus is the highest peak at 18,510 feet above sea level.
The Smallest Country In Asia: Maldives
The Maldives is the smallest country in Asia covering a mere 116 square miles in geographical area. Maldives Islands are in the Indian Ocean in Southern Asia. The Maldives is made up of a series of 1,190 coral islands spread over a distance of 34,749 square miles. The soil of the islands of the Maldives is highly alkaline, lacking sufficient elements of nitrogen, iron, and potash, therefore limiting agricultural practice. Only 10% of the Maldives has agricultural potential. The Maldives annual temperature and rainfall range from 75.2 to 91.4°F and 100 to 150 inches, depending on the location. Humidity is high but balanced by the constant sea breezes.
The Gray Boundary Of Asia
The 53 countries in Asia have unique geographical characteristics and mostly differ in size and features. Asia is the most diverse continent with respect to geography, culture, and religion with some having European traits while others have African features. There is no clear natural boundary between Asia and Europe and some scholars refer to the two together as Eurasia. The transcontinental nature of some of the countries in Asia has led to international confusion, for example, the majority of Turkey lies within Asia, but it identifies itself with Europe. The same thing applies to Egypt that is entirely in Africa but identifies itself with Asia.