Asia is the only continent that extends from the equator to the Arctic Circle. Asia is the world’s biggest continent by both area and population. About 30% of the planet’s total land area and 8.7% of the total surface area is covered by this continent. The Pacific Ocean is located to the east of Asia while the Arctic Ocean and the Indian Ocean form its boundary to the north and south respectively. It shares the continental landmass with Europe and Africa to the west. The Asia-Europe border is more of a historical and cultural construct rather than a distinct physically or geographically defined border. The Suez Canal is used to demarcate the Asia-Africa border with Asia lying to the east of the Suez Canal.
The Location of the Equator and the Arctic Circle
The equator is one of the five major latitudes of the Earth as shown on maps. It divides the Earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and it lies in a plane that is perpendicular to the axis of our planet. Every point on the equator is equidistant from the geographic poles. The equator is the 0° latitude.
The Arctic Circle is the northernmost of the five major latitudes of the world as shown on maps. It is one of the two polar circles and demarcates the southern boundary of the Arctic region. The Arctic Circle does not have a fixed position as its latitude depends on the axial tilt of the Earth. According to latest data, it runs 66°33′47.5″ north of the equator.
Does Asia Stretch From The Equator To The Arctic Circle?
The southernmost point of mainland Asia is Tanjung Piai in Malaysia located at the 1°15’N latitude which is slightly above the equator or the 0° latitude. However, the southernmost point of the Asian continent that includes its islands is Panama Island in Indonesia which is located at 11°00’S that is 11° to the south of the equator. Thus, Asia stretches across the equator.
Unlike the case with the equator, both the northernmost point of mainland Asia and that of the entire continent stretches across the Arctic Circle to the Arctic region. Cape Chelyuskin in Russia at 77°43’N is the northernmost point of mainland Asia. Cape Fligely in Prince Rudolf Island in Russia at 81°52’N is the northernmost point of the entire continent of Asia.
Is Asia The Only Continent That Covers Both The Equator And The Arctic Circle?
Thus, Asia extends from the equator to the Arctic Circle. No other continent in the world does so. North America comes close but although it stretches across the Arctic Circle, it finishes just above the equator. The southernmost point of North America is at 5°31′8″N.