The world’s largest and most diverse continent. It occupies the eastern four-fifths of the giant Eurasian landmass.
Asia has both the highest and the lowest points on the surface of Earth, has the longest coastline of any continent.
Asia is bounded by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Indian Ocean to the south, the Red Sea (as well as the inland seas of the Atlantic Ocean—the Mediterranean and the Black) to the southwest, and Europe to the west.
The total area of Asia, including Asian Russia (with the Caucasian isthmus) but excluding the island of New Guinea, amounts to some 17,226,200 square miles (44,614,000 square km), roughly one-third of the land surface of Earth. The islands—including Taiwan, those of Japan and Indonesia, Sakhalin and other islands of Asian Russia, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, and numerous smaller islands—together constitute 1,240,000 square miles (3,210,000 square km), about 7 percent of the total.
Conventionally there are six main geographical regions or subregions in Asia:
- Northern Asia
- Western Asia
- Central Asia
- Eastern Asia
- Southern Asia
- Southeast Asia
The area Asia is shared by 50 countries.
By far the largest country in terms of area is Russia, with more than 17 million km², of which 13 million km² (77%) are in Asia.
The second-largest Asian country is China, with an area of 9.6 million km².
The smallest independent state in Asia is the island nation of Maldives with 298 km².