Where Does Europe End and Asia Begin? (2023)

Introduction

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Europe and Asia are considered separate continents, and yet they're connected by land, so where do we mark the boundary between the two continents? And how did we decide where to put them at all? In fact why are they even separate at all? What is even going on?! Someone help, reality is a lie!

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Video

I want to talk to you about a border.

A border that crosses other borders.

One, that you don’t need a passport to cross.

One of the most influential borders in the world, which much of the world says: doesn’t even exist.

If, like me, you were taught the 7 continent view of the world.

You will know that this is Europe, and this is Asia., With, Belgium and Vietnam being so incomprehensibly different from one another that we assign them to different continents.

Where do we put the dividing line? The Eurasian border is unique because it’s, the one continental boundary defined, not by any waterway, but by mountains.

We, have collectively decided that the boundaries of Europe and Asia end at the Caucasus and Ural Mountains.

But.

The idea of Europe and Asia being divided has been around for thousands of years, and the precise division isn’t something we’ve all always agreed: on.

So.

How did we get to this point? How? Did we use to divide the supercontinent? In fact,? Why do we even divide this one landmass in this way? Anyway? The reason we define Europe as its own continent, and not a giant peninsula.

In Western, Asia, is because… history.

Perhaps.

It is appropriate.

I talk about the Aegean islands, as it was Ancient Greek cartographers, who first made this distinction.

In the 6th century BC, when all the lands people in this area knew about looked like this.

There was this one guy from Miletus, named Anaximander.

According to several Greek cartographers and philosophers that came after him.

Anaximander was the first to ever.

Publish a true map of the world, and this world map had one huge distinction.

To, the Ancient Greeks.

The center of the world was the Aegean Sea and its hundreds and hundreds of islands.

Anywhere to the east of the sea was Asia, anywhere to the west, was Europe, and anywhere to the south.

Was Libya.

This concept gave a lot of people a lot of different ideas on what role the Greeks themselves played amongst the different continents.

While.

Some historians argue that perhaps European Greeks used it against those who had fallen to Persian domination, others at the time excluded the Aegean islands and the Peloponnese (and.

Therefore, the Hellenic peoples themselves) from this continental model, altogether, with the concept of Europe being more associated with the non-Greek Thracians to the north.

But.

Even back in this time, people knew that Europe and Asia were in fact connected by land north of the Black Sea, and had begun to question why two conjoined regions would be their own separate continents, (talk about the original euroskeptics).

Writing.

In the 1st century, BC, Strabo made the observation, “in, giving names to the three continents.

The Greeks did not take into consideration the whole habitable Earth, but merely their own country and the land.

Exactly opposite".

Anaximander defined the border between Europe and Asia as following the Phasis (now Rioni) River in Georgia until it reached the Caspian Sea, (eh, somewhere), and the border between Asia and Africa as the Nile.

Throughout, the Roman era and the Middle Ages, European cartographers largely followed Ptolemy’s version– through the Turkish Straits into the Black Sea, then through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov, and then following the Don River to…, wherever it ended, up.

However by the 16th-18th centuries.

This definition was starting to get a bit problematic, as Russia was expanding into the very lands that the smart dead people in Greece didn’t know.

About.

As, European, cartographers came to know about more of the world, including– get this– a fourth continent.

It became obvious that the Nile and the Don might not have been the best geographic features to separate Asia from Africa and Europe.

With, Asia and Africa.

It was pretty easy;.

You see that huge sea that almost connects to the Mediterranean here? Yeah, put the border there, dummy.

In, 1725, German-Swedish, geographer Philip Johan von Strahlenberg (who is also dead), redefined the border to follow the Volga River from the Caspian Sea until where it bends near the city of Samara, also known as the Samara Bend.

It then followed the division between the drainage basins of the Volga and Ural Rivers, known as Obshchy Syrt.

Before following the Ural Mountains into the Arctic Ocean.

As, the Russian Tsar Peter, the Great was on his whole.

‘Russia is actually western’.

Shtick, Russian intellectuals associated with him, basically went, “Sweet! This, puts so much more of our country in Europe! Look.

We’re totally western, check out our tricolor flag!” However scholars across Russia and the rest of Europe would fiercely debate this point, with some wanting to use the Don, and others wanting to go as far east as the Ob or the Yenisei.

But the Urals were the one thing just about everyone could agree on (and to a lesser extent, the Caspian).

However, as the universe, inherently doesn’t care about the whims of some hairless apes, who argue over which way toilet paper should be hung.

The Urals don’t actually extend all the way to the Caspian.

Increasingly, cartographers started to put the boundary along the Ural River until it reached the Caspian, going down the sea about ⅔ the way before.

Turning to the northwest, going along the Caucasus Mountains, instead of any river.

But, even then, the division wasn‘t completely set in stone, with Soviet geographers, proposing the divide, follow the Kuma-Manych Depression in the Caucasus.

Nowadays.

The dividing line follows the eastern foothills of the Urals, then the Ural River into the Caspian, and then along the watershed of the Caucasus Mountains before emptying into the Black Sea, and making both Turkey and Greece transcontinental countries.

But.

If this division is all about culture, what about Georgia, Armenia, and Cyprus?, Culturally, historically, and geopolitically, these regions have all had much more to do with Europe, and yet they all find themselves mostly or entirely on the Asian side of the border.

What.

I.

Think this sort of tells us about humanity is how even human things evade the human desire to sort everything into neat little categories.

The, most empirical way to define a continent, (at least without including islands), might be to count Afro-Eurasia, the Americas, Antarctica, and Australia, but that’s not what most of us use continents, for., The way we actually use continents, as a way to categorize the peoples and cultures of this mud.

Ball floating through space, doesn’t really fit with this definition.

If we count landmasses with populations of a few hundred, 25 million, 1, billion, and 6.7 billion.

God.

Imagine what it’d be like if Europe and Asia had random little enclaves and exclaves within each-other! Okay, but you can’t just write off the Mariner Valley like that! Um.

Have you seen what’s going on in Arcadia? It’s a war zone over there! I don’t care about what’s happening on Luna or Mars, I want incriminating pictures of Spider-Man! Okay well let’s tune into our reporter on the scene in Shackleton, right, now., [3-second, pause], Thanks, Darrell.

The situation in the Crater Region is actually totally normal, but we still have another 23 hours and 59 minutes of program to fill.

Witnesses have reported using Morning Brew to receive their daily news in a way that actually leaves them informed, fulfilled, and not wanting to strangle someone.

Interesting, do tell us more about this Morning Brew thing.

[pause], Morning Brew is a daily newsletter covering stories in business, finance, and tech with witty, informative articles written in a non-pretentious tone.

I have been subscribed to them for several months, and thanks to them it only takes 5 minutes for me to get up to speed on what everyone’s screaming at each-other about on that given day.

For example.

Did you know that, just last week, (*cough* actually about 200 years ago for us) Intel announced they’ve broken ground on the largest chipmaking facility in the inner solar system, in Ohio., Also Starbucks is announcing a new loyalty program using NFTs [laughs] Sorry, that’s totally gonna go well, isn’t it? Okay that’s all great to know, but why are you taking 3 seconds to respond to me every time?, Because I’m, literally on the Moon, and this is a realistic, scenario? Folks, this just in.

You can sign up for Morning Brew by clicking the link in the description or going to morningbrewdaily.com/khanubis, and signing up with your email.

(Oh and did I forget to mention something? It’s free!).

FAQs

Where Does Europe End and Asia Begin? ›

In the east, the Ural Mountains separate Europe from Asia. The nations of Russia and Kazakhstan straddle both continents. Another range, the Kjølen Mountains, extends along the northern part of the border between Sweden and Norway.

Where does Europe end and begin? ›

Europe stretches from tundra in the north to Mediterranean and desert climes in the south. It abuts Asia in the east, shares the Atlantic with the Americas, and the Mediterranean with Africa and the Middle East.

What separates Europe and Asia? ›

The continent of Europe is separated from Asia by the Ural mountains, the Caspian sea, the Black Sea and the Caucasus mountains. Q.

Where does Europe ends? ›

Geographically, Europe is defined by the Ural Mountains and river to the east, the Aras River to the southeast, and the Strait of Gibraltar and the Bosphorus to the south.

Where Asia meets Europe? ›

Vladivostok is a port city located in Russia (northeastern Asia), and on Golden Horn Bay (Sea of Japan). It is among the ten most up and coming cities of the world, as determined by the UNESCO commission.

Where does Asia start and end? ›

A commonly accepted division places Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black seas, separating it from Europe.

Where does Africa end and Asia begin? ›

The usual line taken to divide Africa from Asia today is at the Isthmus of Suez, the narrowest gap between the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Suez, the route today followed by the Suez Canal. This makes the Sinai Peninsula geographically Asian, and Egypt a transcontinental country.

What is halfway between Europe and Asia? ›

The boundary between the two continents is just merely a historical and cultural construct. The boundary between Asia and Europe is often defined to follow the Aegean Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Turkish Strait, the Black Sea, the Greater Caucasus, and the Ural River and Mountains.

What is the crossroads between Europe and Asia? ›

Turkey – Istanbul the Crossroads of Europe and Asia.

Is Russia part of Asia Or Europe? ›

Which continent does Russia belong to? Russia is part of both Europe and Asia. In the 7 continent model in fact, it is not always clear where to place Russia.

What is Europe called after? ›

The continent of Europe got its name from the princess Europa.

What is the border line of Europe? ›

It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east.

Is America a part of Asia? ›

Asia is separated from North America to the northeast by the Bering Strait and from Australia to the southeast by the seas and straits connecting the Indian and Pacific oceans.

What city is in both Europe and Asia? ›

Istanbul straddles the continents of Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait.

Does Europe and Asia touch? ›

The Ural Mountains are a mountain range stretching over 2,100 km (1,300 mi) from the Kara Sea (Arctic Ocean) in the north to northwestern Kazakhstan (Mugodzhar Hills) in the south. The natural barrier dividing the Eurasian continent is considered the border between Europe and Asia.

What connected Europe to Asia? ›

The Great Silk Road is a system of caravan routes of ancient times and in the Middle Ages which connected Asia with the Mediterranean and European world.

When did Asia fall behind Europe? ›

Broadberry asserts that even the richest areas of Asia were behind Western Europe as early as the 16th century.

What country is the first in Asia? ›

Countries in Asia:
#CountryPopulation (2020)
1China1,439,323,776
2India1,380,004,385
3Indonesia273,523,615
4Pakistan220,892,340
44 more rows

Where does Asia finish? ›

Asia makes up the eastern portion of the Eurasian supercontinent; Europe occupies the western portion. The border between the two continents is debated. However, most geographers define Asia's western border as an indirect line that follows the Ural Mountains, the Caucasus Mountains, and the Caspian and Black Seas.

Is Africa the beginning of the world? ›

The African continent has a unique place in human history. Widely believed to be the “cradle of humankind,” Africa is the only continent with fossil evidence of human beings (Homo sapiens) and their ancestors through each key stage of their evolution.

Did life start in Africa or Asia? ›

Humans first evolved in Africa, and much of human evolution occurred on that continent. The fossils of early humans who lived between 6 and 2 million years ago come entirely from Africa. Most scientists currently recognize some 15 to 20 different species of early humans.

Is Africa closer to Asia or Europe? ›

4. The landmass nearest to Africa is Europe separated by the Mediterranean Sea only 9 miles across the Straight of Gibraltar.

What separates Europe from Asia and Africa? ›

Gibraltar Strait separate Europe from Africa. Gibraltar Strait is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. Gibraltar Strait separates Gibraltar and Peninsular Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa. Bosporus Strait forms the natural boundary between Europe and Asia.

Has anyone driven from Europe to Asia? ›

Yes, it is possible to drive a car from Europe to China. The distance is roughly 7000km from Germany to the Western border of China and crosses 6 countries. Minimum travel time is 7 days with an average of 3 months for overlanders.

Is there a road from Europe to Asia? ›

The overall length of the road will be 8,445km in all. It will link the German city of Hamburg with the Chinese city of Shanghai. According to initiators of the project, the road will allow significantly faster delivery of cargo from China to Europe, and in the opposite direction.

What country is called Crossroads of the World? ›

Panama: Culture, skyline, and the crossroads of the world!

What is the largest country in the world? ›

The largest country in the world is Russia with a total area of 17,098,242 Km² (6,601,665 mi²) and a land area of 16,376,870 Km² (6,323,142 mi²), equivalent to 11% of the total world's landmass of 148,940,000 Km² (57,510,000 square miles). See also: Most Populous Countries.

How did Russia get so much land? ›

By the early 18th century, Russia had vastly expanded through conquest, annexation, and the efforts of Russian explorers, developing into the Russian Empire, which remains the third-largest empire in history.

What is the largest to smallest continent in the world? ›

In order from largest to smallest in area, these seven regions are Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.

What was America called before the Europeans came? ›

Before that time, there was no name that collectively identified the Western Hemisphere. The earlier Spanish explorers referred to the area as the Indies believing, as did Columbus, that it was a part of eastern Asia.

What is the oldest country in Europe with the same name? ›

The official name of Portugal is the Portuguese Republic. Portugal is the oldest country in Europe. It has had the same defined borders since 1139.

What did the Romans call Europe? ›

Europa (Roman province)

Can you freely cross borders in Europe? ›

Free movement

Some (typically neighboring) countries have agreements that allow travel between them without having to pass immigration. There is full free movement between European Union countries for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, although passports may be required when crossing borders.

Is Turkey in Asia Or Europe? ›

Location: Turkey is located in Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia. European (or Balkan) Turkey is relatively small compared to the Asian part, the Anatolian Plateau, which is a large peninsula. Population: 80,810,525 (December 2017 est.)

What is the shortest border in the world? ›

The world's shortest land border is between a Spanish enclave, Penon de Velez de la Gomera and Morocco. The border covers 85 metres (242 feet).

Who discovered America? ›

Explorer Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) is known for his 1492 'discovery' of the New World of the Americas on board his ship Santa Maria.

Is Canada bigger than the US? ›

Canada has a larger land mass than the United States. The land area of Canada is 3, 855, 103 square miles compared to America's 3, 794, 083, making Canada 1.6% larger that the States.

What is the country name of America? ›

United States, officially United States of America, abbreviated U.S. or U.S.A., byname America, country in North America, a federal republic of 50 states.

What is the only city in the world in two countries? ›

If you want to visit the town of Baarle, head on over to northern Belgium ... or the southern tip of the Netherlands. The town straddles an international border, with half of it belonging to the Dutch and the other half to the Belgians.

What is the only city in the world on two continents? ›

ISTANBUL, which recently hosted the United Nations Habitat II conference, popularly known as the City Summit, has to be one of the mostspectacular cities in the world. It is the only city located on two continents—Europe and Asia.

What city sits on two continents? ›

Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the fifth-largest city in the world by population, is considered European, yet it occupies two different continents. One part of Istanbul lies in Europe and the other part lies in Asia.

Is there an ocean between Europe and Asia? ›

Eurasia is subdivided by convention into Asia and Europe, separated from each other by the Caspian Sea, the Ural River, and the Urals (the Ural Mountains). The Ural mountain range runs from the coast of the Arctic Ocean southwards through the western part of Russia.

Is Israel in Asia Or Europe? ›

Israel stands at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. Geographically, it belongs to the Asian continent and is part of the Middle East region. In the west, Israel is bound by the Mediterranean Sea.

Is Russia the only country in 2 continents? ›

There are immense cultural differences between the European part of Russia and the Asian part of Russia, but both parts form one that is governed by the city of Moscow. Another transcontinental country is Turkey, which also straddles both Europe and Asia.

What is the only country in both Europe and Asia? ›

Turkey, also called Türkiye, country that occupies a unique geographic position, lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe. Throughout its history it has acted as both a barrier and a bridge between the two continents.

What is the timeline of Europe? ›

The history of Europe is traditionally divided into four time periods: prehistoric Europe (prior to about 800 BC), classical antiquity (800 BC to AD 500), the Middle Ages (AD 500 to AD 1500), and the modern era (since AD 1500).

When did we exit Europe? ›

Brexit (/ˈbrɛksɪt, ˈbrɛɡzɪt/; portmanteau of "British exit") was the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU) at 23:00 GMT on 31 January 2020 (00:00 1 February 2020 CET). The UK is the only sovereign country to have left the EU.

What is the first country in Europe? ›

Bulgaria is the oldest country in Europe by the date of establishment. The first Bulgarian state was founded in 681 AD by Khan Asparuh, who united several Slavic tribes and established a powerful empire in the Balkans.

Which countries are Europe? ›

Who were the first humans in Europe? ›

Cro-Magnon are considered the first anatomically modern humans in Europe. They entered Eurasia by the Zagros Mountains (near present-day Iran and eastern Turkey) around 50,000 years ago, with one group rapidly settling coastal areas around the Indian Ocean and another migrating north to the steppes of Central Asia.

What year did Europe start? ›

It is a major milestone, setting clear rules for the future single currency as well as for foreign and security policy and closer cooperation in justice and home affairs. The 'European Union' is officially created by the treaty, which enters into force on 1 November 1993.

How long did Europe rule the world? ›

Although Europe represents only about 8 percent of the planet's landmass, from 1492 to 1914, Europeans conquered or colonized more than 80 percent of the entire world.

When did us go to Europe? ›

Although the first American troops arrived in Europe in June 1917, the AEF did not fully participate at the front until October, when the First Division, one of the best-trained divisions of the AEF, entered the trenches at Nancy, France.

What was the last country to join Europe? ›

European countries started to cooperate economically in 1951 when only states such as Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany, The Netherlands and Italy participated. Gradually, more countries decided to join. The last to join was Croatia – in 2013.

Is Scotland still a part of Europe? ›

Scotland is a proud European nation. We have benefitted from being part of the European Union (EU) for more than 40 years. The UK's departure from this union undoubtedly changed the way that Scotland engages with the EU, but it will not change the EU's importance to Scotland, nor our commitment to it.

What is the oldest nation on earth? ›

1. Iran. Iran is the oldest country in the world founded in 3200 B.C. and has a topography characterized by numerous mountains and mountain ranges. Iran was established as a country in 3200 B.C.

Which is older China or Japan? ›

Using a different criterion, here are the nations World Population Review lists as the oldest in the world according to their respective dates of self-sovereignty: Japan - 660 BCE. China - 221 BCE. San Marino - 301 CE.

What are the 7 oldest countries in the world? ›

7 of the Oldest Countries in the World
  • Egypt (6,000 BCE): Home of the pyramids. ...
  • India (3,000 BCE): The land of silk and spices. ...
  • Greece (3,000 BCE): Motherland of the Olympics. ...
  • France (841 BCE): The fountainhead of fine dining. ...
  • Japan (660 BCE): Seat of the Samurai. ...
  • Hungary (895 CE): The Heart of Europe.

Why is Switzerland not in the EU? ›

Switzerland is not a member of the European Union (EU) mainly because of its long-standing tradition of neutrality and sovereignty. Switzerland prides itself as a neutral country and has a long history of controlling its own sovereignty, especially after fighting hard to get it.

How many countries are in the world? ›

Countries in the World:

There are 195 countries in the world today. This total comprises 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations and 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine.

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