Interesting Facts About Asia
Asia is the largest and the most populous continent in the world. It is located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres and is home to about 60% of the total world population. It is divided into 49 countries and 5 disputed territories. In this section we look at some of the interesting facts about Asia.
Asia - On The Map
- Asia covers around 9% of the total surface area and 30% of the total land area on earth.
- Asia is divided into 6 sub-continents namely North Asia, East Asia, Central Asia, Indian sub-continent, Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia.
- There are 49 countries in Asia. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkey are transcontinental (Asia – Europe) countries.
- Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in Asia. The other ones are Afghanistan, Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Mongolia, Nepal, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
- Colonization in Asia dates back to the 15th century.
- Most colonies in Asia gained independence during the mid 1900’s.
- Asia is separated from Africa by the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.
- Asia is separated from North America by the Bering Strait (82km wide).
- Cape Baba (Turkey) is the western most point of Asia.
- Big Diomede Island (Russia) is the eastern most point of Asia.
- The Himalayas contain nine of the ten highest peaks in the world.
- Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world standing at 8,848m.
- Dead Sea is the deepest hyper-saline lake in the world. Its surface and shores are 427m below sea level, earth’s lowest elevation on land.
- The Yangtze (6,418km) is the longest river in Asia. It is also the third longest in the world after the Nile and the Amazon.
- Lake Van (Turkey) is one of the largest endorheic lakes (retains water and allows no outflow) in the world.
- Indonesia is the largest archipelago (Group of Islands) in the world.
- China is home to the Giant Panda and India to the Bengal Tiger.
- Asia is the birthplace of many great religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism.
- India is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.
- Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Mecca are in Asia.
- Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world. It is a Vishnu Temple located in Cambodia.
- The most visited religious pilgrimage destination in the world is The Vishnu Temple at Tirupathi (India) built in the 10th century. On an average 50,000 – 100,000 pilgrims visit this holy place daily. It is also the second richest pilgrimage centre in the world.
- The Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Trivandrum (India) is the richest pilgrimage centre in the world.
- The Kumbh Mela is a huge Hindu religious festival that takes place in India every 3 years. It is the largest peaceful gathering in the world. The mass of humanity can be seen from satellite images.
- More Muslims live in South Asia than the Middle East.
- Maldives is a Muslim country. The law prohibits the practice of any religion other than Islam. Non-Muslims are barred from voting, obtaining citizenship and holding public positions.
- China is the most populous country in the world followed by India.
- Bangladesh is the most densely populated country in Asia.
- Varanasi (India) is the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the world.
- The largest economies in Asia are China, Japan and India.
- Singapore is the most urbanized country in the world.
- Tokyo is the largest metropolitan area in the world.
- The world’s largest shopping mall (New South China Mall) is a ghost town.
- Japan is called as ‘Land of the Rising Sun’.
- China (UTC+8hrs) and India (UTC+5:30hrs) officially have only one time zone.
- India is the largest English speaking nation in the world.
- North Korean’s celebrate the birth of Kim Jong II’s mother (December 24). It is their version of Christmas.
- The Vietnamese New Year is everybody’s birthday.
- Osaka is known as the ‘Manchester of Japan’ and Ahmedabad as the ‘Manchester of India’.
- It is illegal to be fat in Japan.
- Hiroshima Day is observed on 6th August and Nagasaki Day on 9th August.
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- Most Asian countries have more than 1 language that is natively spoken.
- The Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (1592-1666) in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal (1593-1631). This architectural marvel took 22,000 workmen and 22 years to build.
- Chess was invented in India. It was originally called ‘Chaturanga’, meaning ‘The Four Members of an Army’ referring to Elephants, Horses, Chariots and Foot Soldiers.
- Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore was Asia’s first Nobel laureate. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.
- The Indian Film Industry is the world’s largest film industry in terms of ticket sales and number of films produced and second largest in terms of revenue.
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