Why is Europe considered a separate continent?

#1 Posted by gamerguru100 (10497 posts) -

I was just wondering this. Europe is not separated from Asia by an ocean or anything, so why is it considered its own continent? Is it something to do with plate tectonics? Or perhaps the vast cultural differences? Both?

#2 Posted by Barbariser (6724 posts) -

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

#3 Posted by Jag85 (4365 posts) -

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

This. Our continental categories date back to colonial times, when European colonialists wanted to make a distinction between Europe and Asia, when in reality it's just one continent that should have been called Eurasia. It would be more accurate to refer to Europe as a subcontinent, just like the Indian subcontinent.

#4 Edited by gamerguru100 (10497 posts) -

@Jag85 said:

@Barbariser said:

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

This. Our continental categories date back to colonial times, when European colonialists wanted to make a distinction between Europe and Asia, when in reality it's just one continent that should have been called Eurasia. It would be more accurate to refer to Europe as a subcontinent, just like the Indian subcontinent.

That was at the back of my mind, as well. I was assuming racial or cultural reasons was why Europe was considered separate from Asia.

#5 Posted by deeliman (2386 posts) -

It was mostly just Europeans feeling superior so they made themselves their very own continent.

#6 Posted by indzman (17217 posts) -

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

#7 Edited by br0kenrabbit (12820 posts) -

@Jag85 said:

It would be more accurate to refer to Europe as a subcontinent, just like the Indian subcontinent.

No.

India is a subcontinent because it's not part of the Eurasian plate though it is part of the same landmass. The Eurasian plate is actually one of the largest, no way in hell Europe is a subcontinent.

#8 Posted by SolidSnake35 (58095 posts) -

Britain should be its own continent. We are separated from the rest of Europe by the British Ocean.

#9 Edited by jasean79 (2356 posts) -

Britain should be its own continent. We are separated from the rest of Europe by the British Ocean.

You mean the British Indian Ocean.

#10 Posted by AFBrat77 (24072 posts) -

@Jag85 said:

It would be more accurate to refer to Europe as a subcontinent, just like the Indian subcontinent.

No.

India is a subcontinent because it's not part of the Eurasian plate though it is part of the same landmass. The Eurasian plate is actually one of the largest, no way in hell Europe is a subcontinent.

Look at those Tectonic plates along California and Japan, no wonder there are so many earthquakes there

#11 Edited by Jag85 (4365 posts) -

@Jag85 said:

It would be more accurate to refer to Europe as a subcontinent, just like the Indian subcontinent.

No.

India is a subcontinent because it's not part of the Eurasian plate though it is part of the same landmass. The Eurasian plate is actually one of the largest, no way in hell Europe is a subcontinent.

I'm pretty sure India was already known as a subcontinent even before the discovery of a separate Indian plate. Nevertheless, if we go by that definition, that would make Europe just a peninsula.

#12 Posted by osan0 (12620 posts) -

is it? i have only heard it referred to as the euroasian continent. thats what i learned in school anyway: europe sits on the euroasian continent.

bloody education system letting me down again :P.

#13 Posted by TheFlush (5508 posts) -

Then Africa isn't a continent either, because it's connected to Asia.

#14 Posted by Nengo_Flow (9492 posts) -

#15 Posted by evildead6789 (7419 posts) -

@Jag85 said:

@Barbariser said:

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

This. Our continental categories date back to colonial times, when European colonialists wanted to make a distinction between Europe and Asia, when in reality it's just one continent that should have been called Eurasia. It would be more accurate to refer to Europe as a subcontinent, just like the Indian subcontinent.

you look like your from the uk

you're not really a part of europe, not in culture and not in land

you live on island

and then you emigrated to another continent because nobody wanted you in europe

#16 Posted by The_Last_Ride (70525 posts) -

Because we're awesome :3 :3

#17 Edited by foxhound_fox (87623 posts) -

Colonialism.

#18 Edited by Treflis (11471 posts) -

Because we decided we are.

#19 Edited by Jag85 (4365 posts) -

@evildead6789 said:

@Jag85 said:

@Barbariser said:

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

This. Our continental categories date back to colonial times, when European colonialists wanted to make a distinction between Europe and Asia, when in reality it's just one continent that should have been called Eurasia. It would be more accurate to refer to Europe as a subcontinent, just like the Indian subcontinent.

you look like your from the uk

you're not really a part of europe, not in culture and not in land

you live on island

and then you emigrated to another continent because nobody wanted you in europe

Actually, many Brits agree with you. When we refer to mainland Europeans, we usually just call them "the Europeans", as if we subconsciously admit that we're not really part of the continent. And many in Britain even want out of the EU, with UKIP, an anti-EU party, leading the UK's EU parliament elections this year.

#20 Posted by SolidSnake35 (58095 posts) -

@jasean79 said:

@SolidSnake35 said:

Britain should be its own continent. We are separated from the rest of Europe by the British Ocean.

You mean the British Indian Ocean.

No, I mean the ocean between Britain and Europe.

#21 Edited by evildead6789 (7419 posts) -

@jasean79 said:

@SolidSnake35 said:

Britain should be its own continent. We are separated from the rest of Europe by the British Ocean.

You mean the British Indian Ocean.

No, I mean the ocean between Britain and Europe.

you mean the north sea lol

#22 Posted by Jag85 (4365 posts) -

Britain should be its own continent. We are separated from the rest of Europe by the British Ocean.

Britain has more right to be its own continent than Europe does.

#23 Edited by Jacanuk (4198 posts) -

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

Are you drunk?

Anyways europe is a continent because pretty much all of the civilized world comes from europe, without europe, no South America, no North America, no Australia, no New Zealand.

But they determine a continent by the tectonic plates and also the landmass. Which makes some asian countries use the term "Euroasia" which is correct but not widely accepted.

#24 Posted by toast_burner (21426 posts) -

Since when was being separated by ocean the defining factor of a continent? Africa is connected to Asia, and North America and South America are also connected to eachother.

#25 Edited by Barbariser (6724 posts) -
@Jacanuk said:

@Barbariser said:

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

Are you drunk?

Anyways europe is a continent because pretty much all of the civilized world comes from europe, without europe, no South America, no North America, no Australia, no New Zealand.

But they determine a continent by the tectonic plates and also the landmass. Which makes some asian countries use the term "Euroasia" which is correct but not widely accepted.

That's a pretty fucking ironic statement of you to start with considering your "civilized world" nonsense is completely incoherent. What the fuck does "civilization" have to do with the word continent, which is a geological term? That's not even getting into the incredibly ignorant idea that European-descended nations make up most of the "civilized world" when the vast majority of humans live in Asian societies.

Though thank you for demonstrating exactly the "European cartographers want to be special snowflakes and come up with arbitrary bullshit reasons and borders to make themselves special snowflakes" bullshit I was talking about in my post.

@toast_burner said:

Since when was being separated by ocean the defining factor of a continent? Africa is connected to Asia, and North America and South America are also connected to eachother.

There is a difference between being connected to another landmass exclusively via a puny little isthmus (the Americas have the Panama, and Afro-Eurasia the Suez) and being connected to "another landmass" via a 3, 000 km long land border.

The funny thing is that the Brits in the thread are demonstrating a very similar attitude. After all, they want to feel separated from Europe out of a desire to be special and different, even though their logic would also imply defining Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia to be separate from Asia. The U.K. is so puny that you can fit 20 - 30 Britains into Australia, meaning it completely fails to satisfy the "large landmass" characteristic of continents.

Similarly, Europe being its own continent simply defies the convention and logic set by the other six. And so the answer to the TC's question is very simple, Europe is a continent because the people who drew the world map didn't like being lumped in with "Asians" and arbitrarily defined Europe as a continent.

#26 Edited by br0kenrabbit (12820 posts) -

@Jag85 said:

I'm pretty sure India was already known as a subcontinent even before the discovery of a separate Indian plate. Nevertheless, if we go by that definition, that would make Europe just a peninsula.

It was, because it was separated from the rest of the continent by the Himalayas. They didn't know it at the time but this is due to the Australian-Indian plate pushing into the Eurasian plate. So really plate tectonics was still the reason, it just wasn't understood as so.

#27 Edited by Jag85 (4365 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Barbariser said:

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

Are you drunk?

Anyways europe is a continent because pretty much all of the civilized world comes from europe, without europe, no South America, no North America, no Australia, no New Zealand.

But they determine a continent by the tectonic plates and also the landmass. Which makes some asian countries use the term "Euroasia" which is correct but not widely accepted.

The first civilizations arose in Asia and Northeast Africa, not Europe.

The funny thing is that the Brits in the thread are demonstrating a very similar attitude. After all, they want to feel separated from Europe out of a desire to be special and different, even though their logic would also imply defining Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia to be separate from Asia. The U.K. is so puny that you can fit 20 - 30 Britains into Australia, meaning it completely fails to satisfy the "large landmass" characteristic of continents.

Similarly, Europe being its own continent simply defies the convention and logic set by the other six. And so the answer to the TC's question is very simple, Europe is a continent because the people who drew the world map didn't like being lumped in with "Asians" and arbitrarily defined Europe as a continent.

Actually, there are many Japanese people with similar attitudes, using "Asians" to refer to mainland Asians rather than themselves, just like how there are many Brits who use "Europeans" to refer to mainland Europeans rather than themselves. It's not necessarily because of a superiority complex, but just an easy shorthand way to refer to foreigners. But then again, I haven't noticed Filipinos or Indonesians doing that, so maybe it might be a superiority complex after all?

#28 Posted by Jacanuk (4198 posts) -

@Jag85 said:

@Jacanuk said:

@Barbariser said:

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

Are you drunk?

Anyways europe is a continent because pretty much all of the civilized world comes from europe, without europe, no South America, no North America, no Australia, no New Zealand.

But they determine a continent by the tectonic plates and also the landmass. Which makes some asian countries use the term "Euroasia" which is correct but not widely accepted.

The first civilizations arose in Asia and Northeast Africa, not Europe.

@Barbariser said:

The funny thing is that the Brits in the thread are demonstrating a very similar attitude. After all, they want to feel separated from Europe out of a desire to be special and different, even though their logic would also imply defining Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia to be separate from Asia. The U.K. is so puny that you can fit 20 - 30 Britains into Australia, meaning it completely fails to satisfy the "large landmass" characteristic of continents.

Similarly, Europe being its own continent simply defies the convention and logic set by the other six. And so the answer to the TC's question is very simple, Europe is a continent because the people who drew the world map didn't like being lumped in with "Asians" and arbitrarily defined Europe as a continent.

Actually, there are many Japanese people with similar attitudes, using "Asians" to refer to mainland Asians rather than themselves, just like how there are many Brits who use "Europeans" to refer to mainland Europeans rather than themselves. It's not necessarily because of a superiority complex, but just an easy shorthand way to refer to foreigners. But then again, I haven't noticed Filipinos or Indonesians doing that, so maybe it might be a superiority complex after all?

I said Civilized world, not Civilization.

#29 Posted by BossPerson (9433 posts) -

because brown people

#30 Posted by GamingGod999 (2956 posts) -

because brown people

don't forget the yellow ones, too.

#31 Posted by hippiesanta (9798 posts) -

Because the First Men and the Andals don't mix with Dathoraki

#32 Edited by MakeMeaSammitch (3775 posts) -

Europe doesn't want to be associated with the middle east.

I don't blame them.

#33 Posted by awesome3496 (2158 posts) -

Because Russia.

#34 Posted by jointed (16719 posts) -

Britain should be its own continent. We are separated from the rest of Europe by the British Ocean.

Just like Japan should be its own continent right? Brits....

#35 Posted by SolidSnake35 (58095 posts) -

@jointed said:

@SolidSnake35 said:

Britain should be its own continent. We are separated from the rest of Europe by the British Ocean.

Just like Japan should be its own continent right? Brits....

Sure, if they want that. I'm sure China wouldn't mind them isolating themselves.

#36 Posted by jointed (16719 posts) -

@jointed said:

@SolidSnake35 said:

Britain should be its own continent. We are separated from the rest of Europe by the British Ocean.

Just like Japan should be its own continent right? Brits....

Sure, if they want that. I'm sure China wouldn't mind them isolating themselves.

Anyways, the British Ocean isn't wide enough to separate Britain from Europe and if you make it wider, the British Tunnel would break.

#37 Posted by always_explicit (2702 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Barbariser said:

Europeans, who defined continental boundaries, wanted to feel special and unique instead of being lumped in with "Eurasians".

Are you drunk?

Anyways europe is a continent because pretty much all of the civilized world comes from europe, without europe, no South America, no North America, no Australia, no New Zealand.

But they determine a continent by the tectonic plates and also the landmass. Which makes some asian countries use the term "Euroasia" which is correct but not widely accepted.

That's a pretty fucking ironic statement of you to start with considering your "civilized world" nonsense is completely incoherent. What the fuck does "civilization" have to do with the word continent, which is a geological term? That's not even getting into the incredibly ignorant idea that European-descended nations make up most of the "civilized world" when the vast majority of humans live in Asian societies.

Though thank you for demonstrating exactly the "European cartographers want to be special snowflakes and come up with arbitrary bullshit reasons and borders to make themselves special snowflakes" bullshit I was talking about in my post.

@toast_burner said:

Since when was being separated by ocean the defining factor of a continent? Africa is connected to Asia, and North America and South America are also connected to eachother.

There is a difference between being connected to another landmass exclusively via a puny little isthmus (the Americas have the Panama, and Afro-Eurasia the Suez) and being connected to "another landmass" via a 3, 000 km long land border.

The funny thing is that the Brits in the thread are demonstrating a very similar attitude. After all, they want to feel separated from Europe out of a desire to be special and different, even though their logic would also imply defining Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia to be separate from Asia. The U.K. is so puny that you can fit 20 - 30 Britains into Australia, meaning it completely fails to satisfy the "large landmass" characteristic of continents.

Similarly, Europe being its own continent simply defies the convention and logic set by the other six. And so the answer to the TC's question is very simple, Europe is a continent because the people who drew the world map didn't like being lumped in with "Asians" and arbitrarily defined Europe as a continent.

The reason Brits want to be separated from Europe has nothing to do with the definition of a continent. A large number of brits dont agree with European political ideologies. Its got nothing to do with being a special snowflake and nothing to do with this topic whatsoever really. Im sure your well aware of this so perhaps make your point more concise next time.