A subcontinent is a large, relatively self-contained landmass forming a subdivision of a continent. By dictionary entries, the term subcontinent signifies "having a certain geographical or political independence" from the rest of the continent, or "a vast and more or less self-contained subdivision of a continent."
The phrase the Subcontinent, used on its own in English, commonly refers to the Indian subcontinent. Generally, the Indian subcontinent includes the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. The region largely comprises a peninsula of Eurasia south of the Himalayas and constitutes a geoculturally distinct region within Asia. The region, however, contains desert, plateau, rain forest, mountains, and a myriad of languages, races, and religions.
Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents, but is variably considered a subcontinent or large peninsula of northwestern Eurasia. Europe is relatively contained from the rest of Eurasia – i.e., Asia to the east – by the Ural Mountains, the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus Mountains, and the Black Sea.
Western Asia or "the Middle East" is a subcontinent of southwestern Eurasia. Western Asia is geographically contained from Europe, Asia and Africa, clockwise, by the Caucasus Mountains, the Caspian Sea, the Iranian plateau, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Sinai Peninsula, the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea, and the Black Sea, and lies largely on the Arabian tectonic plate. The common definition of the term Middle East also includes Egypt - the bulk of which occupies northeasternmost Africa.
Full article ▸