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Continent vs. Ocean: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 20, 2023
A continent is a large landmass on Earth's surface, while an ocean is a vast body of saltwater that covers more than 70% of the Earth's surface.

Key Differences

A continent is one of the several large landmasses on Earth, such as Asia or Africa, while an ocean is a vast body of saltwater that separates these continents.
Continents are home to diverse ecosystems and human populations, whereas oceans are primarily uninhabited and support marine life.
Continents are composed mainly of rocks and soil, while oceans are composed of saltwater.
The Earth's surface is divided into seven continents and five oceans, each having unique geographical features and ecosystems.

Comparison Chart


Body of saltwater

Inhabited by humans and diverse ecosystems

Primarily uninhabited, supports marine life

Composed of rocks and soil

Composed of saltwater
Material composition

Seven in total

Five in total

Defined by geographical boundaries

Defined by oceanic boundaries

Continent and Ocean Definitions


A continent is one of Earth's main land areas.
Africa is a continent rich in natural resources.


An ocean is a vast body of saltwater that covers a significant part of Earth's surface.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean on Earth.


A continent is a large continuous landmass.
Asia is the largest continent in the world.


An ocean is a source of natural resources.
The Arctic Ocean contains vast reserves of oil and gas.


A continent is a distinct geographical unit.
Europe is a continent with a rich cultural heritage.


An ocean is a habitat for diverse marine life.
The Indian Ocean is home to a variety of fish species.


A continent is divided from others by water or artificial boundaries.
North America and South America are separated by the Panama Canal.


An ocean is one of the major divisions of the world's saltwater bodies.
The Atlantic Ocean separates Europe from North America.


A continent is part of Earth's surface.
Antarctica is the coldest continent on Earth.


An ocean is integral to Earth's climate system.
The Southern Ocean plays a crucial role in regulating global temperatures.


One of the principal land masses of the earth, usually regarded as including Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America.


The entire body of salt water that covers more than 70 percent of the earth's surface.


Continent The mainland of Europe. Used with the.


Abbr. Oc. or O. Any of the principal divisions of the ocean, including the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern Oceans.


Exercising continence.


A great expanse or amount
"that ocean of land which is Russia" (Henry A. Kissinger).


What is a continent?

A large continuous landmass on Earth's surface.

What is the largest continent?

Asia is the largest continent.

How many continents are there on Earth?

There are seven continents.

How many oceans are there on Earth?

There are five oceans.

What is an ocean?

A vast body of saltwater that covers more than 70% of Earth's surface.

What are the main features of continents?

Continents have diverse ecosystems, human populations, and geographical features.

What separates oceans?

Oceans are separated by continents and oceanic boundaries.

Can continents and oceans change over time?

Yes, they can change due to geological and climatic processes.

Are there cultural and historical connections between oceans?

Yes, oceans have played a crucial role in human history, such as in exploration and trade.

What separates continents?

Oceans, seas, and artificial boundaries separate continents.

What is the largest ocean?

The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean.

What role do oceans play in Earth's climate system?

Oceans regulate global temperatures and are integral to Earth's climate system.

What is the difference between a continent and an ocean?

A continent is a landmass, while an ocean is a body of saltwater.

How do continents and oceans affect each other's biodiversity?

They affect each other's biodiversity through processes like migration and habitat interaction.

Can continents have subcontinents?

Yes, continents can have subcontinents, such as the Indian subcontinent in Asia.

Can continents and oceans affect each other?

Yes, they interact in various ways, such as through ocean currents and land-sea interactions.

What are the main features of oceans?

Oceans support marine life, regulate climate, and contain natural resources.

How do humans use oceans?

Humans use oceans for transportation, fishing, and extracting natural resources.

Are there cultural and historical connections between continents?

Yes, continents have rich cultural and historical connections.

How do humans use continents?

Humans live on continents and utilize their resources for various purposes.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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