I have a problem with Europe. Not that I’ve ever been there or dislike European people or anything. That’s not it. My problem is that I just can’t accept it as a continent.
I mean, really! The word “continent” refers to a big continuous landmass, something like Australia where you can look at it and say “Yup, that given landmass has easily described natural borders. Guess it’s a contient! Yee-haw!” Europe, though, does not have that.
It is a peninsula attached to a much larger landmass, namely “Eurasia” which is a fucking continent. The only reason there is an idea of Europe at all is that a bunch of stuffy white people who were drawing maps at the time probably had a conversation like this:
“Oh my, we seem to be occupying the same major landmass as the Mohommedians and heathen Chinese! Goodness me!”
“Well, we can’t have that, can we old chap? Here, let’s make our own landmass. The Ural Mountains can be the boundary. There we go! We’re all alone now!”
“The Ural Mountains? That would be like dividing North America using the Rockies!”
“Dividing America? That’s silly! Why would anyone want to cut up an obviously continuous geographical area?”
“But you just…”
“I know! We’ll call our new continent ‘Europe’ after the unit of currency we’ll all start using in hundreds of years!”
And there you have it. That’s how Europe came to be known as it’s very own magical and special continent.
One could argue that Europe should be its own continent because it’s culturally distinct from the rest or Eurasia. But if Europe gets distinction based on geography, than Central America should, too, as well as the Middle East. Come to think of it, India ought to be it’s own thing, and central Asia isn’t really Middle Eastern and isn’t really Asian, so the various “-stan” countries should form their own region and call it Stanistan. Brazil is linguistically distinct from the rest of South America, so it should really be separate. The Caribbean is also pretty different from the rest of Latin America, so it can be its own deal. Japan, according to some Japanese douchebags, is the most magical and special place in the world, and, besides, it’s an archipelago, so Japan is now a continent. Greenland doesn’t really belong anywhere, so it should just be its own thing, and given the differences between northern and subsaharan Africa, we should probably divide it, too.
Also, Papua New Guinea can be it’s own deal. It’s not really Asian and not really Oceanic.
Did I miss anything?
The continents, I suppose, are meant to be purely geographic forms, kind of like “mountains” and “lagoons.” Putting cultural distinctiveness into what is supposed to be a purely physical description is, quite frankly, sort of retarded.