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Geography is the study of the Earth and its lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276-194 B.C.). Earth (or the Earth) is the third planet from the Sun, and the fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest, most massive, and densest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets. It is sometimes referred to as the World, the Blue Planet, or Terra. Home to millions of species, including humans, Earth is the only place in the Universe where life is known to exist. The planet formed 4.54 billion years ago, and life appeared on its surface within a billion years. Since then, Earth's biosphere has significantly altered the atmosphere and other abiotic conditions on the planet, enabling the proliferation of aerobic organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer which, together with Earth's magnetic field, blocks harmful radiation, permitting life on land. The physical properties of the Earth, as well as its geological history and orbit, allowed life to persist during this period. The world is expected to continue supporting life for another 1.5 billion years, after which the rising luminosity of the Sun will eliminate the biosphere Latitude, usually denoted by the Greek letter phi (φ) gives the location of a place on Earth (or other planetary body) north or south of the equator. Lines of Latitude are the imaginary horizontal lines shown running east-to-west (or west to east) on maps (particularly so in the Mercator projection) that run either north or south of the equator. Technically, latitude is an angular measurement in degrees (marked with °) ranging from 0° at the equator (low latitude) to 90° at the poles (90° N or +90° for the North Pole and 90° S or −90° for the South Pole). Longitude identified by the Greek letter lambda (λ), is the geographic coordinate most commonly used in cartography and global navigation for east-west measurement. Constant longitude is represented by lines running from north to south. The line of longitude (meridian) that passes through the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, in England, establishes the meaning of zero degrees of longitude, or the prime meridian. Any other longitude is identified by the east-west angle, referenced to the center of the Earth as vertex, between the intersections with the equator of the meridian through the location in question and the prime meridian. A location's position along a meridian is given by its latitude, which is identified by the north-south angle between the local vertical and the plane of the equator. The Equator is the intersection of the Earth's surface with the plane perpendicular to the Earth's axis of rotation and containing the Earth's center of mass. In simpler language, it is an imaginary line on the Earth's surface equidistant from the North Pole and South Pole
that divides the Earth into a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere. The equators of other planets and astronomical bodies are defined analogously. The Tropic of Cancer is the circle of latitude on the earth that marks the northernmost path of the sun — the apparent "equator" — on the day of the northern summer solstice or the southern winter solstice. Also referred to as the Northern tropic, it is one of the two tropics (with the Tropic of Capricorn) that represent the extremes of the sun's path across the sky with the change of the seasons. Because of the tilt of the earth's axis of rotation relative to the plane of its orbit around the sun, the sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer on the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the northernmost latitude at which the sun reaches 90 degrees above the horizon at its zenith, with the Northern Hemisphere tilted toward the sun to its maximum extent. The Tropic of Capricorn, or Southern tropic, is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. It lies 23° 26′ 22″ south of the equator, and marks the most southerly latitude at which the sun can appear directly overhead at noon. This event occurs at the December solstice, when the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun to its maximum extent. The Arctic Circle is one of the five major circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. In 2010, it is the parallel of latitude that runs approximately 66° 33′ 39″ (or 66.56083°) north of the Equator. The region north of this circle is known as the Arctic, and the zone just to the south is called the Northern Temperate Zone. The equivalent polar circle in the Southern Hemisphere is called the Antarctic Circle. The Arctic Circle marks the southern extremity of the polar day (24-hour sunlit day, often referred to as the "midnight sun") and polar night (24-hour sunless night). North of the Arctic Circle, the sun is above the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year and below the horizon for 24 continuous hours at least once per year. On the Arctic Circle those events occur, in principle, exactly once per year, at the June and December solstices, respectively. The Antarctic Circle is one of the five major circles (or parallels) of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. As of 2010, it lies at latitude 66° 33′ 39″ (or 66.56083°) south of the equator. The area south of the Antarctic Circle is known as the Antarctic, and the zone immediately to the north is called the Southern Temperate Zone. The equivalent line of latitude in the northern hemisphere is the Arctic Circle. Every place south of the Antarctic Circle experiences a period of twenty-four hours' continuous daylight at least once per year, and a period of twenty-four hours' continuous night time at least once per year. That is to say, there is at least one whole day during which the sun does not set, and at least one whole day during which the sun does not rise.
On the Antarctic Circle these events occur, in principle, exactly once per year, at the December solstice and the June solstice respectively. This happens because the Earth's axis is tilted, by approximately 23.5 degrees, relative to ecliptic (the plane of the Earth's orbit around the sun). At the June solstice the southern hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun to its maximum extent, and the region of permanent darkness reaches its northern limit; at the December solstice the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun to its maximum extent, and the region of permanent sunlight reaches its northern limit. The Prime Meridian is the meridian (line of longitude) at which the longitude is defined to be 0°. (zero degrees) The Prime Meridian and its opposite the 180th meridian (at 180° longitude), which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Unlike the parallels of latitude, which are defined by the rotational axis of the Earth (the poles being 90° and the equator 0°), the Prime Meridian is arbitrary. By international convention, the modern Prime Meridian passes through the Royal Observatory, Greenwich (at 51°28′38″N 0°00′00″E), in southeast London, United Kingdom, known as the International Meridian or Greenwich Meridian. The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth opposite the Prime Meridian where the date changes as one travels east or west across it. Roughly along 180° longitude, with diversions to pass around some territories and island groups, it mostly corresponds to the time zone boundary separating −12 and +12 hours Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) (Greenwich Mean Time – GMT). Crossing the IDL travelling east results in a day or 24 hours being subtracted (so the traveler repeats the date), and crossing west results in a day being added. The exact number of hours depends on the time zones. A bay is an area of water mostly surrounded or otherwise demarcated by land. Bays generally have calmer waters than the surrounding sea, due to the surrounding land blocking some waves and often reducing winds. It can also be an inlet in a lake or pond. A large bay may be called a gulf, a sea, a sound, or a bight. A narrow bay may also be called a fjord if its sides are relatively steep. A cove is a circular or oval coastal inlet with a narrow entrance; some coves may be referred to as bays. Most small bays are formed as soft rock or clay is eroded by waves. Any hard rock is eroded less quickly, leaving headlands. Any bay may contain fish and other sea creatures or be adjacent to other bays (for example, James Bay is adjacent to Hudson Bay). Large bays, such as the Bay of Bengal and the Hudson Bay, have varied marine geology. There are various ways that bays can be created. For example, the water level of a sea can rise, flooding the shore and creating a bay.
When the coast is made of alternate bands of hard and soft rock,the soft rock gets eroded quickly to form a bay.the hard more resistant rock stands out as headlands. A gulf is a large bay that is an arm of an ocean or sea. For example, the Gulf of Mexico is the tenth largest body of water in the world. An island is any piece of land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls are called islets. A key or cay is another name for a small island or islet. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot, /ˈaɪ.ət/. There are two main types of islands: continental islands and oceanic islands. There are also artificial islands. A grouping of geographically and/or geologically related islands is called an archipelago. An archipelago is a chain or cluster of islands that are formed tectonically. The word archipelago is directly derived from the Greek arkhi- ("chief") and - pelagos ("sea"). In Italian, possibly following a tradition of antiquity, the Archipelago was the proper name for the Aegean Sea and, later, usage shifted to refer to the Aegean Islands (since the sea is remarkable for its large number of islands). It is now used to generally refer to any island group or, sometimes, to a sea containing a large number of scattered islands like the Aegean Sea. Types of archipelagos Archipelagos are usually found in the open sea; less commonly, a large land mass may neighbour them. For example, Scotland has more than 700 islands surrounding its mainland. Archipelagos are often volcanic, forming along island arcs generated by subduction zones or hotspots, but there are many other processes involved in their construction, including erosion, deposition, and land elevation. The five largest modern countries that are mainly archipelagos are Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Indonesia. The largest archipelago in the world, by size, is Indonesia. The archipelago with the most islands is the Archipelago Sea in Finland, but these islands are generally small. A peninsula (Latin "paenīnsula", "paene-": almost + "īnsula": island) is a piece of land that is surrounded by water but connected to mainland via an isthmus. A peninsula can also be a headland, cape, island promontory, bill, point, or spit. Note that a point is generally considered a tapering piece of land projecting into a body of water that is less prominent than a cape. A landlocked country is commonly defined as one enclosed or nearly enclosed by land. As of 2008, there are 44 landlocked countries in the world. Of the major landmasses, only North America and Australia do not have a landlocked country inside their respective continents. Many countries also have constricted access to the sea. If a country's only coastline is on a sea that is almost landlocked, such as the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the
Black Sea, this may allow ocean access to be easily blocked. This may be of strategic importance, with one or two other countries controlling the entrance, and/or be relevant to tides and freshwater content. Areas without a warm water port will be landlocked during the winter months. An island country can conversely be considered waterlocked as it is entirely surrounded by water. In such cases, one must cross water to reach land abroad. The word littoral is derived from the Latin noun litus, litoris, meaning "shore". The countries bordering sea are called littoral countries. Channel (geography), in physical geography, the physical confine of a river, slough or ocean strait consisting of a bed and banks In Europe:
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English Channel, the part of the Atlantic Ocean that separates Great Britain from northern France Channel Tunnel, or the Chunnel, a rail tunnel underneath the English Channel linking the U.K. and France Channel Islands, an archipelago in the English Channel, off the French coast of Normandy
A strait or straits is a narrow, navigable channel of water that connects two larger navigable bodies of water. It most commonly refers to a channel of water that lies between two land masses, but it may also refer to a navigable channel through a body of water that is otherwise not navigable, for example because it is too shallow, or because it contains an unnavigable reef or archipelago. Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal: 1. Aqueduct (or water conveyance) canals that are used for the conveyance and delivery of fresh water, for human consumption, agriculture, etc. 2. Waterway canals that are navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats loaded with goods and people, often connected to existing lakes, rivers, or oceans. Included here are inter-ocean canals such as the Suez Canal and the Panama Canal. Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.6% of the earth's total surface area (or 29.9% of its land area) and with approximately 4 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population. Asia is traditionally defined as part of the landmass of Eurasia — with the western portion of the latter occupied by Europe — located to the east of the Suez Canal, east of the Ural Mountains and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma-Manych
Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. Given its size and diversity, Asia — a toponym dating back to classical antiquity — is more a cultural concept incorporating a number of regions and peoples than a homogeneous physical entity (see Subregions of Asia, Asian people). Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area. With a billion people (as of 2009, see table) in 61 territories, it accounts for about 14.72% of the World's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and the Red Sea along the Sinai Peninsula to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Not counting the disputed territory of Western Sahara, there are 53 countries, including Madagascar and various island groups, associated with the continent Antarctica is Earth's southernmost continent, underlying the South Pole. It is situated in the Antarctic region of the southern hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Ocean. At 14.0 million km2 (5.4 million sq mi), it is the fifth-largest continent in area after Asia, Africa, North America, and South America. About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice, which averages at least 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mi) in thickness. Antarctica, on average, is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. Antarctica is considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm (8 inches) along the coast and far less inland. There are no permanent human residents but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. Only cold-adapted plants and animals survive there, including penguins, seals, nematodes, Tardigrades, mites, many types of algae and other microorganisms, and tundra vegetation. Australia is the smallest of the geographic continents, though not of geological continents. There is no universally accepted definition of the word "continent"; the lay definition is "One of the main continuous bodies of land on the earth's surface.". By that definition, the continent of Australia includes only the Australian mainland, and not nearby islands such as Tasmania or New Guinea. From the perspective of geology or physical geography, however, a "continent" may be understood to include the continental shelf (the submerged adjacent area) and the islands on the shelf, which are taken to be structurally part of the continent. By that definition Tasmania, New Guinea and other nearby islands such as (Aru Islands and Raja Ampat Islands) are part of the Australian continent, also known as Sahul, since they are part of the same geological landmass. These islands are separated by seas overlying the continental shelf — the Arafura Sea and Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, and Bass Strait between mainland Australia and Tasmania.
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally divided from Asia to its east by the water divide of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma-Manych Depression), and the Black Sea to the southeast. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean and other bodies of water to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and the Black Sea and connected waterways to the southeast. Yet the borders for Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are somewhat arbitrary, as the term continent can refer to a cultural and political distinction or a physiographic one. Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometres (3,930,000 sq mi) or 2% of the Earth's surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Of Europe's approximately 50 states, Russia is the largest by both area and population, while the Vatican City is the smallest. Europe is the third most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of 731 million or about 11% of the world's population; however, according to the United Nations (medium estimate), Europe's share may fall to about 7% by 2050. In 1900, Europe's share of the world's population was 25%. North America is the northern continent of the Americas situated in the Earth's northern hemisphere and in the western hemisphere. It is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southeast by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west by the North Pacific Ocean; South America lies to the southeast. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 4.8% of the planet's surface or about 16.5% of its land area. As of July 2008, its population was estimated at nearly 529 million people. It is the third-largest continent in area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth in population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. South America is the southern continent of America, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean; North America and the Caribbean Sea lie to the northwest. America was named in 1507 by cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann after Amerigo Vespucci, who was the first European to suggest that the newly discovered lands were not India, but a New World unknown to Europeans. South America has an area of 17,840,000 square kilometers (6,890,000 sq mi), or almost 3.5% of the Earth's surface. As of 2005, its population was estimated at more than 371,090,000. South America ranks fourth in area (after Asia, Africa, and North America) and fifth in population (after Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America). The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. Its name is derived from the Latin name Tepre Pacificum, "peaceful sea", bestowed upon it by the Portuguese
explorer Ferdinand Magellan. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east. At 169.2 million square kilometres (65.3 million square miles) in area, this largest division of the World Ocean – and, in turn, the hydrosphere – covers about 46% of the Earth's water surface and about 30% of its total surface. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the Pacific and in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 metres (35,800 ft). The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's oceanic divisions. With a total area of about 106.4 million square kilometres (41.1 million square miles), it covers approximately one-fifth of the Earth's surface and about one-quarter of its water surface area. The first part of its name refers to the Atlas of Greek mythology, making the Atlantic the "Sea of Atlas". The oldest known mention of this name is contained in The Histories of Herodotus around 450 BCE (I 202); see also: Atlas Mountains. Another name historically used was the ancient term Ethiopic Ocean, derived from Ethiopia, whose name was sometimes used as a synonym for all of Africa and thus for the ocean. Before Europeans discovered other oceans, the term "ocean" itself was to them synonymous with the waters beyond Western Europe that we now know as the Atlantic and which the Greeks had believed to be a gigantic river encircling the world; see Oceanus. The Atlantic Ocean occupies an elongated, S-shaped basin extending longitudinally between the Americas to the west, and Eurasia and Africa to the east. As one component of the interconnected global ocean, it is connected in the north to the Arctic Ocean (which is sometimes considered a sea of the Atlantic), to the Pacific Ocean in the southwest, the Indian Ocean in the southeast, and the Southern Ocean in the south. (Other definitions describe the Atlantic as extending southward to Antarctica.) The equator subdivides it into the North Atlantic Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean. The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering about 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by South Asia (including India, after which it is named); on the west by Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and Australia; and on the south by the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, by Antarctica). The Southern Ocean, also known as the Great Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Ocean and the South Polar Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60°S latitude and encircling Antarctica. It is usually regarded as the fourth-largest of the five principal oceanic divisions. This ocean zone is where cold, northward flowing waters from the Antarctic mix with warmer sub-Antarctic waters.
The Arctic Ocean, located in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Arctic north polar region, is the smallest, and shallowest of the world's five major oceanic divisions The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some oceanographers call it the Arctic Mediterranean Sea or simply the Arctic Sea, classifying it as one of the mediterranean seas of the Atlantic Ocean. Alternatively, the Arctic Ocean can be seen as the northernmost lobe of the all-encompassing World Ocean. The Arabian Sea is a region of the Indian Ocean bounded on the east by India, on the north by Pakistan and Iran, on the west by the Arabian Peninsula, on the south, approximately, by a line between Cape Guardafui, the north-east point of Somalia, Socotra, and Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) in India. The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. In the north, there is the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez (leading to the Suez Canal). The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The water is not red, as the name may imply. The Black Sea is an inland sea bounded by Europe, Anatolia and the Caucasus and is ultimately connected to the Atlantic Ocean via the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas and various straits. The Bosphorus strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, and the strait of the Dardanelles connects it to the Aegean Sea region of the Mediterranean. These waters separate eastern Europe and western Asia. The Black Sea also connects to the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Kerch. The Dead Sea also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake in Jordan to the east and in the West Bank and Israel to the west. Its surface and shores are 422 metres (1,385 ft) below sea level, the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface on dry land. The Dead Sea is 378 m (1,240 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. It is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, with 33.7% salinity. Only Lake Assal (Djibouti), Garabogazköl and some hypersaline lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica (such as Don Juan Pond and perhaps Lake Vanda) have a higher salinity. It is 8.6 times more salty than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment where animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets. The Baltic Sea is a brackish inland sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the
Øresund, the Great Belt and the Little Belt. The Kattegat continues through Skagerrak into the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The Baltic Sea is connected by man-made waterways to the White Sea via the White Sea Canal, and to the North Sea via the Kiel Canal. The Baltic Sea might be considered to be bordered on its northern edge by the Gulf of Bothnia, on its northeastern edge by the Gulf of Finland, and on its eastern edge by the Gulf of Riga. However, these various gulfs can be considered to be simply offshoots of the Baltic Sea, and therefore parts of it. The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by the Levant. The sea is technically a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it is usually identified as a completely separate body of water. The name Mediterranean is derived from the Latin mediterraneus, meaning "inland" or "in the middle of the earth" (from medius, "middle" and terra, "earth"). It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km² (965,000 sq mi), but its connection to the Atlantic (the Strait of Gibraltar) is only 14 km (9 mi) wide. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere. The Caspian is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of 371,000 square kilometres (143,244 sq mi) and a volume of 78,200 cubic kilometres (18,761 cu mi). It is in an endorheic basin (it has no outflows) and is bounded by northern Iran, southern Russia, western Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, and eastern Azerbaijan. It has a maximum depth of about 1,025 metres (3,363 ft). The ancient inhabitants of its littoral perceived the Caspian as an ocean, probably because of its saltiness and seeming boundlessness. It has a salinity of approximately 1.2%, about a third the salinity of most seawater. Caspian is called Qazvin on ancient maps. In Iran, it is sometimes referred to as Daryâ-ye Mâzandarân). The Panama Canal is a 77 km (48 mi) ship canal that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific ocean and a key conduit for international maritime trade. Annual traffic has risen from about 1,000 ships in the canal's early days to 14,702 vessels in 2008, displacing a total 309.6 million Panama Canal/Universal Measurement System (PC/UMS) tons. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the canal had an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans, replacing the long and treacherous route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 9,500 km (6,000 miles), well under half the 22,500 km (14,000 miles) route around Cape Horn. The Suez Canal is a man-made sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869, it allows water
transportation between Europe and Asia without navigating around Africa. The northern terminus is Port Said and the southern terminus is Port Tawfik at the city of Suez. The canal is 192 km (119 mi) long with Ismailia, on the west bank, 3 km (1.9 mi) north of the half-way point. It consists of the northern access channel of 19.5 km/12.1 mi, the canal itself of 162.25 km/100.82 mi and of the southern access channel of 8.5 km/5.3 mi. It is single-lane with passing places in Ballah By-Pass and in the Great Bitter Lake. It contains no locks; seawater flows freely through the canal into the Great Bitter Lake from both the Mediterranean Sea in the north and the Red Sea in the south, replacing evaporation. The Kiel Canal until 1948 known as the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Kanal, is a 61 miles (98 kilometres) long canal in the German Bundesland Schleswig-Holstein that links the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at Kiel-Holtenau. An average of 250 nautical miles (460 kilometers) is saved by using the Kiel Canal instead of going around the Jutland Peninsula. This not only saves time but also avoids potentially dangerous storm-prone seas. According to the canal's website, it is the most heavily used artificial seaway in the world; over 43,000 ships passed through in 2007, excluding small craft. The Sukkur barrage (Sindhi: ) سکر بندis a barrage across the Indus river near the city of Sukkur, Pakistan. It was built during the British Raj from 1923 to 1932 as the Lloyd Barrage to help alleviate famines caused by lack of rain. The barrage enables water to flow through what was originally a 6166 mile long network of canals, feeding the largest irrigation system in the world, with more than 5 million acres (20,000 km²) of irrigated land. The retaining wall has sixty-six spans, each 60 feet wide; each span has a gate which weighs 50 tons. Guddu Barrage is a barrage across river Indus, near Sukkur in Pakistan. President Iskander Mirza laid foundation-stone of the Guddu Barrage on February 2, 1957. The barrage was completed in 1962. Inaugurated by Field Marshal AYUB KHAN. At the time of its construction it has maximum design discharge of 1.2 million cubic feet per second (34,000 m³/s). It is a gate-controlled weir type barrage with a navigation lock. The barrage has 64 bays, each 60 feet (18 m) wide. The maximum flood level height of Guddu barrage is 26 feet (8 m). It controls irrigation supplies to 2.9 million acres (12,000 km²) of agricultural lands in the Jacobabad, Larkana and Sukkur districts of Sindh and the Naseerabad district of Balochistan. The cost of the project was 474.8 million rupees. It feeds Ghotki Feeder, Begari Feeder, Desert and Pat Feeder canals. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia. The UAE consists of seven states, termed emirates, which are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain, Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Irelan (commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK, or Britain) is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. It is an island country, spanning an archipelago including Great Britain, the northeastern part of Ireland, and many small islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK with a land border, sharing it with the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the UK is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea. The largest island, Great Britain, is linked to France by the Channel Tunnel. The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy and unitary state consisting of four countries: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The United States of America (commonly referred to as the United States, the U.S., the USA, or America) is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district. The country is situated mostly in central North America, where its fortyeight contiguous states and Washington, D.C., the capital district, lie between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, bordered by Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The state of Alaska is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to the east and Russia to the west across the Bering Strait. The state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific. The country also possesses several territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. The name is a translation of the Russian abbreviated СССР, SSSR. The common short name is Soviet Union, from Sovetskiy Soyuz. A soviet is a council, the theoretical basis for the socialist society of the USSR. Emerging from the Russian Empire after the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Civil War of 1918–1921, the USSR was a union of several Soviet republics, but the synecdoche Russia—after the Russian SFSR, its largest and most populous constituent state—continued to be commonly used throughout the country's existence. The geographic boundaries of the USSR varied with time, but after the last major territorial annexations of the Baltic states, eastern Poland, Bessarabia, and certain other territories during World War II, from 1945 until dissolution, the boundaries approximately corresponded to those of late Imperial Russia, with the notable exclusions of Poland and Finland. Initially established as a union of four Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR grew to contain 15 constituent or "union republics" by 1956: Armenian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, Byelorussian SSR, Estonian SSR, Georgian SSR, Kazakh SSR, Kirghiz SSR, Latvian SSR, Lithuanian SSR, Moldavian SSR, Russian SFSR, Tajik SSR, Turkmen SSR, Ukrainian SSR and Uzbek SSR. Scandinavia is a region in northern Europe that includes Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Finland is often considered a Scandinavian country in common English usage, and Iceland and the Faroe Islands are sometimes also included. The Maghreb also rendered Maghrib or, rarely, Moghreb, refers to a region of North Africa. An Arabic word, it literally means "place of sunset" or "western". The term is
generally now used to refer collectively to the countries of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. However, before the establishment of modern nation states in the region, it signified the smaller area that lies between the high ranges of the Atlas Mountains in the south, and the Mediterranean Sea in the north. Sometimes, especially during periods of Muslim rule, the term has included the areas now represented by the countries of Spain, Portugal, Sicily and Malta. Partially isolated from the rest of the continent by the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara, the Maghreb has long been closely tied in terms of climate, landforms, population, economy, and history to the Mediterranean basin. Because sea transportation dominated people's lives for so long, peoples joined by waters shared more than those joined by land. The region was united as a single political entity only during the first years of Arab rule (early 8th century), and again for several decades under the Berber Almohads (1159– 1229). The Arab states of North Africa established the Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation and economic integration. Its members are Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania. The Netherlands is a constituent country in Northwestern Europe of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, comprising the majority of its territory. It is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy. The Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague. The Netherlands is often called Holland, a pars pro toto, as North and South Holland are actually two of its twelve provinces. The word Dutch is used to refer to the people, the language, and anything pertaining to the Netherlands. This lexical difference between the noun and the adjective is a peculiarity of the English language and does not exist in the Dutch language. The adjective 'Dutch' is derived from the language that was spoken in the area, called 'Diets', which equals Middle Dutch. In German, Deutsche is the feminine adjectival form for Deutsch "German" The people of Germany are Deutsche. Israel officially the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan in the east, and Egypt on the southwest, and contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Also adjacent are the West Bank to the east and Gaza Strip to the southwest. Israel is the world's only predominantly Jewish state with a population of about 7.5 million people, of whom approximately 5.62 million are Jewish. The largest ethnic minority group is the segment denominated as Arab citizens of Israel, while minority religious groups include Muslims, Christians, Druze, Samaritans and others, most of which are found within the Arab segment.
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters which make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes identified as the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands. The four largest islands are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku, together accounting for 97% of Japan's land area. Most of the islands are mountainous, many volcanic; for example, Japan’s highest peak, Mount Fuji, is a volcano. Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with about 128 million people. The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents. Iran officially the Islamic Republic of Iran is a country in Western Asia. The name Iran has been in use natively since antiquity and came into international use in 1935, before which the country was widely known as Persia. Prussia was a historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries this state had substantial influence on German and European history. The last capital of the state of Prussia was Berlin. The name Prussia derives from the Old Prussians, a Baltic people related to the Lithuanians and Latvians. Yugoslavia, proclaimed in 1943 by the Yugoslav Partisans resistance movement in World War II. It was renamed to the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia in 1946, when a communist government was established. In 1963, it was renamed again to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). This was the largest Yugoslav state, as Istria and Rijeka were added to the new Yugoslavia after the end of World War II. The constituent six Socialist Republics and two Socialist Autonomous Provinces that made up the country, were: SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SR Croatia, SR Macedonia, SR Montenegro, SR Slovenia and SR Serbia (including the autonomous provinces of SAP Vojvodina and SAP Kosovo which were also equal members of the federation). Starting in 1991, the SFRY disintegrated in the Yugoslav Wars which followed the secession of most of the country's constituent entities. The last country to bear the name Yugoslavia was the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) established on March 27, 1992. It was a federation on the territory of the two remaining (non-secessionist) republics of Montenegro and Serbia (including the autonomous provinces of Vojvodina and Kosovo). On February 4, 2003, it was renamed to the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and officially abolished the name "Yugoslavia". On June 3 and June 5, 2006 respectively, Montenegro and Serbia declared independence, thereby ending the Yugoslav state. Kosovo declared independence in 2008. Its statehood is, however, still disputed.
Xinjiang (Mandarin pronunciation: Sinkiang) is an autonomous region (Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region) of the People's Republic of China and also claimed by the Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million sq. km. Xinjiang borders Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, has abundant oil reserves and is China's largest natural gas-producing region. It administers most of Aksai Chin, a territory formally part of Kashmir's Ladakh region over which India claims sovereignty since 1962. "Xinjiang" literally means "New Frontier", a name given during the Qing Dynasty. It is home to a number of different ethnic groups and major ethnic groups include Uyghur, Han, Kazakh, Hui, Kyrgyz and Mongol. Older English-language reference works often refer to the area as Chinese Turkestan, Sinkiang and East Turkestan. Xinjiang is divided into the Dzungarian Basin in the north and the Tarim Basin in the south by a mountain range. The Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), also called Xizang Autonomous Region is a province-level autonomous region of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Within the People's Republic of China, Tibet is identified with the Autonomous Region, which includes about half of ethno-cultural Tibet, including the traditional provinces of Ü-Tsang and Kham (western half). Its borders coincide roughly with the actual zone of control of the government of Tibet before 1959. The Tibet Autonomous Region is the second-largest province-level division of China by area (spanning over 470,000 sq mi/1,200,000 km2) after Xinjiang. Gilgit-Baltistan is a territory in Northern Pakistan. The territory, which does not constitute a province of Pakistan, was formerly known as the Northern. It is the northernmost political entity within the Pakistani-controlled part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It borders Afghanistan to the north, China to the northeast, the Pakistani-administered state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to the south, and the Indian-administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the southeast. The territory became a single administrative unit in 1970 under the name "Northern Areas" and was formed by the amalgamation of the Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan District of the Ladakh Wazarat, and the states of Hunza and Nagar. With its administrative center at the town of Gilgit, GilgitBaltistan covers an area of 72,971 km² (28,174 mi²) and has an estimated population approaching 1,000,000. Pakistan considers the territory as separate from Kashmir whereas India considers the territory as a part of the larger disputed territory of Kashmir that has been in dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. The FATA are bordered by: Afghanistan to the west with the border marked by the Durand Line, the NWFP and the Punjab to the east, and Balochistan to the south. The seven Tribal Areas lie in a north-to-south strip that is adjacent to the west side of the six Frontier Regions , which also lie in a north-to-south strip. The areas within each of those two regions are geographically arranged in a sequence from north to south.
The geographical arrangement of the seven Tribal Areas in order from north to south is: Bajaur, Mohmand, Khyber, Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan, South Waziristan. The geographical arrangement of the six Frontier Regions in order from north to south is: Peshawar, Kohat, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank, Dera Ismael Khan. The Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) are Pakistani administrative subdivisions designated in the Article 246(b) of the Constitution of Pakistan. No Act of Provincial Assembly can be applied to PATA whereas the Governor of the respective province has mandate parallel to the authority President of Pakistan has over Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Provincially Administered Tribal Areas as defined in the Constitution include four former princely states as well as tribal areas and tribal territories in districts:
North-West Frontier Province Chitral District (former Chitral state) Dir District (Upper Dir and Lower Dir, former Dir state) Swat District (former Swat state including Kalam) Tribal Area in Kohistan District Malakand District Tribal Area adjoining Mansehra District (Battagram, Allai and Black Mountain of Hazara, Upper Tanawalormer) and former Amb state.
Balochistan Zhob District Loralai District (excluding the Duki Tehsil) Dalbandin Tehsil of Chagai District Kohlu District (former Marri Tribal Territory in Sibi District) Dera Bugti District (former Bugti Tribal Territory in Sibi District)
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only to the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. Contemporarily, Kashmir denotes a larger area that includes the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir (the Kashmir valley, Jammu and Ladakh), the Pakistani-administered Northern Areas and the Azad Kashmir provinces, and the Chinese-administered regions of Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract. The United Nations, and other local entities, use the designation Jammu and Kashmir to geographically denote the said area. In the first half of the first millennium, the Kashmir region became an important center of Buddhism and later of Hinduism; later still, in the ninth century, Kashmir Shaivism arose. In 1349, Shah Mir became the first Muslim ruler of Kashmir and inaugurated the Salatini-Kashmir or Swati dynasty. For the next five centuries, Muslim monarchs ruled
Kashmir, including the Mughals, who ruled from 1526 until 1751, then the Afghan Durrani Empire that ruled from 1747 until 1820. That year, the Sikhs under Ranjit Singh, annexed Kashmir. In 1846, upon the purchase of the region from the British under the Treaty of Amritsar, the Dogras—under Gulab Singh—became the new rulers. Dogra Rule, under the paramountcy (or tutelage) of the British Crown, lasted until 1947, when the former princely state became a disputed territory, now administered by three countries: India, Pakistan, and the People's Republic of China. Puerto Rico officially the Commonwealth of Puerto literally Associated Free State of Puerto Rico), is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. Oman is an Arab country in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders the United Arab Emirates on the northwest, Saudi Arabia on the west and Yemen on the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the south and east and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The country also contains Madha, an exclave enclosed by the United Arab Emirates, and Musandam, an exclave also separated by Emirati territory. Amman is the capital and largest city of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. A city of about 2 million inhabitants (2008 estimate), it is the country's political, cultural and commercial centre and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Amman is the administrative seat of the homonymous governorate. North Vietnam, also called the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), was a communist state that ruled the northern half of Vietnam from 1954 until 1976. South Vietnam refers to a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the “State of Vietnam” (1949-55) and later as the “Republic of Vietnam” (1955-75). Its capital was Saigon. The terms “South Vietnam” and “North Vietnam” became common usage in 1954 at the time of the Geneva Conference, which partitioned Vietnam into communist and non-communist zones at the 17th parallel. North Yemen is a term currently used to designate the Yemen Arab Republic (1962– 1990), its predecessor, the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen (1918–1962), and their predecessors that exercised sovereignty over the territory that is now the north-western part of the state of Yemen in southern Arabia. Neither state was ever self-designated "North Yemen" and the term only came into general use when the Federation of South Arabia gained independence as the People's Republic of South Yemen in 1967 making such a distinction necessary. Prior to 1967, both states were known in short form simply as "Yemen." In 1970, South Yemen changed its name to the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen thus eliminating any
directional reference in either of the Yemens' official names but the existence of two Yemens preserved the North Yemen and South Yemen designations in popular parlance. Alternate forms were "Yemen (Sanaa)" for North Yemen and "Yemen (Aden)" for South Yemen after their respective capital cities. The merger of the two Yemens in 1990 ended the term's association with an independent state but "North Yemen" continues to be used to refer to the area of the former Yemen Arab Republic and its history and, anachronistically, to pre-1967 polities and events (e.g., the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen or the North Yemen Civil War). The People's Democratic Republic of Yemen — also referred to as Democratic Yemen, South Yemen, or Yemen (Aden) — was a socialist republic in the present-day southern and eastern Provinces of Yemen. It united with the Yemen Arab Republic, commonly known as North Yemen, on May 22, 1990 to form the current Republic of Yemen. North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is a state in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer area between North Korea and South Korea. The Amnok River and the Tumen River form the border between North Korea and People's Republic of China. A section of the Tumen River in the extreme north-east is the border with Russia. The peninsula was governed by the Korean Empire until it was annexed by Japan following the Russo-Japanese War of 1905. It was divided into Soviet and American occupied zones in 1945, following the end of World War II. North Korea refused to participate in a United Nations–supervised election held in the south in 1948, which led to the creation of separate Korean governments for the two occupation zones. Both North and South Korea claimed sovereignty over the peninsula as a whole, which led to the Korean War of 1950. A 1953 armistice ended the fighting; however, the two countries are officially still at war with each other, as a peace treaty was never signed. Both states were accepted into the United Nations in 1991. On May 26, 2009, North Korea unilaterally withdrew from the armistice. South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (ROK) and often referred to as Korea, is a country in East Asia, located on the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by China to the west, Japan to the east, and North Korea to the north. Its capital is Seoul, the second largest metropolitan city in the world and a major global city. South Korea lies in a temperate climate region with a predominantly mountainous terrain. Its territory covers a total area of 100,032 square kilometers and has a population of over 48 million, making it the third most dens. Archaeological findings show that the Korean Peninsula was occupied as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. Korean history begins with the founding of Gojoseon in 2333 BC by Dan-gun. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea under Silla 668 AD, Korea went through the Goryeo Dynasty and Joseon Dynasty as one nation until
the end of the Korean Empire in 1910, when Korea was annexed by Japan. After liberation and occupation by Soviet and U.S. forces at the end of World War II, the nation was divided into North and South Korea. The latter was established in 1948 as a democracy. A war between the two Koreas ended in an uneasy cease-fire. After the war and a period of military rule, the South Korean economy grew significantly and the country was transformed into a major economy and a full democracy. East Germany, was the informal Western name for the Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic — GDR), the socialist state established in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany and in the East Berlin portion of the Alliedoccupied capital city. The German Democratic Republic had an area of 107,771 sq. km. (41,610 mi.2), bordering Czechoslovakia at the south, West Germany at the south and west, the Baltic Sea at the north, and Poland in the east. At German reunification, on 3 October 1990, the länder (states) of East Germany were integrated as new federal states to the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). Moreover, the German Democratic Republic was disestablished after the Communist Government, of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED), lost the General Election on 18 March 1990, and thus its parliamentary majority in the Volkskammer (People’s Chamber); subsequently, on 23 August 1990, the Volkskammer re-established the five pre-war states — Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, and Thuringia (disestablished in 1952) — for the reunification of East Germany to West Germany West Germany (German: Westdeutschland) is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland) in the period between its formation in May 1949 to German reunification in October 1990, when the communist East Germany was dissolved and the five states on its territory joined the Federal Republic of Germany, ending the more than 40-year division of Germany and Berlin. From the 1990 reunification onwards, the enlarged Federal Republic of Germany with sixteen states has been exclusively known as Germany in common usage. The Federal Republic of Germany was organized from the initially 12 states formed in the three Western Zones or Allied Zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. The city of Bonn was its provisional capital city. The fourth Allied occupation zone or East Zone (Ostzone) was held by the Soviet Union. The parts east of the Oder-Neisse were de facto annexed by the Soviet Union and Communist Poland, the remaining central part around Berlin became the communist German Democratic Republic, GDR with its de facto capital East Berlin. As a result, the remaining Western Germany had a territory about half the size of its previous democratic-capitalist antecessor, the interwar Weimar Republic. East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste is a country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor. The small country of 15,410 km² (5,400 sq mi) is located about 640 km (400 mi) northwest of Darwin, Australia.
East Timor was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until Portugal's decolonization of the country. In late 1975, East Timor declared its independence, but later that year was invaded and occupied by Indonesia and was declared Indonesia's 27th province the following year. In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory and East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on May 20, 2002. East Timor is one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being the Philippines. East Timor is a lower-middle-income economy. It continues to suffer the aftereffects of a decades-long independence struggle against Indonesia, which damaged infrastructure and displaced thousands of civilians. It is placed 158th by Human Development Index (HDI) among the world's states, the second lowest in Asia. West Timor is the western and Indonesian portion of the island of Timor and part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara, (Indonesian: Nusa Tenggara Timur). During the colonial period it was known as "Dutch Timor" and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian National Revolution (1945 - 1949). From 1949 to 1975 it was known as "Indonesian Timor". The name "West Timor" is an oxymoron in the Indonesian language, as it translates literally to "West East". On the other hand, East Timor becomes a redundancy when translated into Indonesian: "East East". East Azerbaijan or East Azarbaijan is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. It is in the northwest of the country, bordering Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the provinces of Ardabil, West Azerbaijan, and Zanjan. Its capital is Tabriz. West Azerbaijan or West Azarbaijan is one of the 30 provinces of Iran. It is located in North west of the country bordering with Turkey, Iraq and Nakhchivan, and the provinces of East Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Kurdistan. The province of West Azerbaijan covers an area of 39,487 km², or 43,660 km² including Lake Urmia. In 2006 the province had a population of 3,015,361. The capital city of the province is Urmia. The West Indies or The Caribbean is a region consisting of the Caribbean Sea, its islands (most of which enclose the sea), and the surrounding coasts. The region is located southeast of the Gulf of Mexico and Northern America, east of Central America, and to the north of South America. Situated largely on the Caribbean Plate, the region comprises more than 7,000 islands, islets, reefs, and cays. These islands, called the West Indies, generally form island arcs that delineate the eastern and northern edges of the Caribbean Sea. These islands are
called the West Indies because when Christopher Columbus landed here in 1492 he believed that he had reached the Indies (in Asia). The region consists of the Antilles, divided into the larger Greater Antilles which bound the sea on the north and the Lesser Antilles on the south and east (including the Leeward Antilles), and the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, which are in fact in the Atlantic Ocean north of Cuba, not in the Caribbean Sea. The Dutch East Indies, or Netherlands East Indies, was the Dutch colony that became modern Indonesia following World War II. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the former Dutch East India Company that came under the administration of the Netherlands in 1800. During the nineteenth century, Dutch possessions in the archipelago and its hegemony were expanded, reaching their greatest extent in the early twentieth century. Following the World War II Japanese occupation, Indonesian nationalists declared Indonesian independence in 1945. Thereafter and as a consequence of the subsequent Indonesian National Revolution, the Netherlands formally recognised Indonesian sovereignty in December 1949.
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