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Education

Fascinating video demonstrates that none of us has any idea what a continent actually is

What is a continent? Nobody knows.

continents earth geography
WikiImages/Canva

Here's why everything we think we know about continents is wrong.

Naming the seven continents is one of the first things young kids learn in school. Despite the fact that we forget most of what we learn, I'd wager that most American adults can still rattle off North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia (or Oceania, depending on how old you are) and Antarctica like it's nothing. Easy peasy.

Since knowing the continents appears to be a vital foundational part of our education, one might assume that there is a clear definition of what a continent actually is. Spoiler alert: There's not.

In fact, there isn't a single definition of "continent" that actually makes sense with what we teach as the continents, which is both fascinating and a little disturbing.


This fact is explored in a video by CGP Grey, an American-Irish YouTuber who brought us such informative delights as "Hexagons Are the Bestagons" and "The Better Boarding Method Airlines Won't Use."

In "What Are Continents?" Grey explains how the common definition of a continent for those of us in the English-speaking West—a large land mass separated from other land masses by a body of water—doesn't hold up due to Europe and Asia being considered different continents. But even if you were to combine Europe and Asia into Eurasia, which some places in the world do, you run into the problem of North and South America technically being one land mass (at least prior to the Panama Canal going in). But if you were to combine both Americas into one big American continent, you'd technically have to add Africa to Eurasia because the human-made Suez Canal is the only thing separating those land masses.

As you can see, it quickly starts to get complicated when we try to apply any amount of consistency to how we define a continent. Grey explains how one could make a compelling case for there being just three continents or dozens of them, depending on what parameters are being used to define them.

Watch everything you think you know about continents get dismantled like Pangaea in less than four minutes:

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

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Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

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via Pexels

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Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

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Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

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