The true size of Greenland, should it be a Continent?

By Verified Expert

Greenland is the 12th largest country and is known as the largest island in the world.

Due to its massive size and a tiny population of less than 57.000, it is the least densely populated country with 0,026 people per square kilometer.

It is mostly covered by the second largest mass of ice in the world, which, if it were to melt, is estimated to cause a global sea level rise of up to 7 meters.

All these things clearly signify that it’s a humongous country, so the question is: why isn’t it a continent?  

Picture of people walking on the Greenland Ice Sheet

Greenland is considered to be part of the North American continent. This is because it lies on the North American Tectonic plate. And yet the country is politically part of Denmark, which is part of Europe.

This makes it all very confusing and the problem really lies in the fact that there isn’t actually a worldwide accepted definition of what a continent is.

Even though Greenland is big, it is dwarfed by even the smallest continent, Australia, which is significantly larger than Greenland covering about 6 % of the world’s land area, whereas Greenland only covers 1,45 %. 

Now that shouldn’t stop Greenland from becoming a continent and the fact of the matter is that the country could simply try to become a continent!

There are so many different interpretations of continents that Greenland could just try and convince enough scientists, nations and essentially the public in order to change its status.

This would definitely be a possible change in the future, as the current political climate is steering slowly but seemingly surely in a direction away from the kingdom of Denmark. 

But then the question remains, whether or not Greenland would like to change its status from the world’s biggest island to the world’s smallest continent.

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