What is the Difference Between Continents and Oceans?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The difference between continents and oceans is that continents are substantial, continuous geographic masses divided by vast bodies of water, whereas oceans are large water bodies in the Earth’s atmosphere. A continent is a wide, continuously extended landmass belonging to the Earth.

The seven continents are Asia, Australia, Antarctica, Africa, North America, South America, and Europe. Since both Australia and Antarctica are considered both countries and continents, they are distinct from other continents.

Difference Between Continents and Oceans

The major difference between Continents and Oceans is as follows:

Continents Oceans
The crust on continents is thicker. The ocean’s crust is thinner and encircles 72% of the planet’s surface.
On Earth, continents occupy 21% of the surface. An ocean can also refer to any of the enormous bodies of water that are traditionally separated into the ocean.
Europe, Asia, Africa, and other continents are examples of them. The Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans are a few examples of oceans.
Any of numerous huge landmasses is referred to as a continent. The ocean (also known as the sea or the world ocean) is a body of salt water.
Up to seven geographical regions are usually considered continents based on convention rather than precise requirements. It contains 97% of the water on the planet.

Continents vs Oceans

Tectonic plates are used to describe continents. The study of Continental Drift Theory, or the movement, collision, and division of continents, is known as plate tectonics.

  • 97% of the water on Earth is in the ocean, although only 5% of it has reportedly been examined.
  • Although “sea” and “ocean” are frequently used interchangeably in English, a sea is a body of salt water partially or completely enclosed by land.
  • Since the ocean makes up most of the hydrosphere, it is essential to all known living forms, participates in the carbon cycle, and affects climate and weather patterns.


What is the difference between continents and oceans?

The key difference between continents and oceans is that continents are continuous, solid geological masses, whereas oceans are vast volumes of water in the Earth’s atmosphere.

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