Island refers to an area entirely surrounded by water. It is considered as one of the geographic scopes with highest intrinsic values. Islands are also called Isles and typically refer to any pieces of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water.
Small size islands are known as islets. But, we won’t dwell on the small islands as we are going to focus on the top 10 largest islands of the world.
However, determining the number of islands in the world can be quite difficult. To make the job easier we exclude the land masses that are large enough to be considered as a continent. With over 2000 islands in the ocean, we’ve to rely on some research to know exactly the biggest islands in the world.
Interestingly, some of the largest islands are countries as a whole or a group of countries. This article covers the top 10 largest islands which vary in terms of size, geographical location, climate, biodiversity among other aspects.
10. Ellesmere Island in Canada – 196,236 square kilometers
Apart from covering a considerable enormous area of approximately 196,236 square kilometers, this island is endowed with vast geography and species richness.
We are talking about Ellesmere Island located in Nunavut province in Canada. Besides, it is the most mountainous region of the Arctic Archipelago that is within the Canadian region. This island has a great aesthetic value resulting from a combination of environmental aspects and resources.
These include the sedimentary rocks located in the northern part and are dated 100000 years. The arctic willow is exceptional in the sense that it is the only woody species thriving in the Ellesmere Island. Additionally, its high altitude of 2616 meters and the remnants of the ice age are unique facts you should know about this island.
9. Victoria Island, Canada -220,548 square km
It is a famous island with an interesting history as well as geographic uniqueness. It was named after Queen Victoria and lies right in the middle of the Arctic archipelago of the Canadian region.
Moreover, what adds to its uniqueness is the fact that it is an island of peninsulas with a rich constitution. The whole island’s shape resembles a maple leaf which the focal point of the Canadian flag.
Also, the coastline is served by various inlets which produce a peculiar geography that anyone would fall in love.
Furthermore, it has a high altitude of approximately 2150 feet, maximum at the Shaler Mountains. Another touristic feature worth noting is the Ferguson Lake located in the southeast of the island covering about 562 square km.
8. Great Britain 229,957 sq.km
This is probably the most famous island on earth. It may just be the eighth largest island on earth, but it is, without a doubt, the best known with an incredibly rich history.
Every aspect of Great Britain is an interesting story worth narrating. Being one of the most prosperous empires in the world, it has continued to rise in power and development and most of the world states strive to emulate it in all aspects. It is a combination of Wales, Scotland, and England including Northern Ireland in the British political jurisdiction. It forms the center stage for British culture as the English language and influence remain intact on this large island.
It lies off the north-western coast of the continental Europe, and it is located in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a home to over 62 million people most of who reside in the cities of London, Edinburg, and Cardiff. The highest area on the island is the Ben Nevis with an altitude of about 1344m. What makes this island indisputable regarding adventure and other touristic reasons is the pleasant temperature that is experienced throughout the year.
7. Honshu, Japan -231,182 sq. km
Honshu is the japan’s largest and the most populous island. It lies across Tsugaru Strait north of Shikoku directly south of Hokkaido. It has a population of about 103 million 25% of which reside in the greater Tokyo area.
This island’s economy largely depends on agriculture and fishing off the Sea of Japan. It is a notable producer of rice and vegetables. Besides, the area is blessed with biodiversity as well as the aesthetic aspect of its exceptional geography.
Just to cite a few, the Japanese Alps runs through the length of Honshu including the highest peak and an active volcano Mt Fuji. Other geographical features include the Shinano River which is its longest and most notable.
6. Sumatra Island, Indonesia – 480,448 sq. km
Despite being prone to powerful earthquakes and Tsunami, Sumatra Island is a beautiful place to live in Indonesia. It is the westernmost and the second largest island in Indonesia.
It is endowed with rich biodiversity within the tropical rain forest ecosystem that covers almost half of its area. Sumatra is a home a rich diversity of wildlife. Examples of species within this ecosystem are the Sumatran tigers, rhinoceros, and the Sumatran ground cuckoo examples of unique flora found on this island include Rafflesia arnodii, one of the world’s most smelling flower.
Moreover, this island houses some of the finest oil plants and coal fields as well as gold and silver.
5. Baffin Island, Canada – 507,450
This island is located in Nunavut area, and it is the largest island in Canada. Although the island receives undoubtedly cold weather with an annual temperature of -8 degrees Celsius, it still boasts some amazing features. It allows you to see the stunning northern lights as the island lies exactly north of the Arctic Circle.
It is a home to many polar bears and arctic wolves. Due to this richness, this island host two national parks; Sirmilik and Auyuittuq.
4. Madagascar, 587,713 sq. km- Republic of Madagascar
This island dates back 88 million years ago due to certain geographical phenomena that led to its separation from the Indian subcontinent. It is strategically located on the East coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. Due to its diversity and species richness, this island is sometimes referred to as the eighth continent or the alternate world.
Interestingly, this island is a home to 250000 species of animals whereby, 70 % are nowhere else found in the world. Also, it is a home to over 14000 different species of plants 90% of which are endemic to the island. Also, Madagascar is the home to Toliara coral reef which is the third largest coral reef in the world.
3. Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei – 748,168sq.km
Borneo Island lies in the mid part of the western part of Pacific Ocean. It is the only island in the world that it is governed by three states. These states include Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei. Interestingly, this island is the home to the oldest rainforest in the world. It is aged more than 130 million years.
It also hosts MT kimabalu which is the highest point in southeastern Asia. Also, it also matters a lot to those who know the meaning of extrinsic values of a species. His island is the home to the endangered Orangutan and Dayak fruit which are found nowhere else in the world.
2. New Guinea, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea- 785,753 sq. km
This island lies on the east of Malay Archipelago in the southeast of the Pacific Ocean. It is the second largest island in the world. Amazingly, the population density is as low as 7.5 million inhabitants. It experiences heavy rainfall throughout the year and also active volcanicity.
It has a similar selection of wildlife species just like Australia. These include marsupials, such as wallabies, possums, and anteaters. Human inhabitation in New Guinea dates back to the very first African migrants over 40,000 years ago. There are a high number of languages spoken on the island resulting from the long history of its divisive scenery.
1. Kingdom of Denmark- Greenland
Covering an area of about 2,175,600, this island is the world’s largest. Despite its location being close to North America and stationed between Arctic and Atlantic, east of the Canadian Arctic archaeology, the truth of the matter is that it is politically and culturally related to Europe.
The most interesting fact about Greenland is that over three-quarters of its landmass are covered by the only current ice sheet beside Antarctica. Perhaps this is the primary contributing factor to its low population density. As a matter of fact, this island has the least population density in the whole world.
However, this island has a rich biodiversity being the home to the most Northerly national park called the Northeast Greenland National Park.
Islands of the world differ in terms of size, location, climate, history, population density, and biodiversity. That said, the 10 largest islands in the world have certain similarities and differences. The differences lead to a rich diversity which makes them fantastic features of the world. The top 10 largest islands contribute to the incredible facts of our planet earth.