Asia – 40 Facts You Should Know

As a continent, Asia is the biggest, accounting for around 30 percent of the planet’s land surface. Mainland Asia accounts for around 60% of the world’s total population on the continent. The ancient Greeks used the name “Asia” to refer to the civilizations located east of their empire. Ancient Asians, on the other hand, saw themselves as a heterogeneous collection of civilizations rather than one entity.

As a cultural notion, “Asia” is employed, while subregion classifications describe the continent’s many geopolitical subregions. It is possible to separate Asia’s physical geography, environment, and resources from its human geography. The world’s first civilizations emerged in Asia. Its native cultures invented many things that have been important to society for a long time, like farming, city planning, and religion. The continent’s political and social geography continues to shape the rest of the globe.

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History

It’s practically hard to provide a comprehensive history of Asia because of the region’s enormous size and a wide variety of ethnic groups. On this continent, practically every major global religion has originated, as have many technical and civilizational breakthroughs. Neolithic humanity initially started their shift from a nomadic to a sedentary existence in West Asia, where they invented the wheel and the first forms of agriculture. 

Ancient Sumer, the Assyrian, Babylonian, & Akkadian empires, as well as other early human civilizations, all, originated in West Asia. In South Asia, the Indus Valley Civilization (also known as the Harappan Civilization) was the earliest documented civilization. The Xia Dynasty was the first recorded civilization in Ancient China in East Asia.

Cultural divisions

Transcultural events — from religion to commerce — that transcended periods and geographical locations are a radical new way of looking at Asia’s cultural history. The following are examples of such phenomena:

Buddhism, which originated in India as a response to Hinduism, has now expanded to nations in South, Southeast, and East Asia. Many facets of these Asian civilizations, from governing ideas to aesthetic and material artifacts, have been affected by Buddhism from the 6th century BC to the current day. See the Hinduism and Buddhism Smart history resource.

Islam, which Muhammad (PBUH) established in Mecca (modern-day Saudi Arabia) in the early seventh century CE, extended across Central and Western Asia, as well as to Indonesia and other non-Asian regions like North Africa and also the Iberian Peninsula for centuries. Many Asian civilizations and cross-regional cultural phenomena may be traced back to the history of the Islamic world. See Smart history’s Introduction to Islam for more information.

The Silk Road is a network of commercial routes that date back to the 2nd century BCE, connecting Eastern China to Europe and North Africa throughout the ages. Pan-Asian routes facilitated cultural exchanges and impacted local cultures despite their origins in commerce, particularly silk.

Facts

1
In terms of total land area, it's the biggest continent in the world. If that wasn't enough, Asia is the world's most populated continent, with 44,579,000 km2 (17,212,000 sq mi). Russia, China, and India, three of the world's most populous nations, are represented here. Asian and European continents are part of a single supercontinent known as Eurasia; therefore, this isn't an end to the story either.
2
The world's tallest mountains may be found here. Asia is home to 14 of the world's highest mountains, which rise above the ocean at more than 8000 meters. 8848 meters above sea level, Mount Everest is the tallest peak.
3
Asia is home to 4,46 billion people, or more than 60 percent of the world's population, making it the most populous continent on Earth. 2,6 billion people live in China and India, which are only two nations. The Asian population is still increasing, but analysts predict that as the nations in the region improve, the population will decrease.
4
On the continent, rice is a staple meal, and the vast majority of the produced rice is consumed here as well. Asians consume as much as 90% of the world's rice crop. Rice may be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and supper in many Asian nations.
5
Lactose intolerance affects an estimated 90 percent of South Asians. Lactase, an enzyme necessary for digesting lactose in dairy products, is absent or insufficient in certain Asians.
6
Most people live in Asia, which has a population of about 4.6 billion. According to the United States Census Bureau, China is Asia's most populous nation, home to an estimated 1.4 billion people as of July 2021. As the most populous nation on Earth, China is also the largest.
7
Asia is home to more than 2,300 distinct languages. Mandarin Chinese is the most commonly spoken of them, with 51% of Asia's people speaking it.
8
The Asian elephant is the continent's biggest terrestrial animal. Smaller ears and one extra toenail on each foot distinguish them from African elephants.
9
Over 20 million tonnes of mangoes are produced in India each year, making it the world's mango-producing nation.
10
Nine of the world's top 10 rice-producing nations are in Asia. China, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Japan are all part of this group. Only Brazil is not an Asian nation, yet it is ranked eighth.
11
Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, is situated in Nepal's Himalayan mountain range, making Asia home to 100 of the world's tallest peaks.
12
Islam is Asia's most widespread faith, with an estimated 1.2 billion adherents. The second-largest religion globally is Hinduism, which has around 900 million followers.
13
According to the World Population Review for 2021, seven of the world's ten most populous cities are located in Asia, including the capital of Singapore. There are 37.4 million people in Tokyo, Japan, followed by 29.4 million people in Delhi, India, and 26.3 million people in Shanghai.
14
The Ancient Greek word 'A' is thought to be the source of the name 'Asia.' According to popular belief, the name means 'the rising sun' or 'light from the east.'
15
Countries in Asia have some of the world's longest life expectancies. For both men and women, the average life expectancy in Hong Kong is 88 years. Second and third place go to Japan and Macau, respectively.
16
Macau is Asia's smallest nation, located near Hong Kong. 650,000 people are living on 115 square kilometers of land.
17
There are almost 400 acres of temple grounds at Angkor Wat, Cambodia's most visited attraction, which dates back to the 12th century and is home to more than 2.5 million visitors each year (pre-COVID).
18
Asia has produced some of the most influential innovations in history, including paper. During the Han Dynasty, a Chinese court official invented this important human innovation in approximately 100 BC.
19
Chopsticks are widely used throughout Asia. The Chinese invented one of the earliest versions, which goes back 9,000 years. The first chopsticks were likely two sticks used to scoop up meat and other food from hot pots.
20
Despite China's enormous size (3,705 million square miles), everyone in the country keeps the same time. This size comparison is based on a six-zone time difference between the United States and China.
21
Tet is the Vietnamese New Year's celebration, which marks the beginning of a new year. It's also the day that everyone above the age of 25 becomes 26, and every youngster under the age of 3 becomes 4. Now, I'm not implying that every pregnant woman in the nation meticulously schedules her pregnancy to coincide with the same day of the week. Because so many people there don't know exactly what day of the year it is, Tet has become a kind of global celebration. That's going to be a huge gathering.
22
Indonesia is home to the world's biggest concentration of Muslims. In my estimation, the Middle East is the region with the highest Muslim population. I don't think so. About 209 million Indonesians, or 87% of the country's total population, are Muslims. And India boasts the second-highest number of Muslims, with 176 million adherents. Even though India is significantly larger than any Middle Eastern country, just 14% of its people practice Hinduism or Buddhism. Asia is home to many other faiths. Just over a billion Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific area.
23
A total of 14 social strata existed in pre-Hindu India. During the ancient Indus-Ganges civilization, which inhabited what is now Pakistan and India, 14 distinct castes emerged. Today, Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Shudras are the four separate castes in India, even though the caste system has been prohibited. Ancient civilizations split their people into many more classes before Hinduism took hold, but Brahmins were the highest-caste members of that society, while Shudras were the lowest.
24
In other words, Japan boasts the world's second-oldest population (behind Monaco). In Japan, where the average life expectancy is 83, 40% of the population will be above 65 in 50 years. In addition, the workforce-to-retirees ratio will fall to 1:1 in that period. We need to go to Japan and take advantage of an early retirement there. However, this implies that Japan will have a scarcity of labor in the future.
25
In the Asia-Pacific region, several nations are made up of many islands. There are tens of thousands of islands under their jurisdiction, some of which are large enough to support human habitation while others are not. Despite their little stature, this hasn't stopped them from arguing about who really owns them.
26
You'll likely run across canned air for sale if you're ever in China. This is because of the country's extensive industry, which has resulted in widespread air pollution.
27
In Asia, you'll find the world's two highest and lowest points: Mount Everest (8,848 meters above sea level) and the Dead Sea (395 meters below sea level). There are many distinct landscapes to be found on this continent.
28
On the Vietnamese New Year, everyone in Vietnam celebrates their birthday (aka Tet). A new lunar year begins on the first day of the lunar calendar, and the Vietnamese and Koreans both use this to determine their age.
29
The Songkran holiday (also known as the Thai New Year) is not celebrated on the first day of the year in Thailand but rather in mid-April for three days. Even stranger, Thais spray each other with water cannons and water pistols on this day.
30
Dongguan, China, became home to the world's biggest mall in 2005, thanks to the efforts of a Chinese tycoon. An indoor rollercoaster is part of the facility's impressive size. More interestingly, 99.9% of the mall's space has remained vacant since it opened.
31
Like many other countries, North Korea has a Christmas event, but it does not honor the birth of Christ. Rather, the 24th of December is observed as the birthday of Kim Jong II's mother by the Korean people.
32
Because China is so big, it should have up to five time zones, but it only has one (China Standard Time).
33
When it comes to living in Japan, there is one caveat: it is against the law to gain weight while you are there.
34
Mangoes are grown mostly in India. It has a yearly fruit production of around 12 million metric tonnes.
35
There are certain Asian nations where the population is more than the number of mobile phones. In Hong Kong, for example, there are 2.36 mobile phones for every inhabitant.
36
The WHO estimates that the average Japanese woman and man may expect to live at 87.3 and 85 years old, respectively.
37
New York City has a millionaires population of little over one million people as of 2012. (389,100).
38
A total of only two areas on Earth are home to orangutans in the wild: Indonesia and Malaysia's combined island of Borneo and Sumatra (Indonesia). Asia contains both of these locations.
39
The world's tallest guy lives in Turkey (8 feet, 3 inches). China is home to the world's tallest lady, who stands at 7 feet, 8 inches tall.
40
Indonesia is the world's biggest archipelago, with more than 17,000 islands.

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