10 largest islands on planet Earth

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Islands are an invariable component of our planet. On the ground There are more than half a million land areas surrounded by water. The formation of islands practically does not stop, just like their absorption by sea waters. Some are incredibly small, others are so large that they are visible from space on a par with the Earth’s continents. Your attention the ten most outstanding in the literal sense of the word isolated land areas are the largest islands in the world.

Rating of the largest islands

Nomination a place Island Area
Rating of the largest islands 1 Ellesmere (Canada) 192 236 km2
2 Victoria (Canada) 217 291 km2
3 Honshu (Japan) 227 970 km2
4 Great Britain (Great Britain) 229 946 KM2
5 Sumatra (Indonesia) 435,000 km2
6 Baffin Land (Canada) 507 451 km2
7 Madagascar (Madagascar) 587,000 km2
8 Kalimantan (Borneo), (Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei) 734,000 km2
9 New Guinea (Papua New Guinea, Indonesia) 785,000 km2
10 Greenland (Denmark) 2 130 800 km2

Ellesmere (Canada)

Rating: 4.1


Area: 192,236 km2

Opens our ten one of the largest islands of the planet and third largest in Canada. Discovered in 1616, the land became known to the world thanks to explorer William Baffin. It – rather unfriendly region: the climate here is very harsh, and about 1/3 of the island’s surface is covered with eternal ice.

The first island settlers were Siberian nomads. To the 13th the Thule people (the Eskimo ancestors) took root here, The mid-18th century islands became completely deserted. Today due to the difficult living conditions by the permanent residents of Ellesmere, located in the province of Nunavut, can be called only one and a half hundreds of people.

Ellesmere – the highest point of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: the maximum mark on the highlands is 2616 meters. Ever since Ice Age the island is shrouded in ice on all sides. In fact, this place is one of the few “remnants” ice age. A piece of Ellesmere, or rather, 1/5 of its part It is considered a national reserve and is strictly protected. His the territory includes a large number of glaciers and seven fjords.

Interesting fact. On the island grows a single type of wood – arctic willow.

Victoria (Canada)

Rating: 4.2


Area: 217,291 km2

The second largest island of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, discovered by polar explorer Simpson in 1838. The predominant part of the large island is represented by several peninsulas (Prince Albert, Wollaston, Collinson and another an impressive peninsula in the east of Headley Bay, never got its own name). Island coastline heavily indented, there are practically no hills on its territory, and among existing ones, not one above 1 kilometer.

Victoria Island was inhabited in the middle of the 20th century. mainly by meteorologists. And by the beginning of the 21st population territory has grown significantly: migrated here Eskimo settlers who are actively engaged in fishing activities. Nevertheless, there are only 2 settlements here: Holman and Cambridge Bay. But what’s a lot here are the full-flowing lakes, the most significant and the largest among them are Ferguson and Taha.

Honshu (Japan)

Rating: 4.3


Area: 227 970 km2

The largest island in the Japanese archipelago and the most significant for country. Over 100 million people live on its territory. Here are the largest cities of the country and the capital including – Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, Yokohama, Hiroshima, etc. Honshu takes about 60% of the entire territory of Japan. This island has the oldest history and religious significance for the Japanese, because it is here the ancient civilization of the land of the rising sun was born.

The island is dominated by mountainous terrain – Honshu is literally rugged huge hills that form the climate of the area (among there are many volcanoes). The island can be divided into two climatic zones – southeast and northwest. Here the country’s largest mountain is located (a symbol of pride of every Japanese) – Fuji (3,776 meters) and the largest lake – Biwa (area – 670 km2). The length of the island coastline colossal – almost 5500 kilometers.

Great Britain (Great Britain)

Rating: 4.4

UK (island)

Area: 229,946 km2

The seventh line of our rating of the largest islands is Great Britain is the largest among the British Isles and, undoubtedly the largest in Europe. The beginning of the island’s great history as the British Empire is considered 43 BC, but it territories were populated much earlier: several hundred thousand years ago Noto people lived here.

Modern people arrived in the UK before ice age, but left the island due to the abundance of formed there are glaciers. And about 6000 years ago, the first representatives of the Neolithic era.

Today, the UK is considered the most densely populated region of Europe – more than 61 million people live here person. The island is predominantly the state of the same name – England, Scotland and Wales. Length UK coastline from south to north – just under 1000 kilometers.

The island matters to the whole world not only thanks to the sites of ancient people discovered in its territories dating back to 500,000 BC The country located here has significant political weight. Controlled by the United Kingdom the British monarch (now acting – Queen Elizabeth II), has substantial power in the world and subjugates actions on the world arena of several countries at once – Australia, New Zealand, Canada and etc.

Sumatra (Indonesia)

Rating: 4.5


Area: 435,000 km2 (according to other sources – 473,000 km2)

Representative of the Sunda Islands, the second largest in the country and the largest in its western part, Sumatra has a long history and stormy “life”. The island is located in both hemispheres. the equator line into two almost equal parts. Climate here hot, humid, with heavy rainfall. On the surface the ground is often troubled: earthquakes with quite high amplitude (about 6-7).

Half of Sumatra is dotted with mountainous terrain: two large plateaus and the Barisan ridge. The island is located many volcanoes, 12 of which are active. One of them – Kerinci (Indrapura) – also the highest point of the island area – reaches 3,805 meters in height.

Interesting fact. Sumatra is one of the 20 supervolcanoes of the planet – Toba. Super volcanoes are different from ordinary volcanoes in the traditional sense of the word: their eruption can provoke climate change on the planet. In the present Toba’s moment is considered extinct. The last time he “woke up” about 73,000 years ago and this awakening was deadly for planets: it led to the so-called “volcanic winter.” Into the sky more than 800 km3 of ash were thrown from the vent of the volcano about 2,800 km3 of magma poured out, traces of which are wrong They were discovered long ago for 7000 kilometers from the island. Population the planet in that ancient period fell sharply to 2,000 people.

Baffin Land (Canada)

Rating: 4.6

Baffin Land

Area: 507,451 km2

The first “half million” of our rating – the largest island Of Canada. It was discovered by British explorer William Baffin in 1616, in honor of him and got its name. Island the area is characterized by an unfriendly landscape and severe Arctic climate with an average annual temperature of -8 C0, so not many Canadians settled in here: in total about 11,000 people. All of them live along the island coast: only scientific expeditions enter the depths of the snowy island – with the purpose of studying the absolutely untouched nature.

To preserve the unique environment here representatives of fauna and flora created Auyuytuk National Park (“Earth that never thaws”).

Interesting fact. Visiting Baffin Island, you can witness a unique phenomenon – the Northern Lights – amazingly clean and beautiful. This is possible due to the fact that almost all parts Baffin Island are located north of the Arctic Circle.

On the island there are many fresh lakes. The two most the largest of them – Nettilling and Amajuak have an area exceeding 5500 km2 (each). Baffin Land – one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world. Just 400 kilometers from her the largest island of the planet is located, but more on that later.

Madagascar (Madagascar)

Rating: 4.7


Area: 587,000 km2

The African Island, located in the Indian Ocean, is also state of the same name. Its inhabitants are similar to the Africans, but there are enough differences. And yet, the breakaway over 80 million years ago from the mainland a large piece of land is fraught with a lot unique natural wonders. Locals call it “red”: because of its special composition, the color of the island soil is just that. But in the rest of the world, Madagascar has a different name – “the eighth continent.” All because of the specifics of animal and vegetable peace of this locality.

Madagascar is home to about 250,000 species of animals, more than 2/3 which are found exclusively here (endemic). Among them, to for example, cat lemur and fossa – an unusual Madagascar predator, resembling a mixture of cat and dog (according to the Red Book – “vulnerable view”). Among the 14,000 plants common on the island about 90% are also endemic. From the southwest side of Madagascar a huge coral reef is located – the 3rd largest on the planet.

Kalimantan (Borneo), (Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei)

Rating: 4.8


Area: 734,000 km2

The only island in the world belonging to 3 countries at once. On the the local dialect, its name translates as “diamond river”, which not surprising, because the area is rich in valuable resources and diamonds in their number. It was discovered back in 1521 by sailors from Magellanic expedition.

On all sides surrounded by several seas, Kalimantan considered the largest in Asia. First settlers appeared in Kalimantan over 40,000 years ago. Here today home to about 20 million people, representing 300 different ethnic groups. Most of them – Dayaks – Aborigines islands.

The highest point of Borneo is Mount Kinabalu (4095 meters). Island boasts huge cave systems, in one of which is hidden one of the longest underground rivers of the planet.

Kalimantan Forest is considered one of the oldest on the planet – he is over 140 million years old. It is an earthly paradise for its inhabitants animals, including endemic like Sumatran rhino, Kalimantan smoky leopard, etc. Here – a huge species a variety of birds (more than 1,500 species), reptiles, snakes (including the famous king cobra, reaching a length of 6 meters – the largest among the poisonous). About 15,000 grow on Borneo plant species, 3000 tree species.

New Guinea (Papua New Guinea, Indonesia)

Rating: 4.9

Papua New Guinea

Area: 785,000 km2

Pacific island – the second largest in the world, stands out among most other large island territories of its mountainous terrain (mountains and many volcanoes predominate) and the uniqueness of the ecosystem, more precisely, its multi-layered nature. Here there are savannas, tundra (glacial and alpine), mangrove thickets, tropics (forests and mountains), wetlands, lakes and the richest Coral reefs.

New Guinea is still full of places unknown to man: here Researchers of flora and fauna constantly come to study the rarest representatives of nature – more than 11,000 species of plants, 600 species of birds, 400 species of amphibians, etc.

The mountainous landscape of the island led to the long-term isolation of the inhabitants its peoples: as a result – the diversity of language groups. because of lack of large animals suitable for domestication the islanders failed to develop agriculture, however, as cattle breeding. This situation led to a slowdown Society: up to today, prevailed here primitive communal system.

Interesting fact. New Guinea is home to a unique the agricultural settlement of Cook (one of the oldest in the world), on over the past 10,000 years, developing agriculture completely isolated. It is a member of the World Heritage List. UNESCO.

Greenland (Denmark)

Rating: 5.0


Area: 2 130 800 km2

The pride of the Danes and the largest island on the planet – Greenland is also known throughout the world under the name “Green country. “Moreover, more than 80% of its territories are covered year-round Ice Shield – Ilulissat Fjord (second largest after Antarctica), and the climate is by no means the most favorable. Officially, There are 2 versions of the unusual name. According to the first, earlier the climate of the island was milder and the relief green. According to the second – it was a subtle marketing move of antiquity to attract migrants here.

Greenland – Danish autonomy of the same name. Washed by two the oceans. Greenland exceeds the rest of Denmark by 30 time. On a huge island territory lives a very modest the number of inhabitants is just over 57,000 people. Before coming here Europeans at the end of the 9th century occupied the territory for millennia Greenland Eskimos (Inuit). And they felt quite comfortable, quickly getting used to the harsh Arctic conditions of life.

The main activity of modern Greenlanders is fishing, actively developing deer and sheep breeding, as well (no matter how strange), oil production. A significant role in the economy of the region is played by tourism: annually the largest island of the planet is visited by more than 20,000 travelers.

Interesting fact. The island is moving towards leaps and bounds own independence. In 1985, Greenland had its own flag and coat of arms. In 2008, the islanders were recognized as a separate people, and the local language is fixed in the status of the state.

Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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