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Top 10 Biggest Islands in the World

What exactly is an island? Have you ever considered the number of islands in the world? A land that is surrounded by water is referred to be an island. There are many huge and tiny islands in the world. The majority of the world’s islands are countries. Some islands are characterized by their biodiversity-their flora and fauna are exceptional and can not be found anywhere else in the world. Other islands are unique in their location. Others are known for their stories or the customs and traditions of the local people.

These are the ten largest islands in the world, excluding Australia. (Australia is omitted from this list since it is classified as a continent, not an island.)

1.      Greenland

Greenland Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

Greenland, at 836,330 square miles, is the world’s largest island, located in the North Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Greenland is Nuuk. The island of Greenland is roughly three times the size of Texas. It stretches for 2670 kilometres north to south and 650 kilometres east to west. Most parts of Greenland lie in the Arctic circle.

In Greenland, the climate is the Arctic, where the weather changes from sunshine to cold. During the winter season, the average temperature is-7 degrees Celsius in the South and-34 degrees in the NorthNorth. In summer, Greenland has about two months of the midnight sun. The plant life of Greenland is sedge, lichen and cotton grass. The animals found on this island are musk oxen, polar bears, snow hares, and lemmings.

Did You Know?

  • Greenland has one of the world’s greatest renewable energy percentages, and most of it comes from hydropower.
  • Northeast Greenland National Park is the world’s largest and most northern national park (Kalaallit Nunaanni nuna eqqissisimatitaq).

2.      New Guinea

New Guinea Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

This lies in the eastern Malay west of the Pacific Ocean and north of Australia, with approximately 317,150 square miles, making it the second-largest island in the world. The western part, known as Indonesian Papua, and the eastern part, which is the main part, is known as Papua New Guinea.

In New Guinea, the Papuans are the predominant speakers. Austronesia is the north and west smallest group. Among the others are Chinese, European and Polynesians.

English is the official language of the Republic of New Guinea. New Guinea is a chain of continuous mountains, whose summits range from 4,000 to over 7,000 feet high, stretching from northwest to southeast. Temperatures range from 30-32 degrees Celsius on an annual basis.

The plantlife of New Guinea is figs, species of false beech and orchids. Along the coastline, you will find mangrove swamps. The wildlife found in this place are marsupials and phalangers. The main mineral resources on this island are copper and gold.

Did You Know?

  • New Guinea boasts a stunning biodiversity, with 5 to 10 percent of the world’s species residing within its borders. This figure is similar to the figures seen in the United States or Australia.

3.      Borneo

Borneo Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

This island lies southwest of the Pacific Ocean. It is approximately 288,869 square miles, making it the third-largest island in the world. It is in the southwest of the Malay Peninsula. In the northwest, it borders the South China Sea. In the northeast, it borders the Sulu sea. In the east, it borders the Celebes sea. In the east lies the Java sea.

This island is mountainous, although some parts are lowlands that are swampy. Most of its parts are drained by rivers. In the west lies the Kapuas, in the east is Mahakam. This island is mostly inhabited by Asians. They include Islamic Malay, Chinese and non-Islamic Dayaks, and the minority includes Europeans. The island is highly populated in the eastern, western and northern coastal areas.

The climate on Borneo Island is hot and humid, making it equatorial. The rainfall is about 3,800 mm on average. Mammals on this island include leopards and monkeys. Other animals that are seen are elephants, gibbons, rhinoceros, birds’ insects and fish. The island is covered by rainforest. There are many oaks, hardwoods and conifers. This forest on the island is mostly known for its largest flower, known as the Monster flower.

Gold, antimony, mercury, iron and diamonds are the mineral resources available on this island on a small-scale. The available staple foods are rice, cassava, corn, pumpkin and cucumber. The Chinese on this island have grown pepper on a large scale and rubber on a small scale.

Did You Know?

  • It is the only island in the world that is governed by three countries at the same time.
  • The Borneo rainforest is one of the world’s oldest rainforests, dating back roughly 140 million years.

4.      Madagascar

Madagascar Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

This is the fourth largest island in the world on the south-eastern coast of Africa. It covers roughly 226,756 square miles. It is situated between 800 and 1400 metres above sea level around 400km from the African continent of Mozambique. There are about 26,251,000 inhabitants. The capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo. The animal life and plant life in Madagascar are anomalous to that in Africa, making it unique.

Madagascar is composed of gneiss, granite and quartz. The red marram, laterite and fertile red compose the granite, giving it the name Greta Red Island, and making it supportive for cultivation.

Did You Know?

  • Madagascar is the world’s 47th-largest country, the second-largest island, and the fourth-largest island on Earth.
  • Madagascar is the world’s fourth-largest island, as well as the world’s 47th largest country and second-largest island country.

5.      Baffin Island

Baffin Island Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

Baffin Island is approximately 195,928 square miles in size and is located north and east of Nunavut, Canada. The name is derived from an English adventurer named William Buffing. The majority of residents are employed in fishing, mining, and trapping. The Nunatsiarmiut are the indigenous people of this island (Inuit).

The island’s wild species include the arctic fox, hare, wolf, and polar bear. Baffin Island’s climate is extremely cold, with temperatures averaging around -50 degrees Celsius.

Did You Know?

  • Baffin Island is situated in the north, therefore it receives midnight sun and arctic nights. The island experiences over 23 hours of sunshine during the months of late June and early July, and it gets only a few hours of daylight during the shortest days of December. In addition to Baffin Island, the Northern Lights phenomenon is also likely to occur between October and April.

6.      Sumatra

Sumatra Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

This is an island in Indonesia separated from the Malay Peninsula by the Strait of Malacca in the northeast and by the Sundae Strait from Java in the south. It is approximately 171,069 square miles, making it the sixth largest island in the world. After being occupied by Japan in 1942, the island was included in the Republic of Indonesia in 1950. Sumatra is a nation where Austronesian is spoken. The provinces are separated into several: North Sumatra, West Sumatra, Jambi, South Sumatra, Bengkulu, Lampung and Aceh.

The climate in Sumatra is hot. Monster flowers, bamboo, orchids, palms, oak, chestnuts, ironwood, and myrtles are the most seen vegetation in Sumatra. Animal life on this island includes apes, tigers, and Gibbons. Two-horned rhinoceros, tapirs, wild boars, and tree shrews. Rubber, palm oil, betel nuts, tobacco, tea, coffee, peanuts, pepper, kapok and ramie fibre are agricultural products produced on this island.

Did You Know?

  • Lake Toba is a supervolcanic location that has hosted a colossal eruption of VEI 8 intensity around 69,000 to 77,000 years ago, resulting in a massive climate shift.
  • Sumatra has a diverse range of vegetation types and species, including 17 unique species. Rafflesia arnoldii (the world’s largest individual flower) and titan arum (the world’s largest unbranched inflorescence) are two rainforest plants that are unique to Sumatra.

7.      Honshu

Honshu Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

This is an island in Japan and is regarded as the mainland lying in the east of the Pacific and west of the sea of Japan. It is approximately 87,992 square miles. The highest mountains in Japan, Mount Fuji and Lake Biwa, are located on this island. Due to its large size, it houses most of the visitors. It is divided into the following regions: Tohoku, Kanto, Chubu, Kansai, and Chugoku.

Did You Know?

  • Honshu is the primary source of Japan’s tea and silk. The following crops are cultivated in Honshu: fruits, vegetables, cereals, rice, and cotton.
  • Honshu is the second most populous island in the world, after the Indonesian island of Java.

8.      Victoria island

Victoria Island Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

The Canadian Arctic Archipelago’s second largest island, Victoria, is around 320 miles long and 370 miles broad. It covers an area of roughly 83,896 square miles. In the late 19th century, the island was named in honour of Queen Victoria, who reigned over Canada from 1867 to 1901.

Did You Know?

  • In 1838, Thomas Simpson discovered Victoria Island. In 1851, explorer John Rae explored the island, which was named after Queen Victoria.

9.      Great Britain

Great Britain Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

It is Europe’s largest island, the ninth-largest island in the world, and the largest of the British Isles, with a size of 80,823 square miles. The islands include those of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. The British capital, London, is the largest city in the country. Great Britain has a wide variety of mineral resources, including limestone, petroleum, coal, iron ore, lead, natural gas, tin, gold, slate, silica, potash, chalk, gypsum, and clay.

Did You Know?

  • For the past 30,000 years, modern people have lived in Great Britain.
  • The island was the third-most-populous in the world in 2021, following Java in Indonesia and Honshu in Japan, with a population of 66 million people.

10. Ellesmere Island

Ellesmere Island Map. photo source: wikimedia.org

This is the largest island in the Queen Elizabeth islands. It is located on the northwest coast of Greenland. It is approximately 75,767 square miles. People believe that Vikings visited the island in the 10th Century. It consists of the most mountainous Arctic Archipelago due to the mountain systems that cover it.

Did You Know?

  • Over one-fifth of the island is a protected national park, Quttinirpaaq, which features seven fjords and numerous glaciers, as well as Lake Hazen, the biggest lake north of the Arctic Circle in North America.
  • The only tree species of Ellesmere Island is the Arctic willow.

Sources:Britannica, Wikipedia

Written by James

A BSc in Computer Science graduate with a strong interest in encyclopedia facts. I'm a passionate content writer with 10+ years' experience and enjoy creating useful content that can help others.

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