Geography of Asia

Geography of Asia



The cradle of civilization ” is said to be in Asia. Around 1.8 million years ago, the Homo Erectus lived in Asia, as evidenced by finds from China and India. The Homo Erectus is said to have come from Africa to Asia and was later replaced by the Homo Sapiens, who also came from Africa. Asia was therefore populated early on with a predecessor of the human species.

Around 100,000 BC, anatomically modern people in East Africa became too narrow and they migrated eastwards.

They reached Australia until 60,000 BC, after which the settlement continued north. Traces show that the Homo Sapiens reached the interior of Southeast Asia around 40,000 BC.

He arrived in China around 30,000 BC and man settled in Northeast Asia around 26,000 BC.

From around 8000 BC, man began to practice agriculture. It is believed that this is due to the decline in large game. Sheep and goats were domesticated. Ceramics became more and more important. The first advanced cultures are formed. Cities are built and trade is stimulated through the use of bicycles and coastal shipping. Science and technologies are constantly evolving. Iron is becoming an important raw material. Great empires emerge, the Roman Empire had taken over the entire Mediterranean, and the Persian Empire, the Maurya Empire, and the Han Dynasty in China should be mentioned here. Siddhartha and Zarathustra brought new theological views to the empires and thus became founders of religion to strengthen the empires.

The nomadic peoples in Central Asia, the Turkic peoples in East and Central Asia and the Mongols were on the rise until the 15th century. Then the three Islamic empires of the Ottomans, the Safavids and the Great Mughals emerged. The great empires of Asia from this period are named with the Ming Dynasty in China. In the 18th and 19th centuries, many areas that were only European bases for the control of trade were placed under European colonial rule. Various wars and revolutions make Asia what it is today.


From a geographic perspective, Asia is not only the largest of the seven continents, it is also one of the most diverse areas in the world.

Desert & steppe

Countless deserts and steppes can be found across the entire continent.

The Gobi Desert in China and Mongolia is the largest desert in Asia and the sixth largest desert in the world with an area of ​​approximately 1.3 million km².
The second largest desert in Asia is Rub al Khali in the south of Saudi Arabia. With its total size of around 780,000 km², it is also the largest sandy desert in the world.

The Taklamakan desert in China ranks third of the largest deserts on the Asian continent. It is located in northwestern China and is relatively small compared to the Gobi and Rub al-Chali deserts with approximately 300,000 km². Nevertheless, it is considered the second largest sandy desert in the world after Rub al-Chali.

Other well-known deserts of considerable size include, for example, Karakum in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Lut in Iran, Nefud and Dahna in the region of Saudi Arabia, and Thar in India and Negev in Israel.


But there are not only dry areas with deserts and steppes in Asia. There are several large lakes on the diverse continent.

Despite its name, the Caspian Sea is a lake in western Asia as defined by It is not only the largest lake in Asia, but with an area of ​​almost 390,000 km² it is the largest natural lake in the world.

Lake Baikal in Russia is also one of the largest lakes in Asia with a size of more than 30,000 km². It is also one of the deepest and oldest freshwater lakes in the world.

Other large lakes in Asia are the Balschachsee in Kazakhstan and the Ladogasee as well as the Taimyrsee, which are located in Russia. The largest rivers in the respective Asian country include Lake Biwa in Japan, Lake Van in Turkey and Lake Qinghai in China. The Aral Sea, which is located in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, has a special position. In 1960 the lake was still one of the largest lakes in Asia with an area of ​​approximately 68,000 km². In the meantime, it has shrunk to around 14,000 km².


In addition to the lake, many rivers run through the Asian continent.

The longest river in Asia and the third longest in the world is the Yangtze River, which rises in the highlands of Tibet and flows into the East China Sea north of Shanghai at 6380 km.
It is followed by the Huang He in China, also known as the Yellow River, with a length of 4,800 km, and the Mekong (4,350 km), which flows through almost all Southeast Asian countries and flows into the South China Sea.

Other long rivers in Asia are the Lena (4400 km), the Ob (3650 km), the rivers Euphrates (2736 km) and Tigris (1900 km) in the Near East and the Indus, with 3180 km the longest river on the Indian subcontinent, and the Ganges (2600 km).


Most rivers originate in a mountain range and there are not a few of them in Asia.

The most striking mountain of Asia is the Himalayas, which is over 3000 kilometers long and stretches around 350 km wide. This mountain is located next to Mount Everest, which is 8848 m the tallest mountain in the world, further nine mountains, which count to the 14 “Eight thousand” 8611 m), the Kangchendzanga (8586 m) or the Shishapangma, which is 8027 meters with the smallest eight thousand in Asia.

Other mountain ranges include the Altai and Changai Mountains north of the Gobi Desert, the Pamir and the Hindu Kush in Central Asia, the Ural Mountains, which form the natural border between Asia and Europe, and the Caucasus, the Taurus Mountains, which extend from Turkey to Syria, as well as the Zagros Mountains in Iran. One of the most famous mountains in the world and yet comparatively small at around 3776 meters is Mount Fuji in Japan, which lies in the Japanese Alps.

Continental plates

Many mountains have arisen over a period of millions of years due to the shifting of the earth plates.

The movement of the Indian plate is particularly interesting for Asia. It is relatively small compared to the Eurasian plate north of it. Nevertheless, it causes some eddies in South and Southeast Asia.

According to scientists, the Indian plate bores into the Eurasian plate by about five to six centimeters a year, causing numerous earthquakes in China, among other places. The situation is similar for Japan. The island nation lies at the intersection of the Eurasian, the Philippine and the Pacific plates. The plate movements also regularly cause earthquakes there.

Geography of Asia