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Also known as the New World, America, or The Americas, comprises the two continents of North America and South America with their associated islands. The Americas cover an area of around 42,550,000 km2, almost 29% of the earth’s land surface, and have a population of about 900 million, almost 14% of the world’s population. North America includes Canada, the United States, Mexico and the countries of Central America and the Caribbean Islands and stretches from the icy Arctic Circle to tropical Central America. South America includes Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela and stretches from tropical Venezuela to freezing Antarctica. Languages spoken in the Americas include English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and many others. 
The single word America is also often used to refer to the United States of America: a country that has often been described as a melting pot of cultures and that for centuries has attracted people in search of “the American Dream”.


With a land area of almost 44,600,000 km2, almost 30% of the earth’s land surface, Asia is the world’s largest and also most populous continent. During the 20th century, Asia’s population soared from around one billion to around four billion people, now some 60% of the world’s population. As there is no clear separation, Asia is logically defined as being a part of Eurasia, a landmass of about 53,000,000 km2, with the western part taken up by Europe. Asia is split into six regions as follows, giving the country with the largest population in each case: Central Asia including Kazakhstan, Eastern Asia including the People’s Republic of China, Northern Asia with Russia, South-eastern Asia including Indonesia, Southern Asia including India, Western Asia including Saudi Arabia. The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, (8850 metres) is located in Southern Asia in the Himalayas, a mountain range stretching through six countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.


With a land area of around 10,200,000 km2, about 7% of the earth’s land surface, Europe is the world’s second smallest continent after Australasia. It has a population of around 730 million and covers 50 countries, Russia being the largest, although a major part of that country is in Asia. The Vatican City is the smallest, with a population of around 800. Europe is separated from Asia by the Urals and the Ural River in the east; by the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus in the southeast; and by the Black Sea, the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles in the south. The Mediterranean Sea and Strait of Gibraltar separate it from Africa. Europe, especially Ancient Greece, is looked on as the birthplace of Western culture and Western civilization, and has played a principal role in world affairs since the 16th century, particularly following the advent of colonialism. European dominance of world affairs declined considerably after the two World Wars, with the USA and Russia taking prominence.


With a land area of around 30, 250,000 km2, about 20% of the earth’s land surface, Africa is the world’s second largest continent. It has a population of around one billion and covers 54 countries. It is connected with Asia by the Sinai Peninsula (split by the Suez Canal) and is bounded to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the east and south by the Indian Ocean. The largest island is Madagascar. Africa stretches from northern to southern temperate zones, encompassing a whole range of climatic areas and straddling the equator. Central eastern Africa is widely considered by paleoanthropologists as being the oldest inhabited region on Earth and thus the cradle of mankind. In the middle of the 20th century, anthropologists found evidence of human habitation possibly dating back 7 million years.


Oceania is a region consisting of numerous countries, most of them islands in the Pacific Ocean. It includes the Australian continent and New Zealand. The region is split into four sub-regions: Australasia, which includes New Zealand and Australia together with Australian dependencies and territories; Micronesia, which includes the Federated States of Micronesia; Melanesia, which includes Indonesia, and Polynesia which includes Hawaii (USA). The total area is over 9,000,000 km2, of which almost 7,700,000 km2 belongs to mainland Australia. The smallest in area is Wake Island (USA) with just 2 km2. The total population of Oceania is around 39 million: Australia around 22 million, New Zealand around 4 million and the Pitcairn Islands (UK) with only 50. 
The Pacific is the world’s largest ocean, covering an area of almost 170 million km2, around one third of the earth's surface. It extends from the Arctic to the Antarctic, between North and South America on the east and Asia and Australia on the west. The Pacific is almost 11,000 metres deep at its deepest point and is crossed by the international date line. Most of the approximately 20,000 islands in this vast expanse of water are concentrated in the south and west.


The photos on these pages are grouped by topic and the titles are self-explanatory. On the Sport page, for example, you will find pictures of people taking part in many sports including skiing, volley ball and sailing. The photos of Animals are wide-ranging, including wild and domesticated animals, as well as pictures taken in zoos. Don’t miss the dramatic underwater photos, mostly taken in Thailand and the Maldives- some of the best diving locations in the world. On the Background page you will find images of pattern and textures, very suitable for using as wall paper on your desktop. If you are looking for Railway pictures you will find both photos of locomotives and trains, but also detail of tracks and close-ups of mechanical parts. All of the pictures on these pages are free to download.

Miscellanous Pictures

On these pages you will find photographs that don’t fit comfortably into any of our other categories or Themes! They are endlessly interesting images of the world, but also quite random and very varied. The title of each selection refers to an informative article about some aspect of photography that you can read on that page, but the pictures found there are not linked to that topic.