"For the superstate in George Orwell's novel, see Nations of Nineteen Eighty-Four."otheruses

Eurasia is a large landmass covering about 53,990,000 km² (or about 10.6%) of the Earth's surface. Often considered a single continent, Eurasia comprises the traditional continents of Europe and Asia, concepts which date back to classical antiquity and the borders for which are somewhat arbitrary. Eurasia, in turn, is part of the yet larger landmass of Afro-Eurasia, whereby Eurasia is joined to Africa at the Isthmus of Suez.

Eurasia has over 4.6 billion people, more than 69% of the world's human population.

History and culture

Jared Diamond, in his book "Guns, Germs and Steel", credits Eurasia's dominance in world history to the east-west extent of Eurasia and its climate zones, and the availability of Eurasian animals and plants suitable for domestication. He includes North Africa in his definition of Eurasia.

The Silk Road symbolizes trade and cultural exchange linking Eurasian cultures through history and has been an increasingly popular topic. Over recent decades the idea of a greater Eurasian history has developed with the aim of investigating the genetic, cultural and linguistic relationships between European and Asian cultures of antiquity. These had long been considered distinct.


Eurasia formed 325 to 375 million years ago. It formed when Siberia (once an independent continent), Kazakhstania, and Baltica (which was joined to Laurentia {now North America} to form Euramerica) joined. Chinese cratons collided with Siberia's southern coast.

Use of term

Anthropology and genetics

In modern usage, the term "Eurasian" usually means "of or relating to Eurasia", or "a native or inhabitant of Eurasia" [American Heritage Dictionary] . However, it may also refer to a person of both European and Asian parentage, especially in 'New World' countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia.Fact|date=September 2007

West or Western Eurasia is a loose geographic definition used in some disciplines, such as genetics or anthropology, to refer to the region inhabited by the relatively homogenous population of West Asia, Europe and related areas, specially North Africa. The peoples of this region are often described collectively as West or Western Eurasians, sometimes to avoid the use of the possibly ambiguous or controversial term Caucasoid, of which is anyhow loose synonym.Fact|date=July 2008


Located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres, Eurasia is considered a supercontinent, part of the supercontinent of Afro-Eurasia or simply a continent in its own right. In plate tectonics, the Eurasian Plate includes Europe and most of Asia but not the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian Peninsula or the area of the Russian Far East east of the Chersky Range.

Post-Soviet countries

"Eurasia" is also sometimes used in geopolitics as a neutral way to refer to organizations of or affairs concerning the post-Soviet states, in particular Russia, the Central Asian republics, and the Transcaucasian republics. A prominent example of this usage is in the name of Eurasian Economic Community, the organization including Kazakhstan, Russia, and some of their neighbors, and headquartered in Moscow and Astana.

The word "Eurasia" is often used in Kazakhstan as the name of the continent or region in which that country is located. Numerous institutions in that country use it in their name, e.g. L.N. Gumilev Eurasian National University ( _kz. Л. Н. Гумилёв атындағы Еуразия Ұлттық университеті; _ru. Евразийский Национальный университет имени Л. Н. Гумилёва) [ [ L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University] ] (Gumilev's Eurasianism ideas having been popularized in Kazakhstan by Olzhas Suleimenov), the Eurasian Media Forum, [ [ The Eurasian Media Forum] ] the Eurasian Culture Foundation ( _ru. Евразийский фонд культуры), the Eurasian Development Bank ( _ru. Евразийский банк развития) [ [ Eurasian Development Bank] ] , or the Eurasian Bank [ [ Eurasian Bank] ] . In 2007, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed that a "Eurasia Canal" be built to connect the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea via the Kuma-Manych Depression in Russia, providing Kazakhstan and other Caspian-basin countries with a more efficient access path to the ocean than the existing Volga-Don Canal. [ [ Canal will link Caspian Sea to world] (The Times, June 29, 2007)] This usage is somewhat analogous to the U.S. usage of the term "Western Hemisphere" when referring to the concepts and organizations dealing with the Americas (e.g., Council on Hemispheric Affairs or Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation).

History of the Europe/Asia division

In ancient times the Greeks who gave Europe its name believed Europe and Asia to be separate continents. Where to draw the dividing line between the two continents is still a matter of discussion. Especially whether the Kuma-Manych Depression or the Caucasus Mountains form the south-east boundary is disputed, since the Mount Elbrus would be part of Europe in the latter case, making it (and not the Mont Blanc) Europe's highest mountain. Most accepted is probably the boundary as defined by Philip Johan von Strahlenberg in the 18th century. He defined the dividing line along the Aegean Sea, Dardanelles, Sea of Marmara, Bosporus, Black Sea, Kuma-Manych Depression, Caspian Sea, Ural River, and Ural Mountains. This distinction between Europe and Asia has spread to the rest of the world, even though "Asia" contains multiple regions and cultures as large and populous as Europe, and as different and geographically separated from each other as they are from Europe.

Use in fiction

Eurasia is a fictional country, state or supranational entity appearing in several works of fantasy, literature and science fiction, including books, movies, television series and video games:

* A Eurasia comprising approximately the same land area as the real-life landmass appears in George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four". This superstate excludes Britain and Ireland (both controlled by Oceania) and Eastasia, the latter of which was formed after a 'decade of confused fighting' by an alliance of the states of the real-life East Asia region, the most important three being Korea, China and Japan. India was a contested border zone between "Eurasia" and "Oceania" and was the most famous state involved.

* Robert A. Heinlein's story Solution Unsatisfactory, written in 1940, describes a future 1945 (now to be considered an alternate history) in which the Soviet Union is transformed into the 'Eurasian Union'.

* In S. M. Stirling's dystopian Draka alternative history series, the analogue to World War II is known as "The Eurasian War". Somewhat similar in its geography to Orwell's scenario, the war ends with most of Eurasia—excluding the British Isles, India and southeast Asia—being conquered by the extremely oppressive Draka who literally enslave everybody else.

* In the universe of the "Earth" game series ("Earth 2140", "Earth 2150", "Earth 2160"), one of the major factions is the Eurasian Dynasty.

* Eurasia is a large and powerful terrestrial state and member of the Earth Alliance in the Cosmic Era series of the anime franchise "Mobile Suit Gundam SEED".

* Eurasia is also used as the name of the fictional space colony that X and Zero must stop from colliding with Earth in the video game "Mega Man X5".

* Eurasia is also the name of the super-state in the Japanese film "Casshern". Unlike most other fictional "Eurasias" this one has more Chinese/Japanese motives than Russian, although Russian seems to be the official written language.

* In the 1980 animated film Animalympics, some of the athletes come from "Eurasia". Although not specifically noted in the film, the names and accents of these athletes suggest that "Eurasia" signifies the Soviet Union at the time. The Soviet Union was, by far, the biggest country in the Eurasian super-continent at the time.

ee also

* Palearctic
* Laurasia, a geological supercontinent joining Eurasia and North America.
* Euramerica, a geological supercontinent joining Baltica (Western Europe) and North America.
* Eurasian Economic Community
* Neo-Eurasianism
* Eurasian
* Afro-Eurasia
* OSCE countries statistics

External links

* [ EurasiaNet]
* [ Eurasia Group]
* [ Eurasia Researchers Virtual Meeting]

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