Previous: Is Poverty Necessary? Looking back at the Millennium Development Goals
Next: Pissed Off for a Better World



View count:564,999
Last sync:2024-07-09 17:00


Citation formatting is not guaranteed to be accurate.
MLA Full: "Continents are Dumb." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 24 September 2015,
MLA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2015)
APA Full: vlogbrothers. (2015, September 24). Continents are Dumb [Video]. YouTube.
APA Inline: (vlogbrothers, 2015)
Chicago Full: vlogbrothers, "Continents are Dumb.", September 24, 2015, YouTube, 03:56,
BONUS VIDEO! I just wanted to clear up a piece of confusion, and whine about something fairly unimportant before whining about something MUCH MORE IMPORTANT tomorrow.

CGP Grey on Continents:

The True Size of Places:

Cereal Time:

Global Goals:

Subscribe to our newsletter!
And join the community at
Help transcribe videos -
John's twitter -
John's tumblr -
Hank's twitter -
Hank's tumblr -
Hank: Good morning John. This is a special bonus video not in response to your last video but in response to my last video, because I said something that didn't make any sense. 

I said that the majority of Muslims live in Asia, not in the Middle East, and the reason why this doesn't make any sense is because the majority of the Middle East is in fact in Asia. Now my point plays out, if you subtract the population of the Middle East from the population of Asia, there're many more Muslims in Asia than there are in the Middle East. But the real problem with that statement is that Asia is most people, like most of everyone lives in Asia, more than half of the world's people.

And as I was thinking about this, what happened in my head is the entire concept of a continent broke down and went away. So we are taught, in America anyway, I don't know what everybody else is taught, that there are seven continents. There's North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and Antarctica, the one everybody forgets 'cause nobody lives there. To the people who are currently on Antarctica, I apologize for saying no one lives there but let's be honest.

What a continent is is supposed to be any, like, large contiguous area of land that is defined by ocean borders. This works fairly well for North and South America and Africa, it kind of breaks down everywhere else, in fact it kind of breaks down for North and South America which are indeed connected to each other, and for Africa which is connected to Asia. And I guess it makes sense for Australia, but is it just a really big island? Or is it a really tiny continent? I-unno. And then Antarctica, don't get me started, it's an archipelago under the ice and the biggest island in the archipelago is smaller than Australia.

And then you've got the elephant in the room: Europe and Asia, which are clearly by any geographical definition, the same continent. The only reason Europe is a separate continent is because I was taught by people who are culturally European and they wanted it to be. But if there's any part of the definition of a continent that is cultural, then there is no excuse for one continent containing Russia and Indonesia and Japan and China and the Middle East and India and Pakistan... What!?

Now this is exacerbated in my world by the commonality of the Mercator Projection map which makes lots of things that are very big look tiny. For example, last video, I was talking about how the majority or Muslims lived in Indonesia and that just seemed impossible to me because Indonesia, in my head, is very small. But then you drag it on up from the Mercator projection and if it was in the same place as Europe, it's... it's huge! It stretches all the way from North Ireland to fricking Kazakhstan! Indonesia has the same land area as the UK, Germany, France Spain, and Italy combined!

So what's my solution? Do I think that Europe and Asia should be one continent? Or that Europe and Asia and Africa should be one continent and North and South America should be one continent, and then maybe Australia and Anarcarpartita?

No, not really. I think that continents are a useful idea in grade school when you're introducing children to the idea that the rest of the world exists, but for adult humans, I think that it's time that we move past this massive oversimplification that leads to lifelong misunderstandings of reality and discard the entire concept of the continent.

John, you will see me tomorrow with my video about the Global Goals which I am very excited to share. Everybody go to if you haven't done that already, so you can study up a little bit before that video, 'cause you're gonna want to know. You're gonna want to know.

(Cereal Time Intro)

Charlie: Ta-da!

Charlie: Would you like to see my collection of pillows?

Chris: Give me the panini!

Jimmy: I am a long term friend and supporter of the gnomes.

Jimmy: I've never played on one of these. Can I have a play on this later?
Charlie: Yeah, sure thing.

Jimmy: What a fine looking horse she is.
Charlie: You know what, Jimmy? I don't know if I agree.
Jimmy: How dare you!

Charlie: I heard us surius surm azur...
Jimmy: Charlie's broken.

Charlie: Jesus Christ! That's science right there.

Jimmy: I think it's adorable in a way.
Charlie: Would you date it?
Jimmy: No.