Unit 5 Exercise 3

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The biggest, the longest, the deepest

How much do you know about ? Which is the biggest continent, the longest river, the deepest lake and the largest ocean? Read on ... the answer is not always clear.

The largest continent in the world is . It is 44.8 million square kilometres. Some people believe that the smallest continent is at 7.7 million square kilometres. However, many reference books and websites say that Australia is not a continent. It is part of the continent of . These sources say that Oceania, including Australia, is the smallest continent. It contains thousands of islands, but the total area is only 8 million square kilometres.

Some websites say that the longest river in the world is the , with a length of around 6,650 kilometres. These websites say that the Amazon is shorter, at 6,400. Other people measure the Amazon at 6,992 kilometres and the Nile at 6,853. However, all reference books and websites agree that the largest river is the . It sends 219,000 cubic metres of water into the Ocean every second. The Nile is much smaller, at 5,100 cubic metres per second. The Amazon is also the widest river in the world.

The largest lake in the world is not called a lake. It is the Caspian in Asia and Europe. It has an area of 371,000 square kilometres. The deepest lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia. It has an average depth of 630 metres, but its deepest point is 1,637 metres. Scientists say that Lake Baikal contains 20% of the world’s unfrozen fresh water.

The Ocean is the biggest ocean in the world. It covers almost a third of the Earth’s surface. It stretches from the Arctic in the north to Antarctica in the south. It is divided into the North Pacific and the South Pacific. Researchers say that the deepest part of the Pacific is south of Japan. It is the Mariana Trench with a depth of 10,924 metres. The smallest ocean is the Ocean. At 13,223,800 square kilometres, it is ten times smaller than the Pacific.