Citing Webster’s definition for what constitutes an island I think doesn’t quite do justice to the question as to why Greenland is considered an island (in fact the term ‘Greenland’ is a bit outdated but not many people know what you’re talking about when you say Kalaallit Nunaat).

This because Websters itself defines continent as “one of the six or seven great divisions of land on the globe.” In other words, there isn’t even agreement on what exactly constitues a continent.

The name ‘Greenland’ is ‘out of date’ for another reason too. It is not one island but several, the permanent ice cap covers and links them. So it should be “Green Lands” and that explains why it is not a continent.

Greenland’s size is 840,000 square miles, according to my World Almanac. Australia, the smallest landmass that’s considered a continent, is 2,967,893 square miles–more than 3.5 times the size of Greenland. You gotta cut the definition of “continent” off SOMEWHERE, and this seems a reasonable place to do it.

On the other hand…who cares? Do Greenlanders have low self-esteem because their home is only an island? Does somebody think being a continent would get them more electoral votes?

Bermuda: "I’m sorry, but I only go out with CONTINENTS!

Greenland (wailing): “But I thought size didn’t matter!”

I wish to revoke this thread (created by myself) on the grounds that I’m too stupid to know how to use this forum. I was reading an archive article asking why Greenland wasn’t a continent. I wanted to say something about it so I clicked on the link at the bottom of the page that said “Comment on this answer” but that brought me to this forum (which as I have demonstrated, I am too dumb to use). Since I didn’t know what I was doing and since I saw no way to attach my ‘contribution’ to said article, I began a new thread. I must have thought that people would know what the hell I was blabbering about. Please let this one die. It was a mistake.


Too late now, gadge, we have taken over. There might have been a thread going already on this but with search feature acting so weird, it could be impossible to find. The only thing missing is a link to the original archive. Since i can’t find anything on continents I can’t add one, if I tried i would probably screw it up anyway. I think rich addressed your comment directly, there has to be a cut off somewhere between BIG and not so big.

Let me try that again:

[Note: This message has been edited by CKDextHavn]

PapaB, I’ve fixed up your links to avoid confusion; hope that’s OK with you (I’m doing this from work, so I can’t send an email.) Seemed to me like one of those little goofs that is reasonable for me to edit to correct. OK?

Thanks, Dex.