Europe is a continent that lies fully in the Northern Hemisphere and primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere. It consists of the westernmost peninsulas of Eurasia’s continental landmass, shares the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Asia and Africa, and is bounded by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east.

The watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea, and the waterways of the Turkish Straits are commonly thought to separate Europe from Asia. Despite the fact that much of this border is over land, Europe is recognized as its own continent due to its vast physical size as well as the weight of its history and traditions.

Europe is the second smallest continent, covering around 10,180,000 km2 (3,930,000 sq mi), or 2% of the Earth’s surface (6.8% of land area) (using the seven-continent model). Politically, Europe is split into around fifty independent states, the largest of which is Russia.