Tuesday, June 30, 2015

World's Largest Islands

A fact I've often heard is that Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island. I was thinking about it today and realized I didn't know what the rest of the world's largest islands were. Greenland is first, I suppose, but what comes after that? Scan the world map in your mind.

It turns out that Indonesia and Canada are the countries to look at. New Guinea and Borneo are second and third in size and Sumatra is sixth. Canada has Baffin Island, Victoria Island, and Ellesmere Island at five, eight, and ten.

The last two islands in the top ten are Honshu and Great Britain at seven and nine. Honshu is the largest island of Japan and its name apparently means 'main island' in Japanese. The 'great' in 'Great Britain' is in comparison to Brittany (Lesser Britain), a region in northwest France. During the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain, many of the native Celtic people were pushed into Wales, Cornwall, and across the channel to France. These refugees to France were called Bretons and their new home became known as Brittany.

Java has the highest population of any island at 143 million. It's the fifth largest island of Indonesia and thirteenth in the world.

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