Land, sometimes referred to as dry land, is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently covered by water.[1] The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture, habitat, and various natural resources. Some life forms (including terrestrial plants and terrestrial animals) have developed from predecessor species that lived in bodies of water.

Areas where land meets large bodies of water are called coastal zones. The division between land and water is a fundamental concept to humans. The demarcation between land and water can vary by local jurisdiction and other factors. A maritime boundary is one example of a political demarcation. A variety of natural boundaries exist to help clearly define where water meets land. Solid rock landforms are easier to demarcate than marshy or swampy boundaries, where there is no clear point at which the land ends and a body of water has begun. Demarcation can further vary due to tides and weather.

AYool topography 15min
Map showing Earth's land areas, in shades of green and yellow.
Coastline as seen from Chimney Rock, Point Reyes National Seashore
Land between bodies of water at Point Reyes National Seashore, California.

Etymology and terminology

The word 'land' is derived from Middle English land, lond and Old English land, lond (“earth, land, soil, ground; defined piece of land, territory, realm, province, district; landed property; country (not town); ridge in a ploughed field”), from Proto-Germanic *landą (“land”), and from Proto-Indo-European *lendʰ- (“land, heath”). Cognate with Scots land (“land”), West Frisian lân (“land”), Dutch land (“land”), German Land (“land, country, state”), Swedish land (“land, country, shore, territory”), Icelandic land (“land”). Non-Germanic cognates include Old Irish lann (“heath”), Welsh llan (“enclosure”), Breton lann (“heath”), Old Church Slavonic lędо from Proto-Slavic *lenda (“heath, wasteland”) and Albanian lëndinë (“heath, grassland”) from lëndë (“matter, substance”).

A continuous area of land surrounded by ocean is called a "landmass". Although it may be most often written as one word to distinguish it from the usage "land mass"—the measure of land area—it is also used as two words. Landmasses include supercontinents, continents, and islands. There are four major continuous landmasses on Earth: Afro-Eurasia, the Americas, Antarctica and Australia. Land, capable of being ploughed and used to grow crops, is called arable land.[2] A country or region may be referred to as the motherland, fatherland, or homeland of its people. Many countries and other places have names incorporating -land (e.g. New Zealand).

History of land on Earth

Earth formation
Artist's conception of Hadean Eon Earth.
Pangea animation 03
An animation showing the movement of the continents from the separation of Pangaea until the present day.

The earliest material found in the Solar System is dated to 4.5672±0.0006 bya (billion years ago);[3] therefore, the Earth itself must have been formed by accretion around this time. By 4.54±0.04 bya,[4] the primordial Earth had formed. The formation and evolution of the Solar System bodies occurred in tandem with the Sun. In theory, a solar nebula partitions a volume out of a molecular cloud by gravitational collapse, which begins to spin and flatten into a circumstellar disc, which the planets then grow out of in tandem with the star. A nebula contains gas, ice grains and dust (including primordial nuclides). In nebular theory, planetesimals commence forming as particulate matter accrues by cohesive clumping and then by gravity. The assembly of the primordial Earth proceeded for 10–20 myr.[5]

Earth's atmosphere and oceans were formed by volcanic activity and outgassing that included water vapor. The origin of the world's oceans was condensation augmented by water and ice delivered by asteroids, proto-planets, and comets.[6] In this model, atmospheric "greenhouse gases" kept the oceans from freezing while the newly forming Sun was only at 70% luminosity.[7] By 3.5 bya, the Earth's magnetic field was established, which helped prevent the atmosphere from being stripped away by the solar wind.[8] The atmosphere and oceans of the Earth continuously shape the land by eroding and transporting solids on the surface.[9]

The crust, which currently forms the Earth's land, was created when the molten outer layer of the planet Earth cooled to form a solid mass as the accumulated water vapor began to act in the atmosphere. Once land became capable of supporting life, biodiversity evolved over hundreds of million years, expanding continually except when punctuated by mass extinctions.[10]

The two models[11] that explain land mass propose either a steady growth to the present-day forms[12] or, more likely, a rapid growth[13] early in Earth history[14] followed by a long-term steady continental area.[15][16][17] Continents formed by plate tectonics, a process ultimately driven by the continuous loss of heat from the Earth's interior. On time scales lasting hundreds of millions of years, the supercontinents have formed and broken apart three times. Roughly 750 mya (million years ago), one of the earliest known supercontinents, Rodinia, began to break apart. The continents later recombined to form Pannotia, 600–540 mya, then finally Pangaea, which also broke apart 180 mya.[18]


"Land area" (also known as "land mass") refers to the total surface area of the land of a geographical region or country (which may include discontinuous pieces of land such as islands). Earth's total planimetric (flat) land area is approximately 148,939,063.133 km2 (57,505,693.767 sq mi) which is about 29.2% of its total surface. However, when terrain and topsoil relief are factored in, the actual topographic surface area - that exposed to the Sun, air and rain - is approximately quadrupled [19]. Water covers approximately 70.8% of planimetric Earth's surface, mainly in the form of oceans and ice formations; but this proportion is decreased by the land's increased terrain.[20]


"Land cover" is the physical material at the surface of the earth.

Land Cover in millions of hectares[21][22] (million ha = 10,000 km2)
FAO code type[23] 1992 2001 2015 share in 2015 change from 1992 note
[6970] Artificial surfaces (including urban and associated areas) 26.04 34.33 55.40 0.37% 29.35
[6971] Herbaceous crops 1,716.22 1,749.58 1,712.15 11.50% -4.06 Arable land
[6972] Woody crops 162.86 181.32 199.90 1.34% 37.04 Arable land
[6973] Multiple or layered crops Arable land
[6974] Tree-covered areas 4,434.92 4,393.70 4,335.00 29.11% -99.93 large decrease
[6975] Mangroves 18.06 18.39 18.74 0.13% 0.67
[6976] Shrub-covered areas 1,685.00 1,669.65 1,627.34 10.93% -57.66 large decrease
[6977] Shrubs and/or herbaceous vegetation, aquatic or regularly flooded 202.61 194.77 185.39 1.24% -17.23
[6978] Sparsely natural vegetated areas 891.78 878.69 868.07 5.83% -23.71
[6979] Terrestrial barren land 2,001.25 2,000.87 1,884.00 12.65% -117.25 large decrease
[6980] Permanent snow and glaciers 78.59 84.32 84.29 0.57% 5.70
[6981] Inland water bodies 432.60 435.00 444.57 2.98% 11.97
[6982] Coastal water bodies and intertidal areas
[6983] Grassland 1,793.65 1,806.50 1,801.14 12.09% 7.50
Total Land Mass 14,893.91* 100%
  • Terrain and topsoil relief increase total land cover to approximately 64,000 million hectares (64 Gha) but proportions remain about the same [24]

Cultural perspectives

Creation myths in many religions recall a story involving the creation of the world by a supernatural deity or deities, including accounts wherein the land is separated from the oceans and the air. The Earth itself has often been personified as a deity, in particular a goddess. In many cultures, the mother goddess is also portrayed as a fertility deity. To the Aztecs, Earth was called Tonantzin—"our mother"; to the Incas, Earth was called Pachamama—"mother earth". The Chinese Earth goddess Hou Tu[25] is similar to Gaia, the Greek goddess personifying the Earth. Bhuma Devi is the goddess of Earth in Hinduism, influenced by Graha. In Norse mythology, the Earth giantess Jörð was the mother of Thor and the daughter of Annar. Ancient Egyptian mythology is different from that of other cultures because Earth (Geb) is male and sky (Nut) is female.

In the past, there were varying levels of belief in a flat Earth. The Jewish conception of a flat earth is found in both biblical and post-biblical times.[note 1][note 2]

Imago Mundi Babylonian map, the oldest known world map, 6th century BC Babylonia.

In early Egyptian[26] and Mesopotamian thought, the world was portrayed as a flat disk floating in the ocean. The Egyptian universe was pictured as a rectangular box with a north-south orientation and with a slightly concave surface, with Egypt in the center. A similar model is found in the Homeric account of the 8th century BC in which "Okeanos, the personified body of water surrounding the circular surface of the Earth, is the begetter of all life and possibly of all gods."[27] The biblical earth is a flat disc floating on water.[28]

The Pyramid Texts and Coffin Texts reveal that the ancient Egyptians believed Nun (the ocean) was a circular body surrounding nbwt (a term meaning "dry lands" or "islands"), and therefore believed in a similar Ancient Near Eastern circular Earth cosmography surrounded by water.[29][30][31]

The spherical form of the Earth was suggested by early Greek philosophers, a belief espoused by Pythagoras. Contrary to popular belief, most people in the Middle Ages did not believe the Earth was flat: this misconception is often called the "Myth of the Flat Earth". As evidenced by thinkers such as Thomas Aquinas, the European belief in a spherical Earth was widespread by this point in time.[32] Prior to circumnavigation of the planet and the introduction of space flight, belief in a spherical Earth was based on observations of the secondary effects of the Earth's shape and parallels drawn with the shape of other planets.[33]

Extraterrestrial land

Most planets known to humans are either gaseous Jovian planets or solid terrestrial planets. Terrestrial planets include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. These inner planets have a rocky surface with metal interiors.[34] The Jovian planets consist of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. While these planets are larger, their only land surface is a small rocky core surrounded by a large, thick atmosphere.[35] The gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn, are thought to have surface layers composed of liquid hydrogen rather than solid land; however, their planetary geology is not well understood. The possibility of Uranus and Neptune (the ice giants) possessing hot, highly compressed, supercritical water under their thick atmospheres has been hypothesised. While their composition is still not fully understood, a 2006 study by Wiktorowicz et al. ruled out the possibility of such a water "ocean" existing on Neptune,[36] though some studies have suggested that exotic oceans of liquid diamond are possible.[37] The entire surface of a rocky planet or moon is considered land, even with a lack of seas or oceans for contrast. Planetary bodies that have a thin atmosphere often have land that is marked by impact craters since atmospheric conditions would normally break-down incoming objects and erode rough impact sites.[38] Land on planetary bodies other than Earth can also be bought and sold although ownership of extraterrestrial real estate is not recognized by any authority.[39]

Land and climate

The land of the Earth interacts with and influences climate heavily since the surface of the land heats up and cools down faster than air or water.[40] Latitude, elevation, topography, reflectivity, and land use all have varying effects. The latitude of the land will influence how much solar radiation reaches the surface. High latitudes receive less solar radiation than low latitudes.[40] The height of the land is important in creating and transforming airflow and precipitation on Earth. Large landforms, such as mountain ranges, divert wind energy and make the air parcel less dense and able to hold less heat.[40] As air rises, this cooling effect causes condensation and precipitation.

Reflectivity of the earth is called planetary albedo and the type of land cover that receives energy from the sun affects the amount of energy that is reflected or transferred to Earth.[41] Vegetation has a relatively low albedo meaning that vegetated surfaces are good absorbers of the sun’s energy. Forests have an albedo of 10–15% while grasslands have an albedo of 15–20%. In comparison, sandy deserts have an albedo of 25–40%.[41]

Land use by humans also plays a role in the regional and global climate. Densely populated cities are warmer and create urban heat islands that have effects on the precipitation, cloud cover, and temperature of the region.[40]


  1. ^ The picture of the universe in Talmudic texts has the Earth in the center of creation with heaven as a hemisphere spread over it. Biblical writings, such as the Genesis creation story and the various Psalms that extol the firmament, the stars, the sun, and the earth, give similar explanations. The Hebrews saw the earth as an almost flat surface consisting of a solid and a liquid part and the sky as the realm of light in which heavenly bodies move. The earth rested on cornerstones and could not be moved except by Jehovah (as in an earthquake). According to the Hebrews, the sun and the moon were only a short distance from one another. "Cosmology." Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online, 2012. Author: Giorgio Abetti, Astrophysical Observatory of Arcetri-Firenze.
  2. ^ The Earth is usually described as a disk encircled by water. Cosmological and metaphysical speculations were not to be cultivated in public nor were they to be committed to writing. Rather, they were considered to be "secrets of the Torah not to be passed on to all and sundry" (Ketubot 112a). While study of God's creation was not prohibited, speculations about "what is above, what is beneath, what is before, and what is after" (Mishnah Hagigah: 2) were restricted to the intellectual elite. (Topic Overview: Judaism, Encyclopedia of Science and Religion, Ed. J. Wentzel Vrede van Huyssteen. Vol. 2. New York: Macmillan Reference, 2003. pp. 477–483. Hava Tirosh-Samuelson).


  1. ^ Michael Allaby, Chris Park, A Dictionary of Environment and Conservation (2013), p. 239, ISBN 0-19-964166-8.
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 3rd ed. "arable, adj. and n." Oxford University Press (Oxford), 2013.
  3. ^ Bowring, S.; Housh, T. (1995). "The Earth's early evolution". Science. 269 (5230): 1535–1540. Bibcode:1995Sci...269.1535B. doi:10.1126/science.7667634. PMID 7667634.
  4. ^ See:
  5. ^ Yin, Qingzhu; Jacobsen, S. B.; Yamashita, K.; Blichert-Toft, J.; Télouk, P.; Albarède, F. (2002). "A short timescale for terrestrial planet formation from Hf-W chronometry of meteorites". Nature. 418 (6901): 949–952. Bibcode:2002Natur.418..949Y. doi:10.1038/nature00995. PMID 12198540.
  6. ^ Morbidelli, A.; et al. (2000). "Source regions and time scales for the delivery of water to Earth". Meteoritics & Planetary Science. 35 (6): 1309–1320. Bibcode:2000M&PS...35.1309M. doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2000.tb01518.x.
  7. ^ Guinan, E.F.; Ribas, I. "Our Changing Sun: The Role of Solar Nuclear Evolution and Magnetic Activity on Earth's Atmosphere and Climate". In Benjamin Montesinos, Alvaro Gimenez and Edward F. Guinan (ed.). ASP Conference Proceedings: The Evolving Sun and its Influence on Planetary Environments. San Francisco: Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Bibcode:2002ASPC..269...85G. ISBN 1-58381-109-5.
  8. ^ Staff (March 4, 2010). "Oldest measurement of Earth's magnetic field reveals battle between Sun and Earth for our atmosphere". Archived from the original on April 27, 2011. Retrieved 2010-03-27.
  9. ^ NOAA. Ocean Literacy Archived 2014-11-27 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Sahney, S., Benton, M.J. and Ferry, P.A. (2010). "Links between global taxonomic diversity, ecological diversity and the expansion of vertebrates on land" (PDF). Biology Letters. 6 (4): 544–547. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.1024. PMC 2936204. PMID 20106856. Archived from the original on 2015-11-06.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. ^ Rogers, John James William; Santosh, M. (2004). Continents and Supercontinents. Oxford University Press US. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-19-516589-0.
  12. ^ Hurley, P.M.; Rand, J.R. (Jun 1969). "Pre-drift continental nuclei". Science. 164 (3885): 1229–1242. Bibcode:1969Sci...164.1229H. doi:10.1126/science.164.3885.1229. PMID 17772560.
  13. ^ De Smet, J.; Van Den Berg, A.P.; Vlaar, N.J. (2000). "Early formation and long-term stability of continents resulting from decompression melting in a convecting mantle". Tectonophysics. 322 (1–2): 19. Bibcode:2000Tectp.322...19D. doi:10.1016/S0040-1951(00)00055-X. hdl:1874/1653.
  14. ^ Armstrong, R.L. (1968). "A model for the evolution of strontium and lead isotopes in a dynamic earth". Reviews of Geophysics. 6 (2): 175–199. Bibcode:1968RvGSP...6..175A. doi:10.1029/RG006i002p00175.
  15. ^ Kleine, Thorsten; Palme, Herbert; Mezger, Klaus; Halliday, Alex N. (2005-11-24). "Hf-W Chronometry of Lunar Metals and the Age and Early Differentiation of the Moon". Science. 310 (5754): 1671–1674. Bibcode:2005Sci...310.1671K. doi:10.1126/science.1118842. PMID 16308422.
  16. ^ Hong, D.; Zhang, Jisheng; Wang, Tao; Wang, Shiguang; Xie, Xilin (2004). "Continental crustal growth and the supercontinental cycle: evidence from the Central Asian Orogenic Belt". Journal of Asian Earth Sciences. 23 (5): 799. Bibcode:2004JAESc..23..799H. doi:10.1016/S1367-9120(03)00134-2.
  17. ^ Armstrong, R.L. (1991). "The persistent myth of crustal growth". Australian Journal of Earth Sciences. 38 (5): 613–630. Bibcode:1991AuJES..38..613A. CiteSeerX doi:10.1080/08120099108727995.
  18. ^ Murphy, J.B.; Nance, R.D. (1965). "How do supercontinents assemble?". American Scientist. 92 (4): 324–333. doi:10.1511/2004.4.324. Archived from the original on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2007-03-05.
  19. ^ "Non-Flat Earth Recalibrated for Terrain and Topsoil". MDPI Soil Systems.
  20. ^ "Aqua Facts". Hawai'i Pacific University Oceanic Institute.
  21. ^ FAO Agri-Environmental Indicators / Land cover
  22. ^ values are from CCI_LC(Climate Change Initiative Land Cover) by European Space Agency
  23. ^ FAO Dataset Information: Land Cover Title Abstract Supplemental see Table 1. SEEA CF/AFF land cover classes and corresponding LCC classifiers, page 2,3,4
  24. ^ "Non-Flat Earth Recalibrated for Terrain and Topsoil". MDPI Soil Systems.
  25. ^ Werner, E.T.C. (1922). Myths & Legends of China. New York: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2007-03-14.
  26. ^ H. and H.A. Frankfort, J.A. Wilson, and T. Jacobsen, Before Philosophy (Baltimore: Penguin, 1949) 54.
  27. ^ Anthony Gottlieb (2000). The Dream of Reason. Penguin. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-393-04951-0.
  28. ^ Berlin, Adele (2011). "Cosmology and creation". In Berlin, Adele; Grossman, Maxine (eds.). The Oxford Dictionary of the Jewish Religion. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-973004-9. Archived from the original on 2016-06-11.
  29. ^ Pyramid Texts, Utterance 366, 629a–629c: "Behold, thou art great and round like the Great Round; Behold, thou are bent around, and art round like the Circle which encircles the nbwt; Behold, thou art round and great like the Great Circle which sets."(Faulkner 1969, 120)
  30. ^ Ancient Near Eastern Texts, Pritchard, 1969, p. 374.
  31. ^ Coffin Texts, Spell 714.
  32. ^ Russell, Jeffrey B. "The Myth of the Flat Earth". American Scientific Affiliation. Archived from the original on 2011-08-22. Retrieved 2007-03-14.; but see also Cosmas Indicopleustes
  33. ^ Jacobs, James Q. (1998-02-01). "Archaeogeodesy, a Key to Prehistory". Archived from the original on 2011-08-22. Retrieved 2007-04-21.
  34. ^ NASA Solar System Exploration Terrestrial Planet Interiors Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  35. ^ NASA The Jovian Planets Archived 2015-05-07 at WebCite
  36. ^ Wiktorowicz, Sloane J.; Ingersoll, Andrew P. (2007). "Liquid water oceans in ice giants". Icarus. 186 (2): 436–447. arXiv:astro-ph/0609723. Bibcode:2007Icar..186..436W. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2006.09.003. ISSN 0019-1035.
  37. ^ Silvera, Isaac (2010). "Diamond: Molten under pressure". Nature Physics. 6 (1): 9–10. Bibcode:2010NatPh...6....9S. doi:10.1038/nphys1491. ISSN 1745-2473.
  38. ^ NASA How are craters formed Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ "Lunar Embassy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-07.
  40. ^ a b c d PBS Learning Media The Effect of Land Masses on Climate Archived 2015-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ a b Alan Betts: Atmospheric Research The Climate Energy Balance of the Earth Archived 2015-03-05 at the Wayback Machine

External links


Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities. The history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs, sheep and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first.

Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, and technological developments have sharply increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have similarly increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage. Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, deforestation, antibiotic resistance, and growth hormones in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are widely used, although some are banned in certain countries.

The major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers, fuels and raw materials (such as rubber). Food classes include cereals (grains), vegetables, fruits, oils, meat, milk, fungi and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased significantly over the centuries.


A continent is one of several very large landmasses of the world. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, they are: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.Geologically, the continents largely correspond to areas of continental crust that are found on the continental plates. However, some areas of continental crust are regions covered with water not usually included in the list of continents. Zealandia is one such area (see submerged continents below).

Islands are frequently grouped with a neighbouring continent to divide all the world's land into geopolitical regions. Under this scheme, most of the island countries and territories in the Pacific Ocean are grouped together with the continent of Australia to form a geopolitical region called Oceania.


The Crusades were a series of religious wars sanctioned by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The most commonly known Crusades are the campaigns in the Eastern Mediterranean aimed at recovering the Holy Land from Muslim rule, but the term "Crusades" is also applied to other church-sanctioned campaigns. These were fought for a variety of reasons including the suppression of paganism and heresy, the resolution of conflict among rival Roman Catholic groups, or for political and territorial advantage. At the time of the early Crusades the word did not exist, only becoming the leading descriptive term around 1760.

In 1095, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade in a sermon at the Council of Clermont. He encouraged military support for the Byzantine Empire and its Emperor, Alexios I, who needed reinforcements for his conflict with westward migrating Turks colonizing Anatolia. One of Urban's aims was to guarantee pilgrims access to the Eastern Mediterranean holy sites that were under Muslim control but scholars disagree as to whether this was the primary motive for Urban or those who heeded his call. Urban's strategy may have been to unite the Eastern and Western branches of Christendom, which had been divided since the East–West Schism of 1054 and to establish himself as head of the unified Church. The initial success of the Crusade established the first four Crusader states in the Eastern Mediterranean: the County of Edessa, the Principality of Antioch, the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the County of Tripoli. The enthusiastic response to Urban's preaching from all classes in Western Europe established a precedent for other Crusades. Volunteers became Crusaders by taking a public vow and receiving plenary indulgences from the Church. Some were hoping for a mass ascension into heaven at Jerusalem or God's forgiveness for all their sins. Others participated to satisfy feudal obligations, obtain glory and honour or to seek economic and political gain.

The two-century attempt to recover the Holy Land ended in failure. Following the First Crusade there were six major Crusades and numerous less significant ones. After the last Catholic outposts fell in 1291, there were no more Crusades; but the gains were longer lasting in Northern and Western Europe. The Wendish Crusade and those of the Archbishop of Bremen brought all the North-East Baltic and the tribes of Mecklenburg and Lusatia under Catholic control in the late 12th century. In the early 13th century the Teutonic Order created a Crusader state in Prussia and the French monarchy used the Albigensian Crusade to extend the kingdom to the Mediterranean Sea. The rise of the Ottoman Empire in the late 14th century prompted a Catholic response which led to further defeats at Nicopolis in 1396 and Varna in 1444. Catholic Europe was in chaos and the final pivot of Christian–Islamic relations was marked by two seismic events: the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453 and a final conclusive victory for the Spanish over the Moors with the conquest of Granada in 1492. The idea of Crusading continued, not least in the form of the Knights Hospitaller, until the end of the 18th-century but the focus of Western European interest moved to the New World.

Modern historians hold widely varying opinions of the Crusaders. To some, their conduct was incongruous with the stated aims and implied moral authority of the papacy, as evidenced by the fact that on occasion the Pope excommunicated Crusaders. Crusaders often pillaged as they travelled, and their leaders generally retained control of captured territory instead of returning it to the Byzantines. During the People's Crusade, thousands of Jews were murdered in what is now called the Rhineland massacres. Constantinople was sacked during the Fourth Crusade. However, the Crusades had a profound impact on Western civilisation: Italian city-states gained considerable concessions in return for assisting the Crusaders and established colonies which allowed trade with the eastern markets even in the Ottoman period, allowing Genoa and Venice to flourish; they consolidated the collective identity of the Latin Church under papal leadership; and they constituted a wellspring for accounts of heroism, chivalry, and piety that galvanised medieval romance, philosophy, and literature. The Crusades also reinforced a connection between Western Christendom, feudalism, and militarism.


England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, and since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world. The English language, the Anglican Church, and English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, and the country's parliamentary system of government has been widely adopted by other nations. The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation.England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains, especially in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the north (for example, the Lake District and Pennines) and in the west (for example, Dartmoor and the Shropshire Hills). The capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom, largely concentrated around London, the South East, and conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, and Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century.The Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland (through another Act of Union) to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Indian reservation

An Indian reservation is a legal designation for an area of land managed by a federally recognized Native American tribe under the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs rather than the state governments of the United States in which they are physically located. Each of the 326 Indian reservations in the United States is associated with a particular Native American nation. Not all of the country's 567 recognized tribes have a reservation—some tribes have more than one reservation, while some share reservations. In addition, because of past land allotments, leading to some sales to non–Native Americans, some reservations are severely fragmented, with each piece of tribal, individual, and privately held land being a separate enclave. This jumble of private and public real estate creates significant administrative, political, and legal difficulties.The collective geographical area of all reservations is 56,200,000 acres (22,700,000 ha; 87,800 sq mi; 227,000 km2), approximately the size of Idaho. While most reservations are small compared to U.S. states, there are 12 Indian reservations larger than the state of Rhode Island. The largest reservation, the Navajo Nation Reservation, is similar in size to West Virginia. Reservations are unevenly distributed throughout the country; the majority are west of the Mississippi River and occupy lands that were first reserved by treaty or "granted" from the public domain.Because tribes possess the concept of tribal sovereignty, even though it is limited, laws on tribal lands vary from those of the surrounding area. These laws can permit legal casinos on reservations, for example, which attract tourists. The tribal council, not the local government or the United States federal government, often has jurisdiction over reservations. Different reservations have different systems of government, which may or may not replicate the forms of government found outside the reservation. Most Native American reservations were established by the federal government; a limited number, mainly in the East, owe their origin to state recognition.The name "reservation" comes from the conception of the Native American tribes as independent sovereigns at the time the U.S. Constitution was ratified. Thus, the early peace treaties (often signed under duress) in which Native American tribes surrendered large portions of land to the U.S. also designated parcels which the tribes, as sovereigns, "reserved" to themselves, and those parcels came to be called "reservations". The term remained in use even after the federal government began to forcibly relocate tribes to parcels of land to which they had no historical connection.

Today a majority of Native Americans and Alaska Natives live somewhere other than the reservations, often in larger western cities such as Phoenix and Los Angeles. In 2012, there were over 2.5 million Native Americans, with about 1 million living on reservations.


An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

An island may be described as such, despite the presence of an artificial land bridge; examples are Singapore and its causeway, and the various Dutch delta islands, such as IJsselmonde. Some places may even retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a land bridge or landfill, such as Coney Island and Coronado Island, though these are, strictly speaking, tied islands. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal or Marble Hill in northern Manhattan during the time between the building of the United States Ship Canal and the filling-in of the Harlem River which surrounded the area, it is generally not considered an island.

There are two main types of islands in the sea: continental and oceanic. There are also artificial islands.

Jaguar Cars

Jaguar (UK: , US: ) is the luxury vehicle brand of Jaguar Land Rover, a British multinational car manufacturer with its headquarters in Whitley, Coventry, England. Jaguar Cars was the company that was responsible for the production of Jaguar cars until its operations were fully merged with those of Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover on 1 January 2013.

Jaguar's business was founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922, originally making motorcycle sidecars before developing bodies for passenger cars. Under the ownership of S. S. Cars Limited the business extended to complete cars made in association with Standard Motor Co, many bearing Jaguar as a model name. The company's name was changed from S. S. Cars to Jaguar Cars in 1945. A merger with the British Motor Corporation followed in 1966, the resulting enlarged company now being renamed as British Motor Holdings (BMH), which in 1968 merged with Leyland Motor Corporation and became British Leyland, itself to be nationalised in 1975.

Jaguar was spun off from British Leyland and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1984, becoming a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index until it was acquired by Ford in 1990. Jaguar has, in recent years, manufactured cars for the British Prime Minister, the most recent delivery being an XJ in May 2010. The company also holds royal warrants from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.In 1990 Ford acquired Jaguar Cars and it remained in their ownership, joined in 2000 by Land Rover, till 2008. Ford then sold both Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata Motors. Tata created Jaguar Land Rover as a subsidiary holding company. At operating company level, in 2013 Jaguar Cars was merged with Land Rover to form Jaguar Land Rover Limited as the single design, manufacture, sales company and brand owner for both Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

Since the Ford ownership era, Jaguar and Land Rover have used joint design facilities in engineering centres at Whitley in Coventry and Gaydon in Warwickshire and Jaguar cars have been assembled in plants at Castle Bromwich and Solihull.

La La Land (film)

La La Land is a 2016 American romantic musical film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. It stars Ryan Gosling as a jazz pianist and Emma Stone as an aspiring actress, who meet and fall in love while pursuing their dreams in Los Angeles.

Having been fond of musicals during his time as a drummer, Chazelle first conceptualised the film alongside Justin Hurwitz while attending Harvard University together. Moving to Los Angeles in 2010, Chazelle wrote the screenplay but did not find a studio willing to finance the production without changes to his design. Following the success of his 2014 film Whiplash, the project was picked up by Summit Entertainment. Filming took place in Los Angeles from August to September 2015, with the film's score composed by Hurwitz and the dance choreography by Mandy Moore. La La Land premiered at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival on August 31, 2016, and was released in the United States on December 9, 2016. It grossed $446 million worldwide against a production budget of $30 million.

La La Land was critically praised, particularly for Chazelle's screenplay and direction, Gosling and Stone's performances, musical score, musical numbers, cinematography, and production design. Both the American Film Institute and National Board of Review selected La La Land as one of the top ten films of 2016. It won a record-breaking seven awards from its seven nominations at the 74th Golden Globes and received eleven nominations at the 70th British Academy Film Awards, winning five awards, including Best Film. It also received a record-tying fourteen nominations at the 89th Academy Awards, including Best Picture; it won in six categories, including Best Director and Best Actress for Stone.

Land Rover

Land Rover is a luxury car brand that specialises in four-wheel-drive vehicles, owned by British multinational car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover, which has been owned by India's Tata Motors since 2008. The Land Rover is regarded as a British icon, and was granted a Royal Warrant by King George VI in 1951.The Land Rover name was originally used by the Rover Company for the Land Rover Series, launched in 1948. It developed into a brand encompassing a range of four-wheel-drive models, including the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and Range Rover Evoque.

Land Rovers are currently assembled in England, India, China, and other markets.

List of countries and dependencies by area

This is a list of the world's countries and their dependent territories by area, ranked by total area.

Entries in this list include, but are not limited to, those in the ISO 3166-1 standard, which includes sovereign states and dependent territories. Largely unrecognised states not in ISO 3166-1 are included in the list in ranked order, but are not given a rank number. The areas of such largely unrecognised states are in most cases also included in the areas of the more widely recognised states that claim the same territory; see the notes in the "notes" column for each country for clarification.

Not included in the list are individual country claims to parts of the continent of Antarctica, entities such as the European Union that have some degree of sovereignty but do not consider themselves to be sovereign countries or dependent territories, and unrecognised micronations such as the Principality of Sealand.

This list includes three measurements of area:

Total area: the sum of land and water areas within international boundaries and coastlines.

Land area: the aggregate of all land within international boundaries and coastlines, excluding water area.

Water area: the sum of the surface areas of all inland water bodies (lakes, reservoirs, and rivers) within international boundaries and coastlines. Coastal internal waters (some small bays) may be included. Territorial waters are not included unless otherwise noted. Contiguous zones and exclusive economic zones are not included.Data is taken from the United Nations Statistics Division unless otherwise noted.

Mandatory Palestine

Mandatory Palestine (Arabic: فلسطين‎ Filasṭīn; Hebrew: פָּלֶשְׂתִּינָה (א"י) Pālēśtīnā (EY), where "EY" indicates "Eretz Yisrael", Land of Israel) was a geopolitical entity established between 1920 and 1923 in the Middle East roughly corresponding to the region of Palestine, as part of the Partition of the Ottoman Empire under the terms of the "Mandate for Palestine".

During the First World War (1914–18), an Arab uprising and the British Empire's Egyptian Expeditionary Force under General Edmund Allenby drove the Turks out of the Levant during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign. The United Kingdom had agreed in the McMahon–Hussein Correspondence that it would honour Arab independence if they revolted against the Ottomans, but the two sides had different interpretations of this agreement, and in the end, the UK and France divided up the area under the Sykes–Picot Agreement—an act of betrayal in the eyes of the Arabs. Further complicating the issue was the Balfour Declaration of 1917, promising British support for a Jewish "national home" in Palestine. At the war's end the British and French set up a joint "Occupied Enemy Territory Administration" in what had been Ottoman Syria. The British achieved legitimacy for their continued control by obtaining a mandate from the League of Nations in June 1922. The formal objective of the League of Nations mandate system was to administer parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control of the Middle East since the 16th century, "until such time as they are able to stand alone." The civil Mandate administration was formalized with the League of Nations' consent in 1923 under the British Mandate for Palestine, which covered two administrative areas.

During the British Mandate period the area experienced the ascent of two major nationalist movements, one among the Jews and the other among the Arabs. The competing national interests of the Arab and Jewish populations of Palestine against each other and against the governing British authorities matured into the Arab Revolt of 1936–1939 and the Jewish insurgency in Mandatory Palestine, before culminating in the Civil War of 1947–1948. The aftermath of the Civil War and the consequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War led to the establishment of the 1949 cease-fire agreement, with partition of the former Mandatory Palestine between the newborn state of Israel with a Jewish majority, the Arab West Bank annexed by the Jordanian Kingdom and the Arab All-Palestine Protectorate in the Gaza Strip under Egypt.


Minnesota ( (listen)) is a state in the Upper Midwest, Great Lakes, and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, and is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord (French: Star of the North).

Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U.S. states; nearly 55% of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area (known as the "Twin Cities"). This area has the largest concentration of transportation, business, industry, education, and government in the state. Other urban centers throughout "Greater Minnesota" include Duluth, East Grand Forks, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, and St. Cloud.The geography of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed, and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation.

Minnesota was inhabited by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. French explorers, missionaries, and fur traders began exploring the region in the 17th century, encountering the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is today Minnesota was part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, which was purchased by the United States in 1803. Following several territorial reorganizations, Minnesota in its current form was admitted as the country's 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Like many Midwestern states, it remained sparsely populated and centered on lumber and agriculture. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European immigrants, mainly from Scandinavia and Germany, began to settle the state, which remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture.

In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America has broadened its demographic and cultural composition. The state's economy has heavily diversified, shifting from traditional activities such as agriculture and resource extraction to services and finance. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, and the state is also among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation.

Māori people

The Māori (; Māori pronunciation: [ˈmaːɔɾi] (listen)) are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.The arrival of Europeans to New Zealand, starting in the 17th century, brought enormous changes to the Māori way of life. Māori people gradually adopted many aspects of Western society and culture. Initial relations between Māori and Europeans were largely amicable, and with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, the two cultures coexisted as part of a new British colony. Rising tensions over disputed land sales led to conflict in the 1860s. Social upheaval, decades of conflict and epidemics of introduced disease took a devastating toll on the Māori population, which fell dramatically. By the start of the 20th century, the Māori population had begun to recover, and efforts have been made to increase their standing in wider New Zealand society and achieve social justice. Traditional Māori culture has thereby enjoyed a significant revival, which was further bolstered by a Māori protest movement that emerged in the 1960s.

In the 2013 census, there were approximately 600,000 people in New Zealand identifying as Māori, making up roughly 15 percent of the national population. They are the second-largest ethnic group in New Zealand, after European New Zealanders ("Pākehā"). In addition, more than 140,000 Māori live in Australia. The Māori language is spoken to some extent by about a fifth of all Māori, representing 3 per cent of the total population. Māori are active in all spheres of New Zealand culture and society, with independent representation in areas such as media, politics and sport.

Disproportionate numbers of Māori face significant economic and social obstacles, and generally have lower life expectancies and incomes compared with other New Zealand ethnic groups. They suffer higher levels of crime, health problems, and educational under-achievement. A number of socioeconomic initiatives have been instigated with the aim of "closing the gap" between Māori and other New Zealanders. Political and economic redress for historical grievances is also ongoing (see Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements).


Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution.

In 2015, pollution killed 9 million people in the world.Major forms of pollution include: Air pollution, light pollution, littering, noise pollution, plastic pollution, soil contamination, radioactive contamination, thermal pollution, visual pollution, water pollution.

Population density

Population density (in agriculture: standing stock and standing crop) is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume; it is a quantity of type number density. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and most of the time to humans. It is a key geographical term. In simple terms population density refers to the number of people living in an area per kilometer square.


The Punjab ( (listen), , , ), also spelled Panjab (from Persian panj, "five" + āb, "water" or "river", thus land of "five rivers";), is a geopolitical, cultural and historical region in South Asia, specifically in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent, comprising areas of eastern Pakistan and northern India. The boundaries of the region are ill-defined and focus on historical accounts.

Until the Partition of Punjab in 1947, the British Punjab Province encompassed the present-day Indian states and union territories of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, and Delhi; and the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Islamabad Capital Territory. It bordered the Balochistan and Pashtunistan regions to the west, Kashmir to the north, the Hindi Belt to the east, and Rajasthan and Sindh to the south. The Partition of Punjab divided the Land of the Five Rivers between India and Pakistan, yet, geographically, it stands as one indivisible unit.The people of the Punjab today are called Punjabis, and their principal language is Punjabi. The main religions of the Indian Punjab region are Sikhism and Hinduism. The main religion of the Pakistani Punjab region is Islam. Other religious groups are Christianity, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, and Ravidassia. The Punjab region has been inhabited by the Indus Valley Civilisation, Indo-Aryan peoples, and Indo-Scythians, and has seen numerous invasions by the Persians, Greeks, Kushans, Ghaznavids, Timurids, Mughals, Pashtuns, British, and others. Historic foreign invasions mainly targeted the most productive central region of the Punjab known as the Majha region, which is also the bedrock of Punjabi culture and traditions. The Punjab region is often referred to as the breadbasket in both India and Pakistan.


Surveying or land surveying is the technique, profession, art and science of determining the terrestrial or three-dimensional positions of points and the distances and angles between them. A land surveying professional is called a land surveyor. These points are usually on the surface of the Earth, and they are often used to establish maps and boundaries for ownership, locations, such as building corners or the surface location of subsurface features, or other purposes required by government or civil law, such as property sales.

Surveyors work with elements of geometry, trigonometry, regression analysis, physics, engineering, metrology, programming languages, and the law. They use equipment, such as total stations, robotic total stations, theodolites, GNSS receivers, retroreflectors, 3D scanners, radios, clinometer, handheld tablets, digital levels, subsurface locators, drones, GIS, and surveying software.

Surveying has been an element in the development of the human environment since the beginning of recorded history. The planning and execution of most forms of construction require it. It is also used in transport, communications, mapping, and the definition of legal boundaries for land ownership. It is an important tool for research in many other scientific disciplines.

Telugu Desam Party

Telugu Desam Party (translation: Party of the Telugu Land), abbreviated as TDP, is a regional political party active in the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The party was founded by N.T. Ramarao on 29 March 1982. After 1995, the party is headed by N. Chandrababu Naidu, former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The party's headquarters is located at NTR Bhavan in Hyderabad.

N. T. Rama Rao became the 10th Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1983, within nine months of the party's formation, thus forming the first non-Congress government in Andhra Pradesh. TDP was the first regional party to become the main opposition party in 8th Lok Sabha from 1984 to 1989.On 16 March 2018, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) led by its leader N. Chandrababu Naidu walked out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's coalition NDA over financial support and Special Status for Andhra Pradesh.

Unincorporated area

In law, an unincorporated area is a region of land that is not governed by a local municipal corporation; similarly an unincorporated community is a settlement that is not governed by its own local municipal corporation, but rather is administered as part of larger administrative divisions, such as a township, parish, borough, county, city, canton, state, province or country. Occasionally, municipalities dissolve or disincorporate, which may happen if they become fiscally insolvent, and services become the responsibility of a higher administration. Widespread unincorporated communities and areas are a distinguishing feature of the United States and Canada. In most other countries of the world, there are either no unincorporated areas at all, or these are very rare; typically remote, outlying, sparsely populated or uninhabited areas.

United States Navy SEALs

The United States Navy Sea, Air, and Land (SEAL) Teams, commonly known as Navy SEALs, are the U.S. Navy's primary special operations force and a component of the Naval Special Warfare Command. Among the SEALs' main functions are conducting small-unit maritime military operations that originate from, and return to, a river, ocean, swamp, delta, or coastline. The SEALs are trained to operate in all environments (sea, air, and land) for which they are named.

As of 2019, all active SEALs are male and members of the U.S. Navy. The CIA's highly secretive and elite Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits operators from SEAL Teams, with joint operations going back to the MACV-SOG during the Vietnam War. This cooperation still exists today, as evidenced by military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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