An island is a piece of land that is surrounded by water. Islands can be found in rivers, lakes, seas and oceans.


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Small islands are sometimes called cays, keys or islets. Islands found in rivers or lakes are sometimes called eyots. A group of islands is called an archipelago.

Millions of people live on islands around the world but there are some islands where nobody lives at all. These are called desert islands, not because they are like deserts but because they are deserted (as if they were abandoned).

 

What is the difference between islands and continents?

Some continents like Australia are also completely surrounded by water. So why is Australia not an island?


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The difference between islands and continents is that continents lie on top of continental lithosphere. The lithosphere is the part under the surface of the Earth that is made up of huge slabs of rock called tectonic plates.

 

Did you know?

  • Greenland is the largest island in the world.
  • The island with the most people on it is Java in Indonesia, over 150 million people live on it!