If you’re not sure what a continental island is or you’d love to learn more facts about continental islands, you’ve come to the right place. Simply continue reading to discover everything that you need to know about continental islands.

What is a continental island?

Simply put a continental island is an island which is located within a short distance of a continent. To qualify as a continental island, an island must also be geologically related to the same continent. Furthermore continental islands are also always located on a continent’s continental shelf.

What is an example of a well known continental island:
Great Britain is an example of a continental island. Although it is technically an island as it is not physically attached to continental Europe, it is located within a stone’s throw of France and is also geologically related to Europe. Which makes Great Britain a prime example of a continental island.
What are some other common examples of continental islands?
Some common examples of continental islands include Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Taiwan, New Guinea and Sicily. You may even be surprised to learn that Long Island, which is located in the state of New York is also a continental island.
Are there different types of continental islands?
Yes, there is a sub group of continental islands which are classed as being microcontinental islands. These islands were originally created as a result of a continent experiencing a serious rift. Some examples of well known microcontinental islands include New Zealand, which is comprised of two major islands and a few smaller islands as well as Madagascar. The latter of which was once part of continental Africa.
Are there any other interesting causes of continental islands?
Yes, some continental islands have been caused by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. While other continental islands are formed by a change in sea level. As an example, Mont Saint-Michel which is a small island which is located just off the coast of France, was created as a result of rising sea levels. As you could originally walk to the historic buildings which are located on the island of Mont Saint-Michel.
Will the number of continental islands which exist in the world increase over time?
Yes, the number of continental islands which exist in the world increases each year as the polar ice caps continue to melt as a direct result of global warming. So you can definitely expect continental islands to start appearing off the coasts of every continent in the world. Although as a result of global warming some continental islands will disappear altogether.
What are some of the most unique continental islands in the world to explore?
Madagascar is one of the most interesting continental islands to explore as it is home to flora and fauna that don’t exist anywhere else in the world. As an example, there are rare species of lemurs which only exist in Madagascar and you won’t be able to find baobab trees anywhere else in the world.
Hopefully you now understand what a continental island is and why continental islands exist. Depending on your location you may have discovered that you live on a continental island.

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