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island,relatively small body of land surrounded entirely by water. (As the oceans form a continuous mass of water on the earth's surface, all continents are islands in the strict sense of the word.) The largest islands on earth are, in descending order of size, GreenlandGreenland,
Green. Kalaallit Nunaat, Dan. Grønland, the largest island in the world (2005 est. pop. 56,000), 836,109 sq mi (2,166,086 sq km), self-governing overseas administrative division of Denmark, lying largely within the Arctic Circle.
..... Click the link for more information. , New GuineaNew Guinea
, island, c.342,000 sq mi (885,780 sq km), SW Pacific, N of Australia; the world's second largest island after Greenland. Politically it is divided into two sections: the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Papua in the west and the independent country of Papua New
..... Click the link for more information. , BorneoBorneo
, island (1990 pop. 9,102,906), c.287,000 sq mi (743,330 sq km), largest of the Malay Archipelago and third largest island in the world, SW of the Philippines and N of Java.
..... Click the link for more information. , MadagascarMadagascar
, officially Republic of Madagascar, republic (2005 est. pop. 18,040,000), 226,658 sq mi (587,045 sq km), in the Indian Ocean, separated from E Africa by the Mozambique Channel. Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island.
..... Click the link for more information. , Baffin IslandBaffin Island,
183,810 sq mi (476,068 sq km), c.1,000 mi (1,610 km) long and from 130 to 450 mi (210–720 km) wide, in the Arctic Ocean, Nunavut Territory, Canada. It is the fifth largest island in the world and the easternmost member of the Arctic Archipelago.
..... Click the link for more information. , SumatraSumatra
, island (1990 pop. 36,471,731), c.183,000 sq mi (473,970 sq km), Indonesia, in the Indian Ocean along the equator, S and W of the Malay Peninsula (from which it is separated by the Strait of Malacca) and NW of Java (across the narrow Sunda Strait).
..... Click the link for more information. , HonshuHonshu
, island (1990 pop. 98,352,000), c.89,000 sq mi (230,510 sq km), central Japan. It is c.800 mi (1,290 km) long and from c.30 to 150 mi (50–240 km) wide and is the largest and most important island of Japan.
..... Click the link for more information. (largest of the islands of Japan), and Great BritainGreat Britain,
officially United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, constitutional monarchy (2011 pop. 63,181,775), 94,226 sq mi (244,044 sq km), on the British Isles, off W Europe. The country is often referred to simply as Britain.
..... Click the link for more information. . Depending on their origin, islands are either continental or oceanic. Continental islands are created by rise in sea level where only the summits of coastal highlands remain above water; or by the sea breaking through an isthmus or peninsula and cutting the land from the mainland. Typical continental islands are Great Britain and Martha's VineyardMartha's Vineyard
, island (1990 est. pop. 8,900), c.100 sq mi (260 sq km), SE Mass., separated from the Elizabeth Islands and Cape Cod by Vineyard and Nantucket sounds.
..... Click the link for more information. . Other islands emerge along coasts as barrier islands, such as the Outer BanksOuter Banks
or the Banks,
chain of sand barrier islands and peninsulas, c.175 mi (280 km), along the Atlantic coast of SE Va. and E N.C. Separated by inlets and enclosing several saltwater lagoons, or sounds, the main islands, from north to south, are Bodie, Roanoke,
..... Click the link for more information. , off North Carolina. Oceanic islands can result from volcanic islands rising above the water, especially on or near a mid-ocean ridge, as when the island of SurtseySurtsey,
volcanic island, c.1.25 sq mi (3.2 sq km), S of Iceland in Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands). The island was formed by the eruption (Nov., 1963) of Sutur, an underwater volcano named for a giant of Icelandic legend. For four months the fissure, estimated to be c.
..... Click the link for more information. appeared along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge S of Iceland in 1963. Island arcs, such as the Aleutian IslandsAleutian Islands
, chain of rugged, volcanic islands curving c.1,200 mi (1,900 km) west from the tip of the Alaska Peninsula and approaching Russia's Komandorski Islands.
..... Click the link for more information. , result from magmatic activity associated with the convergence of lithospheric plates (see plate tectonicsplate tectonics,
theory that unifies many of the features and characteristics of continental drift and seafloor spreading into a coherent model and has revolutionized geologists' understanding of continents, ocean basins, mountains, and earth history.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Oceanic islands may also be the emergent tips of volcanoes (seamounts) formed by hotspots. Oceanic islands that result from coral growth on the summit of seamounts are called coral islands or atolls (see coral reefscoral reefs,
limestone formations produced by living organisms, found in shallow, tropical marine waters. In most reefs, the predominant organisms are stony corals, colonial cnidarians that secrete an exoskeleton of calcium carbonate (limestone).
..... Click the link for more information. ). These low islands only occur in tropical ocean areas. Oceanic islands are generally characterized by low faunal diversity, consisting of a few sea birds and insects. Vegetation is usually more abundant, as seeds are carried from remote lands by wind, water currents, and birds.
What does it mean when you dream about an island?
To escape to an island in a dream may mean the peace of solitude is needed by the dreamer. A further meaning is that the dreamer is afraid of the surrounding waters of his or her unconscious and wishes to remain isolated from his or her inner feelings.