Island is defined as a landmass surrounded by water bodies such as river, sea, lake, or ocean smaller than a continent. There are approximately 2000 islands; amongst them, Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, is the largest island in the world. Though some people believe Australia is the largest island, Australia is not officially classified as an island as it is a continent. Islands are a geographical phenomenon that has formed over millions of years through tectonic and volcanic activities. Thus, one should not be surprised to see extended chains of islands at the tectonic plate boundaries, for instance, in South East Asia and Japan, making Asia the continent with the largest number of islands.
Some islands are also formed through coral activity, such as those surrounding Australia in Oceania and Maldives in the Indian Ocean. One can also find large inhabited islands in the midst of the river, formed through the slow accretion of sediment deposits by the flowing river. One such island, in fact, the largest Riverine Island in the world, is found in our very own country – Majuli Island in Assam at the centre of the mighty Brahmputra river. Here we have listed top 10 largest islands in the world that are worth to visit.
List of Largest Islands in the World
1. Greenland Island – North Atlantic
Formerly known as Dabuukji, Green Island is the largest island in the world. It is one of the most popular and accessible islands. The marine island is surrounded by the Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. It is on the surface of a coral reef offshore of Queensland, Australia. It is located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park World Heritage Area. Earlier the island was secluded; however, with the increase in the population in nearby areas, it has become an ideal picnic spot and hub of activities like swimming, snorkelling, sunbathing. The Island also has a luxury resort where one can stay and explore the island.
Area (km2): 2,130,800
Area (sq mi): 822,700
2. New Guinea Island – Southwest Pacific
Also known as Irian and Papua, New Guinea is the second-largest island in the world and the largest island in the Southern Hemisphere with an area of 303,381 sq mi. It is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The eastern part of the island has a significant part of Papua Guinea, which is an independent state. The western part of the island is covered with Western New Guinea, also known as West Papua, which is also a part of Indonesia. The island is a famous tourist destination, especially for diving.
Area (km2): 785,753
Area (sq mi): 303,381
3. Borneo Island – West mid-Pacific
Known to be the world’s third-largest island, Borneo is the only island that has three countries-Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia. The island is also home to the highest peak, Mount Kinabalu. The 73% part of the island comes under Indonesian territory. East Malaysia has covered 26% of rest of the island, and the left 1 % of the land belongs to Brunai. Borneo also boasts of the oldest rainforests. The island has different names, such as Kalimantan or Kalimantan, which came from the Sanskrit term Kalamanthana which means ”burning weather” which suffices the islands hot and humid tropical weather.
Area (km2): 748,168
Area (sq mi): 288,869
4. Madagascar Island – Indian Ocean
The Republic of Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and the largest island in the Indian Ocean, with 226,658 sq mi. That’s not it is also the second-largest island country. The island is a biodiversity sport and is home to many unique animals that you would not find anywhere on the earth.
Area (km2): 587,041
Area (sq mi): 226,658
5. Baffin Island – North Atlantic
Baffin is the world fifth largest island and the largest island in Canada. The island got its name after English explorer William Baffin. The island is home to Polar bears, arctic foxes, Arctic wolf, Baffin Island wolf and grey wolf. In summers, the island is visited by the nesting birds and waterfowl such as snow goose, Canada goose, brant goose and murres,
Area (km2): 507,451
Area (sq mi): 195,928
6. Sumatra Island – Northeast Indian Ocean
The 6th most significant island in the world is Sumatra. It is also the second-largest island in Indonesia. The island is covered by the Indian Ocean from the west, southwest and northwest coasts. The northern tip of this island surrounds the Andaman Islands, and on the south coasts, the islands of Bangka and Belitung, Karimata Strait and the Java Sea lie. The climate of Sumatra is tropical, humid and hot. The island is also home to active and extinct volcanoes, jungles and huge craters. So if you ever plan to visit the island, make sure you pack your bags wisely. Also, before visiting, do check the climate; it should be safe to visit.
Area (km2): 443,065
Area (sq mi): 171,068
7. Honshu Island – Sea of Japan-Pacific
Next in the list of the largest islands in the world is Honshu. Also known as Hondo, Honshu is also the largest and most populated island in Japan. The island has been the centre of Japanese political and cultural power and consists of cities like Kyoto, Kamakura and Nara. The island also contains Japan’s highest mountain – Mount Fuji and lake- Lake Biwa. The climate of the island is mild and humid.
Area (km2): 225,800
Area (sq mi): 87,200
8. Victoria Island (Canada)- Arctic Ocean
Victoria Island is the eighth largest island in the world and the second-largest island in Canada, with an area of 83,897 sq mi. The island got its name from Queen Victoria.
Area (km2): 217,291
Area (sq mi): 83,897
9. Island of Great Britain – Off the coast of NW Europe
The Island of Great Britain is the 9th largest island in the world. The island includes the countries of Wales, Scotland, and England. It is located in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is the largest European island. The island is home to more than 1,000 smaller islands. In the year 2011, the island population rose to 61 million, making it the third populated island in the world.
Area (km2): 209,331
Area (sq mi): 80,823
10. Ellesmere Island – Arctic Ocean
Ellesmere Island is the third largest island in Canada and the tenth-largest island in the world. The island is also part of the Queen Elizabeth Islands. The one-fifth part of the island is protected by Ellesmere Island National Park Reserve, which has a number of glaciers, fjords and Lake Hazen.
Area (km2): 196,236
Area (sq mi): 75,767
Above, we have compiled the list of the top 10 largest islands in the world. Each island has different climatic conditions across the years. Most of these islands are open for the tourist and offers a vast number of tourist activities. So, if you are an island lover, visit these sprawling islands at least once in a lifetime.
Greenland is the largest island in the world.
Majuli Island is the largest river island in the world. It is situated on the Brahmaputra River.
Australia is considered a continent. Thus, it is not an island.
The third-largest island in the world is Borneo, with an area of 748,168.
Greenland is the largest island country in the world.
Java is the most populated island with a population of 141.4 million.
Android Island is the largest Indian island with an area of 4.90 sq km.