Greenland in the North Atlantic
With an area of 2,175,597 square kilometers, Greenland is by far the largest island in the world. For centuries it was a Danish colony, but now it is self-governing and is only represented externally by Denmark. Just under 56,000 people live on the huge land mass, which is largely covered by ice, but they share an enormous wealth of mineral resources, but so far only potentially. Potatoes are already being grown in southern Greenland – climate change makes it possible.
New Guinea in the Southwest Pacific
New Guinea is located east of the Indonesian archipelago and north of Australia in the Southwest Pacific. At 786,000 square kilometers, it is twice as large as Germany. Its western half is the Indonesian state of Irian Jaya / Papua, the east is the independent Republic of Papua New Guinea, where there are modern cities, but also secluded primitive peoples from the Stone Age.
Borneo in Southeast Asia
The island of Borneo is the third largest in the world and is 743,122 square kilometers in size. Its southern part is formed by the Indonesian province of Kalimantan, in the north are the Malaysian states Sarawak and Sabah and the tiny but very rich kingdom of Brunei. The last orangutans and other rare animal species live in the tropical forest of the island’s interior. It is therefore important to stop deforestation.
Madagascar in the Indian Ocean
Madagascar is around 800 kilometers east of the African continent, far enough to have a completely unique flora and fauna. The island is 587,042 square kilometers and is home to the Republic of Madagascar with the capital Antananarivo.
The Baffin Island in the northwestern Atlantic
Only a few thousand Indian and Inuit tribes, who are called “First Nations” in Canada, settle on the 507,451 square kilometers of the Baffin Island, which belongs to Canada. Today the island belongs to the Canadian territory of Nunavut, in which the “First Nations” were granted extensive self-government. It is said that there are more polar bears than humans on Baffin Island.
Sumatra in the Indonesian Archipelago and Indian Ocean
The island of Sumatra is located in the west of Indonesia and is 473,605 square kilometers in size. Large cities such as Aceh and Medan can be found on the coasts; the east of the island lies opposite Malaysia on the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. In the interior of the island there are volcanoes and untouched jungles.
Honshu, Japanese Sea and Pacific Ocean
The Japanese main island of Honshu is 230,316 square kilometers in size, but almost 100 million people live on it. While in the cities of millions on the coastal plains such as Tokyo, Osaka and Yokohama, the population is extremely dense and there is a lot of industry, traffic and air pollution, in the interior there are high mountains, forests and lots of nature.
Great Britain, between the North Atlantic and the North Sea
The UK, which consists of England, Wales and Scotland, is hardly smaller than the main Japanese island. It is the largest part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Almost 60 million people live on the largest British island in an area of 229,883 square kilometers. You can find cities like London, Glasgow or Liverpool here. The British Empire was once ruled from Great Britain.
Victoria Island in the Arctic Ocean
Victoria Island is just as sparsely populated as Greenland and Baffin Island. Like the latter, it belongs to Canada and its autonomous territory, Nunavut. Since oil is suspected under the Arctic Ocean around the island, many mining companies hope for a further decline in the North Sea ice. The polar bears probably disagree. Victoria Island is 217,291 square kilometers.
The Ellesmere island in the Arctic Ocean
With an area of 196,236 square kilometers, Ellesmere Island is not much inferior to Victoria Island. Canada and Indonesia are definitely the two countries that have the most large islands, even if they couldn’t be more different in terms of climate. Ellesmere Island lies on the notorious, legendary Northwest Passage.