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Regional Information: Asia

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Asia
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Asia is a huge landmass. This mighty continent is the world's largest and measures 43,608,000 sq km and is made up of 48 countries including a large chunk of Russia. From east to west the continent measures 9650 km and from north to south 6440km. 60% of the world's total population is situated within Asia. The most northern point is Mys Articesku in Russia and the southernmost is Panama Island in the Island in the Philippines. Important natural features include Mount Everest (8848m), the Caspian Sea, the mighty Himalayas, and the huge Ganges and Yangtze rivers. Parts of the Himalayan range are thought to be nearly 3.5 million years old. The elevation measurements of the Himalayas are constantly changing as they have not yet finished growing. 
 
Some of Asia's most proud fauna are elephants, tigers, bears, crocodiles and a great diversity of birdlife. The world's largest flower, the Rafflesia, can be found within Malaysia. Many of Asia's countries are tropical and experience very distinct monsoon seasons of high rain. The northernmost of the Asian countries experience more temperate climates with particularly harsh winters due to their close proximity to Siberia. The south and east regions of the continent are prone to cyclones, typhoons and earthquakes. 

Whilst countries within the Asian region such as China, South Korea and Japan have wealthy economies, others such as Laos and Cambodia remain underdeveloped and poor. Many countries in Asia remain in between the difference. Natural resources are abundant throughout Asia and over 60% of the world's gas and oil reserves are found within this continent. Other minerals include coal, copper, gold, iron, lead and tin. The soils of the southern countries like Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia for instance, are big rice growers due to the high fertility of their terrain.

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