25 Interesting Facts about Asia

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Want to know more about Asia? Here are 25 Interesting Facts about Asia that you probably didn’t know before reading this!

To make this even more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Asia facts did you know before reading this? Share your result in the comment section!

1. It’s the largest continent on the planet

Asia is a massive continent with a total size of 44,579,000 km2 (17,212,000 sq mi), and if that wasn’t enough, it’s also the most populous continent in the world. The largest countries in the world can be found here such as Russia, China, and India. 

And it doesn’t end there because Asia is actually part of the supercontinent known as Eurasia, and the Asian and European continents aren’t technically separated. 

2. Asia has the highest number of billionaires in the world

In recent years, the world economy has shifted, and there are now more billionaires on the Asian continent than anywhere else in the world. China alone has more billionaires than the US, which continue to fall behind the rising Asian economies. 

This is definitely one of the most interesting facts about Asia, but it should also be noted that a large number of Asian people live in poverty, some live on less than 1 USD per day. 

Rich Asian

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3. Home to the highest mountains in the world

14 of the tallest mountains in the world can be found in Asia, and they are all over 8000 meters above the sea. The highest mountain in the world is Mount Everest at 8 848 meters above the sea. 

4. It’s incredibly biodiverse

It’s not only humans that are thriving, and the continent is home to a wide range of animals and plants. For example, on the Asian continent, you can see wild elephants, tigers, snow leopards, orangutans, and many more, including some of the most venomous snakes in the world. 

However, due to cities expanding and the demand for agriculture rises, humans are rapidly taking over the animal’s natural environments. On top of that, there is a serious plastic pollution problem on the continent, which lead to death and destruction of habitats as well.

elephant nature park chiang mai

5. 60% of the world’s population live in Asia

The Asian continent is home to 4,46 billion people, which account for more than 60% of the total human population on Earth. China and India are home to 2,6 billion people, and those are just two countries. 

The Asian population is continuing to grow, although experts expect to see drops as the countries become more developed. 

6. Insects are eaten as delicacies in some Asian countries

If you visit an Asian market, you’re likely to find some “exotic” snacks and delicacies served in the food stalls. For example, silkworms are a popular snack in many countries, but you can also find crickets and other types of fried insects. 

Some are even sold as snacks in the supermarket, and you will find bags of them next to the chips. One of the many interesting facts about Asia! 

Insects

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7. There are more than 500 million Buddhists in Asia

Buddhism has its stronghold in Asia, particularly in South- and East Asia. More than 500 million people recognize themselves as Buddhists, and the Thai population, for example, consists of 95% Buddhists. 

But it’s not the largest belief system because there are for more Hindus and Muslims on the Asian continent. 

8. 90% of the world’s rice is consumed in Asian countries

Rice is a staple food on the continent, and most of the produced rice is eaten here as well. Asians eat up to 90% of the total world production of rice. In many Asian countries, you can have rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Banaue Rice terraces

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9. There are 49 countries

In addition to these 49 UN members, there are also 1 UN observer, 5 other states that are not fully recognized by all nations. 

10. Many in South- and East Asia are lactose intolerant

Up to 90% of South Asians are believed to be lactose intolerant. Some of Asians lack the enzyme called lactase or have lower levels of it, which means that they can’t digest lactose from dairy products. 

11. The tallest buildings in the world can be found in Asia

While some people think that the Middle East is a separate continent, it belongs to the Asian continent. In Dubai, you can find Burj Khalifa, which is the tallest building in the world.

But there are many other tall buildings on the continent such as the Shanghai Tower, Lotte World Tower, Taipei 101, Tokyo skytree, and the Abraj Al-Bait Clock Tower.

burj khalifa

12. Japan has the longest life expectancy

At 84,2 years in life expectancy, the Japanese people are escaping death longer than any other group of people on the planet. They live the longest in the whole world. 

13. There are many venomous snakes in Asia

While you probably won’t encounter any of them on a regular vacation, there are still a lot of venomous snakes living on the continent. 

Some of the most dangerous snakes are the King Cobra, Malayan Pit Viper, Saw-scaled Viper, and Common Indian Krait.  

Cobra

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14. 50% of the Asian population lack a liver enzyme to metabolize alcohol

There are some rumors that Asian people can’t handle alcohol very well, and to some extent, it has some scientific backup. According to research, up to 50% of the Asian population lack a specific enzyme found in the liver to metabolize alcohol. 

Scientists also believe that this is the reason why many Asians feel a facial flushing reaction after consuming alcohol. 

15. The top 3 countries with the highest IQ on average are Asian

Singapore, South Korea, and Japan have the highest average IQ on the planet. These are also some of the continent’s strongest economies and most prosperous nations in the world.

Japanese scientists especially are making huge advances in their fields. 

Japanese woman

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5 x Fun Facts about Asia

  • Some Asian men have long fingernails to pick their nose
  • The majority of Asian women stay away from the sun because they want light skin
  • The concept of being “Asian” is mostly a foreign concept
  • Crazy Rich Asians quickly became a popular movie around the world
  • K-Pop (Korean Pop) has taken Asia and the world by storm
K Pop

Photo: Randy Miramontez / Shutterstock.com

5 x Asia Facts for Kids

  • There are wild Asian elephants
  • The Gobi Desert is the largest desert in Asia
  • More than 2300 languages are recognized on the continent
  • Baikal Lake is the largest lake in the world
  • The Yangtze River is the largest river on the Asian continent
Yangtze River

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General Facts about Asia

Below are some general info such as total population, land area, biggest lake, highest mountain and other general facts about Asia that might be interesting to know.

  • Total Population: 4,46 billion people
  • Demonym: Asian
  • Population density: 100/km2 (260/sq mi)
  • Total countries: 49 UN members, 1 UN observer, 5 other not fully recognized states
  • Largest city: Tokyo
  • Highest Mountain: Mount Everest
  • Land area: 44,579,000 km2 (17,212,000 sq mi)
  • Largest Lake: Baikal Lake
  • Religion: Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism
  • Time zones: UTC+2 to UTC+12

tokyo

More about Asia

It is a massive continent, and while most people think of South- and East Asians when mentioning Asians, the demonym also include populations in the Middle East and Central Asia.

This is important to remember and you can’t really put Asians into one group of people because the cultures are so diverse and unique. It is one of the continents on the planet that have most ethnic groups and different languages. 

The geographical Asia that we know of today is just a European concept, which began with the Ancient Greeks and how they saw the world.

The continent has been home to some of the greatest civilizations and empires that ever existed on Earth, such as the Mesopotamian, the Mongols, Sumerians, Chinese dynasties, Japanese and South Korean empires, Vedic and many more. 

Today, it is home to some of the fastest developing countries in the world, which are likely to become the world’s superpowers in the future. But there are also many countries that are lagging behind because of poverty, corruption or devastating wars.

Genghis Khan

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The Biggest Cities in Asia

If you’re looking for facts about Asia, it might also be interesting to know which are the biggest cities. Here’s a list of the top 10 biggest cities ranked after population.

TokyoOsaka
DelhiDhaka
ShanghaiKarachi
BeijingKolkata
MumbaiChongqing

Map of Asia

Below you can see a map of all the Asian countries and their territory. 

map of asia

Photo: Shutterstock

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How many of these Asia Facts did you know beforehand? Share your result in the comment section below!

April 10th, 2019|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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