Island vs. Peninsula

Island vs. Peninsula

Island and peninsula are terms that refer to different types of landforms. Do you understand the difference? It might be vitally important that you do. For, if you are on a peninsula versus an island, your means of transportation and routes off of the landform might be different.

An island is a landform that is completely surrounded by water and is not large enough to be qualified as a continent. There are many examples of islands that should be familiar to you:

1. Hawaii-actually a group of islands in the Pacific that belong to the United States.

2. Cuba is an island country in the Caribbean Sea.

3. Greenland, in the north Atlantic, is consider to be a large island.

4. Madagascar is also a large island off of the western coast of Africa.

A peninsula is a piece of land that is surrounded on three sides by water. So, it is different from an island because it is attached to a larger landform. It is not completely surrounded by water.

Here are some examples of peninsulas:

1. The state of Florida in the United States is a peninsula. It is attached to the continent of North America, but it juts out into the water, and in surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean-including the Gulf of Mexico-on three sides.

2. The countries of Spain and Portugal make up the Iberian peninsula in Europe. This juts out into the Pacific Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

As you can see, these landforms are similar, but they have one important difference. If you find yourself on a peninsula, you are still connected to the "mainland." If you find yourself on an island, you are surrounded by water.

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