Peninsulas are landmasses that are surrounded on three sides by one or more bodies of water but are still connected to a larger piece of land on the fourth. While there are tons of small peninsulas around the world, some of the largest are so big that you may not even realize they qualify as peninsulas. Here are the eight largest peninsulas in the world.
8. Balkan Peninsula
This 180,000-square-mile stretch of land is surrounded by four different bodies of water: the Ionic Sea to the southwest, the Aegean Sea to the south, the Black Sea to the east, and the Adriatic Sea to the northwest. On the Balkan Peninsula, you'll find countries such as Albania, Romania, and Serbia.
7. Scandinavian Peninsula
The largest peninsula in Europe is the Scandinavian Peninsula. Covering 290,000 square miles of Northern Europe, the tourist-friendly region includes the countries of Finland, Norway, and Sweden. It is surrounded by the Baltic Sea on the southeast coast, the North Sea to the south, the Norwegian to the west, and the Barents Sea directly north.
6. Labrador Peninsula
The Labrador Peninsula is a 540,000-square-mile landmass that juts out from the northeast edge of the North American continent. The entire peninsula is part of Canada and is primarily bordered by the Hudson Bay and the Hudson Strait, which make up most of its northern and western borders. It also lies next to the Labrador Sea, which is to the east of the peninsula, and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, to the south.
5. Alaskan Peninsula
The peninsula that makes up the state of Alaska is the largest in North America, spanning a whopping 580,000 square miles. It is bordered by various large bodies of water and marginal seas, but its main aquatic neighbors are the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea. It’s perhaps one of the most geologically active peninsulas in the world, as it sits on a particularly volatile section of the Ring of Fire, the series of volcanoes that lines the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
4. Horn of Africa
The largest peninsula found in Africa is the legendary Horn of Africa. This protrusion of land extends from the eastern edge of the continent, encompassing 727,000 square miles. It is composed of four countries — Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Djibouti. The Indian Ocean borders most of its coast, but the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea also lap the shores of the Horn.
3. Indochina Peninsula
The three largest peninsulas in the world are all found in Asia. The smallest (a relative term, of course) of the three is the Indochina Peninsula, which extends from southeast Asia into various seas and gulfs. Its 749,000 square miles are home to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and other southeastern Asian countries.
2. Deccan Peninsula
The Deccan, or Indian, Peninsula —also known as the Deccan Plateau — is the second-largest peninsula in the world and forms the southern tip of India. You may have heard the term "Indian subcontinent"; India as a whole is massive, and this peninsula forms a large portion of it — about 800,000 square miles, to be more precise. It is surrounded almost entirely by the Indian Ocean, but parts of the peninsula are in contact with the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
1. Arabian Peninsula
If India can be called a subcontinent, perhaps the Arabian Peninsula should be too. By far the largest in the world, the Arabian Peninsula covers more than 1,250,000 square miles. It encompasses mostly dry, hot deserts, with land held by nations such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman. The Arabian Peninsula is bordered by the Red Sea on the west, the Arabian Sea on its southeast coast, and the Persian Gulf to the east. It's so massive that it even hosts its own peninsulas within it: The nation of Qatar is located on a small peninsula that juts out from its eastern side.