Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres, about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but dense and large settlements, as well as vast populated regions, its 4.5 billion people constitute 60% of the world's population. In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, on the north by the Arctic Ocean; the border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity.
The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa. China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce and colonialism; the accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.
Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may have more to do with human geography than physical geography. Asia varies across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, environments, historical ties and government systems, it has a mix of many different climates ranging from the equatorial south via the hot desert in the Middle East, temperate areas in the east and the continental centre to vast subarctic and polar areas in Siberia. The boundary between Asia and Africa is the Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez, the Suez Canal; this makes Egypt a transcontinental country, with the Sinai peninsula in Asia and the remainder of the country in Africa. The border between Asia and Europe was defined by European academics; the Don River became unsatisfactory to northern Europeans when Peter the Great, king of the Tsardom of Russia, defeating rival claims of Sweden and the Ottoman Empire to the eastern lands, armed resistance by the tribes of Siberia, synthesized a new Russian Empire extending to the Ural Mountains and beyond, founded in 1721.
The major geographical theorist of the empire was a former Swedish prisoner-of-war, taken at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 and assigned to Tobolsk, where he associated with Peter's Siberian official, Vasily Tatishchev, was allowed freedom to conduct geographical and anthropological studies in preparation for a future book. In Sweden, five years after Peter's death, in 1730 Philip Johan von Strahlenberg published a new atlas proposing the Urals as the border of Asia. Tatishchev announced; the latter had suggested the Emba River as the lower boundary. Over the next century various proposals were made until the Ural River prevailed in the mid-19th century; the border had been moved perforce from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea into which the Ural River projects. The border between the Black Sea and the Caspian is placed along the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, although it is sometimes placed further north; the border between Asia and the region of Oceania is placed somewhere in the Malay Archipelago.
The Maluku Islands in Indonesia are considered to lie on the border of southeast Asia, with New Guinea, to the east of the islands, being wholly part of Oceania. The terms Southeast Asia and Oceania, devised in the 19th century, have had several vastly different geographic meanings since their inception; the chief factor in determining which islands of the Malay Archipelago are Asian has been the location of the colonial possessions of the various empires there. Lewis and Wigen assert, "The narrowing of'Southeast Asia' to its present boundaries was thus a gradual process." Geographical Asia is a cultural artifact of European conceptions of the world, beginning with the Ancient Greeks, being imposed onto other cultures, an imprecise concept causing endemic contention about what it means. Asia does not correspond to the cultural borders of its various types of constituents. From the time of Herodotus a minority of geographers have rejected the three-continent system on the grounds that there is no substantial physical separation between
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water's surface, thus is not an island, islet or cliff-rock. Seamounts are formed from extinct volcanoes that rise abruptly and are found rising from the seafloor to 1,000–4,000 m in height, they are defined by oceanographers as independent features that rise to at least 1,000 m above the seafloor, characteristically of conical form. The peaks are found hundreds to thousands of meters below the surface, are therefore considered to be within the deep sea. During their evolution over geologic time, the largest seamounts may reach the sea surface where wave action erodes the summit to form a flat surface. After they have subsided and sunk below the sea surface such flat-top seamounts are called "guyots" or "tablemounts"A total of 9,951 seamounts and 283 guyots, covering a total of 8,796,150 km2 have been mapped but only a few have been studied in detail by scientists. Seamounts and guyots are most abundant in the North Pacific Ocean, follow a distinctive evolutionary pattern of eruption, build-up, subsidence and erosion.
In recent years, several active seamounts have been observed, for example Loihi in the Hawaiian Islands. Because of their abundance, seamounts are one of the most common marine ecosystems in the world. Interactions between seamounts and underwater currents, as well as their elevated position in the water, attract plankton, corals and marine mammals alike, their aggregational effect has been noted by the commercial fishing industry, many seamounts support extensive fisheries. There are ongoing concerns on the negative impact of fishing on seamount ecosystems, well-documented cases of stock decline, for example with the orange roughy. 95 % of ecological damage is done by bottom trawling. Because of their large numbers, many seamounts remain to be properly studied, mapped. Bathymetry and satellite altimetry are two technologies working to close the gap. There have been instances. However, the greatest danger from seamounts are flank collapses. Seamounts can be found in every ocean basin in the world, distributed widely both in space and in age.
A seamount is technically defined as an isolated rise in elevation of 1,000 m or more from the surrounding seafloor, with a limited summit area, of conical form. If small knolls and hills less than 1,000 m in height are included there are over 100,000 seamounts in the world ocean. Most seamounts are volcanic in origin, thus tend to be found on oceanic crust near mid-ocean ridges, mantle plumes, island arcs. Overall and guyot coverage is greatest as a proportion of seafloor area in the North Pacific Ocean, equal to 4.39% of that ocean region. The Arctic Ocean has only 16 seamounts and no guyots, the Mediterranean and Black seas together have only 23 seamounts and 2 guyots; the 9,951 seamounts mapped cover an area of 8,088,550 km2. Seamounts have an average area of 790 km2, with the smallest seamounts found in the Arctic Ocean and the Mediterranean and Black Seas, whilst the largest mean seamount size occurs in the Indian Ocean 890 km2; the largest seamount has an area of 15,500 km2 and it occurs in the North Pacific.
Guyots cover a total area of 707,600 km2 and have an average area of 2,500 km2, more than twice the average size of seamounts. Nearly 50% of guyot area and 42% of the number of guyots occur in the North Pacific Ocean, covering 342,070 km2; the largest three guyots are all in the North Pacific: the Kuko Guyot, Suiko Guyot and the Pallada Guyot. "Seamount chain" redirects here. Seamounts are found in groupings or submerged archipelagos, a classic example being the Emperor Seamounts, an extension of the Hawaiian Islands. Formed millions of years ago by volcanism, they have since subsided far below sea level; this long chain of islands and seamounts extends thousands of kilometers northwest from the island of Hawaii. There are more seamounts in the Pacific Ocean than in the Atlantic, their distribution can be described as comprising several elongate chains of seamounts superimposed on a more or less random background distribution. Seamount chains occur in all three major ocean basins, with the Pacific having the most number and most extensive seamount chains.
These include the Hawaiian, Gilbert and Austral Seamounts in the north Pacific and the Louisville and Sala y Gomez ridges in the southern Pacific Ocean. In the North Atlantic Ocean, the New England Seamounts extend from the eastern coast of the United States to the mid-ocean ridge. Craig and Sandwell noted that clusters of larger Atlantic seamounts tend to be associated with other evidence of hotspot activity, such as on the Walvis Ridge, Bermuda Islands and Cape Verde Islands; the mid-Atlantic ridge and spreading ridges in the Indian Ocean are associated with abundant seamounts. Otherwise, seamounts tend not to form distinctive chains in the Indian and Southern Oceans, but rather their distribution appears to be more or less random. Isolated seamounts and those without clear volcanic origins are less commo
Franciscan Assemblage or Franciscan Complex is a geologic term for a late Mesozoic terrane of heterogeneous rocks found throughout the California Coast Ranges, on the San Francisco Peninsula. It was named by geologist Andrew Lawson, who named the San Andreas fault that defines the western extent of the assemblage. Identified by its red-green color and folded, twisted appearance, the assemblage is characterized as being metamorphic in nature, its most well-known rocks are blueschists. However, the assemblage contains a wide range of different rocks in different stages of the rock cycle. A single outcrop may contain basalt and other rocks in addition to schist; the outcrops of the formation have a large range, extending from Douglas County, Oregon to Santa Barbara County, California. Franciscan-like formations may be as far south as Santa Catalina Island; the formation lends its name to the term describing high-pressure regional metamorphic facies, the Franciscan facies series. These rocks - which are known as the Franciscan Complex, Series, or Group - include mafic volcanic rocks, many of which are altered to greenstone, radiolarian cherts, greywacke sandstones, serpentinites and high-pressure metamorphic rocks, such as blueschist.
Although most of the Franciscan is Late Jurassic through Cretaceous in age, some Franciscan rocks as young as Miocene, as old as early Jurassic age are known. Following deposition, these rocks were faulted and mixed in a chaotic manner. Due to the lack of continuous exposures and the complex folding and faulting, it is impossible to use conventional methods to estimate the thickness of the assemblage. However, various arguments can be made. Franciscan rocks are thought to have formed prior to creation of the San Andreas Fault when an ancient deep-sea trench existed along the California continental margin; this trench, most of, no longer evident, resulted from subduction of oceanic crust of the Farallon tectonic plate beneath continental crust of the North American Plate. As oceanic crust descended beneath the continent, volcanic rocks basalt, making up the lower plate, marine sediments deposited on top of it were scraped off and accreted to the leading edge of the overriding plate; this resulted in widespread deformation with development of folding.
Ophiolite, rocks altered by high-pressure metamorphism were emplaced during this episode. Deformation and emplacement continued during subsequent creation of the San Andreas fault to result in a complex chaotic assemblage of diverse rock types that some refer to as a mélange. Franciscan sediments contain a diverse assemblage of fossils; the most abundant fossils by far are microfossils in the cherts, which contain single-celled organisms called radiolarians that have exoskeletons of silica. There are in some of the shales microfossils of planktonic foraminifera that have exoskeletons of carbonate; these microfossils, by and large, indicate deposition in an open-water setting where deep-water conditions exist. Vertebrate fossils in the Franciscan are rare, but include three Mesozoic marine reptiles that are shown in the table below. Again, these indicate an open-water, therefore deep-marine setting. Although rare, a few shallow-marine fossils have been found as well, include extinct oysters and clams.
Microfossils in the Calera Limestone member of the Franciscan exposed at the Permanente and Pacifica cement quarries indicate a shallow-marine setting, with deposition on top of a seamount in the tropical Pacific Ocean and subsequent transport and accretion by the Pacific Plate onto the California continental margin. Thus though most of the Franciscan appears to have been deposited in a deep-water setting, it is a complex and diverse assemblage of rocks, shallow-water settings, though not the norm, existed as well. Although no significant accumulations of oil or gas have been found in the Franciscan, other opportunities have been exploited over the years. During the 19th century when gold mining was one of the main industries in California, cinnabar associated with serpentine in the Franciscan was mined for quicksilver needed to process gold ore and gold-bearing gravels; some of the more important mines were those at New Idria and New Almaden, the Sulphur Bank Mine at Clearlake Oaks, the Knoxville Mine and others at Knoxville.
The Franciscan contains large bodies of limestone pure enough for making cement, the Permanente Quarry near Cupertino, California is a giant open-pit mine in a body of Franciscan limestone that supplied most of the cement for building the Shasta Dam across the Sacramento River. The Rockaway Beach Quarry at Pacifica is another example of a major limestone quarry in the Franciscan. California landslides Farallon Plate – An ancient oceanic plate that has subducted under the west coast of the North American Plate Great Valley Sequence – A group of late Mesozoic formations in the Cental Valley of California Subduction – A geological process at convergent tectonic plate boundaries where one plate moves under the other Bailey, E. H.. P.. L.. "Franciscan and related rocks and their significance in the geology of western California". California Div. Mines and Geology Bull. 183: 177 p. Blome, C. D.. P.. "Tectonic significance of late Paleozoic to Jurassic radiolarians from the North Fork terrane, Klamath Mountains, California".
In Stevens, C. H. Pre-Jurassic rocks in we
The density, or more the volumetric mass density, of a substance is its mass per unit volume. The symbol most used for density is ρ, although the Latin letter D can be used. Mathematically, density is defined as mass divided by volume: ρ = m V where ρ is the density, m is the mass, V is the volume. In some cases, density is loosely defined as its weight per unit volume, although this is scientifically inaccurate – this quantity is more called specific weight. For a pure substance the density has the same numerical value as its mass concentration. Different materials have different densities, density may be relevant to buoyancy and packaging. Osmium and iridium are the densest known elements at standard conditions for temperature and pressure but certain chemical compounds may be denser. To simplify comparisons of density across different systems of units, it is sometimes replaced by the dimensionless quantity "relative density" or "specific gravity", i.e. the ratio of the density of the material to that of a standard material water.
Thus a relative density less than one means. The density of a material varies with pressure; this variation is small for solids and liquids but much greater for gases. Increasing the pressure on an object decreases the volume of the object and thus increases its density. Increasing the temperature of a substance decreases its density by increasing its volume. In most materials, heating the bottom of a fluid results in convection of the heat from the bottom to the top, due to the decrease in the density of the heated fluid; this causes it to rise relative to more dense unheated material. The reciprocal of the density of a substance is called its specific volume, a term sometimes used in thermodynamics. Density is an intensive property in that increasing the amount of a substance does not increase its density. In a well-known but apocryphal tale, Archimedes was given the task of determining whether King Hiero's goldsmith was embezzling gold during the manufacture of a golden wreath dedicated to the gods and replacing it with another, cheaper alloy.
Archimedes knew that the irregularly shaped wreath could be crushed into a cube whose volume could be calculated and compared with the mass. Baffled, Archimedes is said to have taken an immersion bath and observed from the rise of the water upon entering that he could calculate the volume of the gold wreath through the displacement of the water. Upon this discovery, he leapt from his bath and ran naked through the streets shouting, "Eureka! Eureka!". As a result, the term "eureka" entered common parlance and is used today to indicate a moment of enlightenment; the story first appeared in written form in Vitruvius' books of architecture, two centuries after it took place. Some scholars have doubted the accuracy of this tale, saying among other things that the method would have required precise measurements that would have been difficult to make at the time. From the equation for density, mass density has units of mass divided by volume; as there are many units of mass and volume covering many different magnitudes there are a large number of units for mass density in use.
The SI unit of kilogram per cubic metre and the cgs unit of gram per cubic centimetre are the most used units for density. One g/cm3 is equal to one thousand kg/m3. One cubic centimetre is equal to one millilitre. In industry, other larger or smaller units of mass and or volume are more practical and US customary units may be used. See below for a list of some of the most common units of density. A number of techniques as well as standards exist for the measurement of density of materials; such techniques include the use of a hydrometer, Hydrostatic balance, immersed body method, air comparison pycnometer, oscillating densitometer, as well as pour and tap. However, each individual method or technique measures different types of density, therefore it is necessary to have an understanding of the type of density being measured as well as the type of material in question; the density at all points of a homogeneous object equals its total mass divided by its total volume. The mass is measured with a scale or balance.
To determine the density of a liquid or a gas, a hydrometer, a dasymeter or a Coriolis flow meter may be used, respectively. Hydrostatic weighing uses the displacement of water due to a submerged object to determine the density of the object. If the body is not homogeneous its density varies between different regions of the object. In that case the density around any given location is determined by calculating the density of a small volume around that location. In the limit of an infinitesimal volume the density of an inhomogeneous object at a point becomes: ρ = d m / d V, where d V is an elementary volume at position r; the mass of the body t
Plate tectonics is a scientific theory describing the large-scale motion of seven large plates and the movements of a larger number of smaller plates of the Earth's lithosphere, since tectonic processes began on Earth between 3 and 3.5 billion years ago. The model builds on the concept of continental drift, an idea developed during the first decades of the 20th century; the geoscientific community accepted plate-tectonic theory after seafloor spreading was validated in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The lithosphere, the rigid outermost shell of a planet, is broken into tectonic plates; the Earth's lithosphere is composed of many minor plates. Where the plates meet, their relative motion determines the type of boundary: convergent, divergent, or transform. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries; the relative movement of the plates ranges from zero to 100 mm annually. Tectonic plates are composed of oceanic lithosphere and thicker continental lithosphere, each topped by its own kind of crust.
Along convergent boundaries, subduction, or one plate moving under another, carries the lower one down into the mantle. In this way, the total surface of the lithosphere remains the same; this prediction of plate tectonics is referred to as the conveyor belt principle. Earlier theories, since disproven, proposed gradual expansion of the globe. Tectonic plates are able to move because the Earth's lithosphere has greater mechanical strength than the underlying asthenosphere. Lateral density variations in the mantle result in convection. Plate movement is thought to be driven by a combination of the motion of the seafloor away from spreading ridges due to variations in topography and density changes in the crust. At subduction zones the cold, dense crust is "pulled" or sinks down into the mantle over the downward convecting limb of a mantle cell. Another explanation lies in the different forces generated by tidal forces of the Moon; the relative importance of each of these factors and their relationship to each other is unclear, still the subject of much debate.
The outer layers of the Earth are divided into the asthenosphere. The division is based on differences in mechanical properties and in the method for the transfer of heat; the lithosphere is more rigid, while the asthenosphere is hotter and flows more easily. In terms of heat transfer, the lithosphere loses heat by conduction, whereas the asthenosphere transfers heat by convection and has a nearly adiabatic temperature gradient; this division should not be confused with the chemical subdivision of these same layers into the mantle and the crust: a given piece of mantle may be part of the lithosphere or the asthenosphere at different times depending on its temperature and pressure. The key principle of plate tectonics is that the lithosphere exists as separate and distinct tectonic plates, which ride on the fluid-like asthenosphere. Plate motions range up to a typical 10–40 mm/year, to about 160 mm/year; the driving mechanism behind this movement is described below. Tectonic lithosphere plates consist of lithospheric mantle overlain by one or two types of crustal material: oceanic crust and continental crust.
Average oceanic lithosphere is 100 km thick. Because it is formed at mid-ocean ridges and spreads outwards, its thickness is therefore a function of its distance from the mid-ocean ridge where it was formed. For a typical distance that oceanic lithosphere must travel before being subducted, the thickness varies from about 6 km thick at mid-ocean ridges to greater than 100 km at subduction zones. Continental lithosphere is about 200 km thick, though this varies between basins, mountain ranges, stable cratonic interiors of continents; the location where two plates meet is called a plate boundary. Plate boundaries are associated with geological events such as earthquakes and the creation of topographic features such as mountains, mid-ocean ridges, oceanic trenches; the majority of the world's active volcanoes occur along plate boundaries, with the Pacific Plate's Ring of Fire being the most active and known today. These boundaries are discussed in further detail below; some volcanoes occur in the interiors of plates, these have been variously attributed to internal plate deformation and to mantle plumes.
As explained above, tectonic plates may include continental crust or oceanic crust, most plates contain both. For example, the African Plate includes the continent and parts of the floor of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans; the distinction between oceanic crust and continental crust is based on their modes of formation. Oceanic crust is fo
Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, in the Caribbean region of North America. It is 34 kilometres in length and up to 23 km in width, covering an area of 432 km2, it is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea. It is about 168 km east of both the countries of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 400 km north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside the principal Atlantic hurricane belt, its capital and largest city is Bridgetown. Inhabited by Kalinago people since the 13th century, prior to that by other Amerindians, Barbados was visited by Spanish navigators in the late 15th century and claimed for the Spanish Crown, it first appeared in a Spanish map in 1511. The Portuguese claimed the island in 1536, but abandoned it, with their only remnants being an introduction of wild hogs for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. An English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1625.
In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England, it became an English and British colony. As a wealthy sugar colony, it became an English centre of the African slave trade until that trade was outlawed in 1807, with final emancipation of slaves in Barbados occurring over a period of years from 1833. On 30 November 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm with Elizabeth II as its queen, it has a population of 287,010 people, predominantly of African descent. Despite being classified as an Atlantic island, Barbados is considered to be a part of the Caribbean, where it is ranked as a leading tourist destination. Forty percent of the tourists come from the UK, with the US and Canada making up the next large groups of visitors to the island; the name "Barbados" is from either the Portuguese term Os Barbados or the Spanish equivalent, Los Barbados, both meaning "the bearded ones". It is unclear whether "bearded" refers to the long, hanging roots of the bearded fig-tree, indigenous to the island, or to the bearded Caribs who once inhabited the island, or, more fancifully, to a visual impression of a beard formed by the sea foam that sprays over the outlying reefs.
In 1519, a map produced by the Genoese mapmaker Visconte Maggiolo showed and named Barbados in its correct position. Furthermore, the island of Barbuda in the Leewards is similar in name and was once named "Las Barbudas" by the Spanish, it is uncertain. One lesser-known source points to earlier revealed works predating contemporary sources indicating it could have been the Spanish. Many if not most believe the Portuguese, en route to Brazil, were the first Europeans to come upon the island; the original name for Barbados in the Pre-Columbian era was Ichirouganaim, according to accounts by descendants of the indigenous Arawakan-speaking tribes in other regional areas, with possible translations including "Red land with white teeth" or "Redstone island with teeth outside" or "Teeth". Colloquially, Barbadians refer to their home island as "Bim" or other nicknames associated with Barbados, including "Bimshire"; the origin is uncertain. The National Cultural Foundation of Barbados says that "Bim" was a word used by slaves, that it derives from the Igbo term bém from bé mụ́ meaning'my home, kind', the Igbo phoneme in the Igbo orthography is close to.
The name could have arisen due to the large percentage of enslaved Igbo people from modern-day southeastern Nigeria arriving in Barbados in the 18th century. The words'Bim' and'Bimshire' are recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary and Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionaries. Another possible source for'Bim' is reported to be in the Agricultural Reporter of 25 April 1868, where the Rev. N. Greenidge suggested the listing of Bimshire as a county of England. Expressly named were "Wiltshire, Hampshire and Bimshire". Lastly, in the Daily Argosy of 1652, there is a reference to Bim as a possible corruption of'Byam', the name of a Royalist leader against the Parliamentarians; that source suggested the followers of Byam became known as'Bims' and that this became a word for all Barbadians. Amerindian settlement of Barbados dates to about the 4th to 7th centuries AD, by a group known as the Saladoid-Barrancoid; the Arawaks from South America became dominant around 800 AD, maintained that status until around 1200.
In the 13th century, the Kalinago arrived from South America. The Spanish and Portuguese claimed Barbados from the late 16th to the 17th centuries; the Arawaks are believed to have fled to neighbouring islands. Apart from displacing the Caribs, the Spanish and Portuguese made little impact and left the island uninhabited; some Arawaks continue to live in Barbados. In the early years the majority of the labour was provided by European indentured servants English and Scottish, with enslaved Africans and enslaved Amerindian providing little of the workforce. During the Cromwellian era this included a large number of prisoners-of-war and people who were illicitly kidnapped, who were forcibly transported to the island and sold as servants; these last two groups were predominately Irish, as several thousand were infamously rounded up by Engli