Difference Between Island and Peninsula

Island vs Peninsula

Island and Peninsula are two words that are to be understood with difference. An island is a piece of land covered on all sides by water whereas a peninsula is a piece of land covered by water on three of its sides. This is the main difference between island and peninsula.

Islands usually take a large mass of land. The 16 biggest islands constitute an area more than the whole area of the continent of Europe. There are smaller islands numbering to a few thousands in the world. It is interesting to note that there are four types of islands, namely continental, oceanic, tectonic and coral.

Continental islands are those that rise from the continental shelf like the British Isles. Oceanic islands are those that rise from the bottom of the ocean. St. Helena is an example of Oceanic Island. Tectonic islands are those created by movements in the Earth’s crust. Barbados in the West Indies is formed in this way. Coral islands are formed by the action of minute sea organisms called coral polyps.

A peninsula on the other hand is a piece of land almost surrounded by water or projecting far into a sea or lake. The word ‘peninsula’ is derived from the Latin word ‘paeninsula’. Another important difference between island and peninsula is that an island is a detached or an isolated part of land whereas a peninsula is not a detached or an isolated part of land.

Some of the examples of peninsula are the countries of India and Greenland. India for that matter is covered on the three sides by oceans and seas namely, Bay of Bengal, Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.

One of the chief characteristics of groups of islands is that they are laden with a number of beaches and waterfront houses and ocean front houses. They abound in picturesque beauty.