Lv 6
Phil asked in Science & MathematicsGeography · 8 months ago

So what does it actually mean to say " one of the largest countries in the world in area" ?

Would you only count the top ten, twenty .. or ??

Nepal, for example is 93rd largest in area in the world ( out of 194 countries).

Would I still be correct if I said that Nepal is one of the largest countries in the world ?

5 Answers

  • 8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Open to interpretation.  The idea of "largest" truly means that there ought to be just one, but when used in this way, the word is being used to say "one of the top few or several" large countries, and it is that idea of "few/several" that is variable.  No one would argue that 93 out of 194 is anything close to being in the top few or top several in terms of size.  Whether number 10 fits, though, depends on how you define "top" in terms of numbers (when does the number become too big to be called "several"? Or did the person mean "few" instead?).

    The phrasing is not precise, and as such, is open to some variation in interpreted meaning.  What I think are the largest countries does not necessarily agree with your thoughts on the matter.  But we will probably be pretty close just the same.  I think everyone would agree that number 93 is not in the top.

  • Ron
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Perhaps.  Area is usually calculated as a two-dimensional surface area as seen in map view.  If you think about it, though, that is not the actual surface area.  A square kilometer of flat land does not have nearly the surface area as a square kilometer of mountainous terrain as seen in map view. 

    Think of a pyramid.  The size of a sheet of paper covering the base would be a lot smaller than one covering the pyramid itself.  So mountainous terrain actually has much more surface area than a flat area, even if they appear the same size on a map.  Nepal would likely be much higher on the list if the actual surface area was calculated.

  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    It's impossible to say where the actual cutoff is, but I'm sure it's way above #93. Probably somewhere around 10 or 20. In philosophy and linguistics this question is known as the "heap of sand problem" -- there's no exact number of grains of sand that divides a heap of sand from just a few grains, but "I know a heap when I see one."

  • Snoopy
    Lv 6
    8 months ago

    Area means the surface of terrain 'occupied' as the crow flies.

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  • Anonymous
    8 months ago

    I would say top 20 would be acceptable because that's roughly the top 10% of countries. NepaI would not count

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