Originally posted by whodey
There are 8!
Since a continent is defined as a contiguous land mass then either there are thousands of the things, since we'd have to treat every island as a continent, or there are four: Afro-eurasia, the Americas, Oceania and Antarctica.
The word "continent" isn't terribly precisely defined. What constitutes a continent depends on the context. The evidence is that a couple of hundred million years ago there was just one large continent. So I don't think that Australia is in much danger of losing her smallest continent status to Mauritius.