Why was Africa called ‘The Dark Continent’?

For a long time, the Europeans were unaware of the existence of a continent called Africa! So, when they first discovered and explored the continent, they called it by the name, ‘the dark continent’.

Actually, one of the oldest civilizations flourished on the banks of the Nile more than 5000 years ago. In addition, Africa was home to many other kingdoms and empires in later times.

But, the rest of the world had little knowledge about the interior of Africa for a long time, and hence the myth of ‘the dark continent’ came into the existence

Was The Dark Continent Really Dark?

Did you know that scientists believe that the earliest human beings lived in Africa? Bones and fossils discovered at many sites in Africa provide the oldest evidence of human-like creatures anywhere in the world. Africa is called ‘the birthplace of the human race’ because early humans evolved from apes between eight to five million years ago in Africa. Modern human beings evolved between 1,30,000 and 90,000 years ago, and subsequently, spread out of Africa. This is why Africa called ’the birthplace of the human race‘.

What is Eurafrasia?

We know that Europe and Asia form one large, continuous landmass, which some geographers refer to as Eurasia. But you have heard of Eurafrasia? It refers to Europe, Asia, and Africa together.

Geographers point out that before the Suez Canal was dug, Europe and Asia were connected to Africa by a narrow strip of land, and so the three should be considered as one supercontinent, Eurafrasia.

It is the world’s largest landmass, containing around 85% of the world population.

Suggested Read: Why is Asia known as ‘the cradle of civilization’?