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China is the third largest country on Earth, whilst Pluto is only a dwarf planet. Still, there’s no comparison regarding which one is bigger as China is a flat land mass with a surface area of 9.7 million square kilometers and a volume of 462 million kilometers while Pluto is a spherical body with a surface area of 17.6 million square kilometers and a volume of 6.4 billion cubic kilometers.
Continue reading if you’re looking for a more detailed look at what makes both China and Pluto as big as they are.
How Big Is China?
China – officially named the People’s Republic of China – is the third largest country in the world and is located in East Asia. It is also the most populous country in the world, with a population of over 1.4 billion people.
China has a land area of 9,388,211 sq. km and a total area of 9,706,961 sq. km. The total area comprises not only the land mass but also the bodies of water (such as lakes and rivers). China has a diameter of 5,000 km stretching from east to west and a north-south length of 5,500 km.
One-third of China’s total land area comprises mountains, and it is home to the tallest peak in the world, Everest, which occupies the border between China and Nepal. Thanks to this mountainous terrain, the average thickness of China’s continental crust is 47.6 km (the average global thickness is 39.2km). This gives China an estimated volume of 462,051,344 cubic km.
The topography of China is varied and encompasses the highest and one of the lowest places on Earth, with climates that vary from dry desert to tropical monsoon. In fact, China has the greatest north-south temperature contrast of any country in the world.
China’s coastline runs for around 14,000km, while its land frontier extends to 20,000km to encompass its borders with 14 other countries, including Russia, Mongolia, India, and Kazakhstan. Generally speaking, China has a high west side and a low east side, meaning that many of its rivers flow eastward.
The vast expanse of this country covers almost five time zones, but China operates under a single time zone to unify the country.
How Big Is Pluto?
Even though Pluto is a planet, which would have most individuals automatically assume it to be bigger than most if not all countries or continents on Earth, this won’t always be the case, especially when looking at different measurements to determine its size.
For the longest time it was assumed that Pluto, the now officially recognized dwarf planet, had a surface area smaller than the largest know country on Earth, Russia let alone China.
This is because prior to the newest mission in 2015, it was estimated to have a surface area of 16.7 million km² but the New Horizons launch, which observed the planet in more detail than even before, came to a more accurate calculation of the dwarf planets surface area, coming out to be 17.6 million km².
Pluto does not have an excessive number of mountains on its surface nevertheless, some of its ice capped mountains are rather tall with certain mountain ranges reaching peaks as high as 3.55km.
In regards to the planets overall thickness, taking into account Pluto’s diameter of 2,376.6km, it would be many times the thickness of every country within Earth, whether it be Russia, Canada, the United States, China and so on.
All in all, even if purely based on surface area Pluto is similar to that of the largest continents on Earth and possibly even smaller than some of the continents(like Asia) on our blue sphere however, when thickness and volume comes into play, Pluto blows all of them out of the water.
After all a volume of 6.4 billion cubic km is nothing to scoff at, and hardly a number that the majority if not all the flat land on Earth could even combine to beat.
China is amongst the largest body of land on Earth, that’s why it’s currently number 3 in surface and volume and even numerous times larger than Pluto if we were to purely look at diameter.
However, Pluto is almost double China’s surface area and almost 15 times China’s volume. All in all, due to the fact Pluto is spherical as opposed to a flat land mass, it makes sense that it would be the bigger of the two overall.