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The Oceania Portal

An orthographic projection of Oceania

Oceania (UK: /ˌsiˈɑːniə, ˌʃi-, -ˈn-/, US: /ˌʃiˈæniə/ (listen), /-ˈɑːn-/) is a geographical region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western hemispheres, Oceania is estimated to have a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and a population of around 44.5 million as of 2021. When compared with the continents, the region of Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second least populated after Antarctica. Its major population centres are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Auckland, Adelaide, Honolulu, and Christchurch.

Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia, French Polynesia, Hawaiʻi, New Caledonia, and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and Human Development Index, to the much less developed economies of Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Western New Guinea, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Fiji, Palau, and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, and the largest city is Sydney. Puncak Jaya in Highland Papua, Indonesia is the highest peak in Oceania at 4,884 m (16,024 ft).

The arrival of European settlers in subsequent centuries resulted in a significant alteration in the social and political landscape of Oceania. The Pacific theatre saw major action during the Second World War, mainly between Allied powers the United States, Philippines (a US Commonwealth at the time) and Australia, and Axis power Japan. The rock art of Aboriginal Australians is the longest continuously practiced artistic tradition in the world. Most Oceanian countries are multi-party representative parliamentary democracies, with tourism being a large source of income for the Pacific Islands nations. (Full article...)

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Polynesia is generally defined as the islands within the Polynesian Triangle.

Polynesia (UK: /ˌpɒlɪˈnziə/, US: /-ˈnʒə/) is a subregion of Oceania, made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are called Polynesians. They have many things in common, including language relatedness, cultural practices, and traditional beliefs. In centuries past, they had a strong shared tradition of sailing and using stars to navigate at night. The largest country in Polynesia is New Zealand.

The term Polynésie was first used in 1756 by the French writer Charles de Brosses, who originally applied it to all the islands of the Pacific. In 1831, Jules Dumont d'Urville proposed a narrower definition during a lecture at the Geographical Society of Paris. By tradition, the islands located in the southern Pacific have also often been called the South Sea Islands, and their inhabitants have been called South Sea Islanders. The Hawaiian Islands have often been considered to be part of the South Sea Islands because of their relative proximity to the southern Pacific islands, even though they are in fact located in the North Pacific. Another term in use, which avoids this inconsistency, is "the Polynesian Triangle" (from the shape created by the layout of the islands in the Pacific Ocean). This term makes clear that the grouping includes the Hawaiian Islands, which are located at the northern vertex of the referenced "triangle". (Full article...)
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August 2016 boundary and location

The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) (roughly /pɑːpɑːˈhɑːnmkuˌɑːk.ə/) is a World Heritage listed U.S. National Monument encompassing 583,000 square miles (1,510,000 km2) of ocean waters, including ten islands and atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. It was created in June 2006 with 140,000 square miles (360,000 km2) and expanded in August 2016 by moving its border to the limit of the exclusive economic zone, making it one of the world's largest protected areas. It is internationally known for its cultural and natural values as follows:

The area has deep cosmological and traditional significance for living Native Hawaiian culture, as an ancestral environment, as an embodiment of the Hawaiian concept of kinship between people and the natural world, and as the place where it is believed that life originates and to where the spirits return after death. On two of the islands, Nihoa and Mokumanamana, there are archaeological remains relating to pre-European settlement and use. Much of the monument is made up of pelagic and deepwater habitats, with notable features such as seamounts and submerged banks, extensive coral reefs and lagoons.

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