Oceania (sometimes Oceanica) is a geographical, and often geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands—mostly islands in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity. The term “Oceania” was coined in 1831 by French explorer Dumont d’Urville. The term is also sometimes used to denote a continent comprising Australia and proximate Pacific islands, and is one of eight terrestrial ecozones.
The boundaries of Oceania are defined in a number of ways. Most definitions include Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea, and all or part of the Malay Archipelago. Ethnologically, the islands that are included in Oceania are divided into the subregions of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia.
Oceania is traditionally understood as being composed of three regions: Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. As with any region, however, interpretations vary; increasingly, geographers and scientists divide Oceania into Near Oceania and Remote Oceania.
Most of Oceania consists of island nations comprising thousands of coral atolls and volcanic islands, with small human populations. Australia is the only continental country but Indonesia has land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. If the Australia-New Guinea continent is included then the highest point is Puncak Jaya in Papua at 4,884 m (16,024 ft) and the lowest point is Lake Eyre, Australia at 16 m (52 ft) below sea level.
Territories and regions
Descriptions of the regions and constituents of Oceania vary according to source. The table below shows the subregions and countries of Oceania as broadly categorised according to the scheme for geographic subregions used by the United Nations. These territories and regions are subject to various additional categorisations, of course, depending on the source and purpose of each description.
|Name of region, followed by countries
and their flags
|Dependencies/Territories of Australia:|
|Christmas Island||135||1,493||3.5||Flying Fish Cove|
|Cocos (Keeling) Islands||14||632||45.1||West Island|
|Coral Sea Islands||3|
|Indonesia (Oceanian part only)||499,852||4,211,532||8.4||Jakarta|
|New Caledonia (France)||19,060||240,390||12.6||Nouméa|
|Papua New Guinea||462,840||5,172,033||11.2||Port Moresby|
|Federated States of Micronesia||702||135,869||193.5||Palikir|
|Northern Mariana Islands (USA)||477||77,311||162.1||Saipan|
|Wake Island (USA)||2||Wake Island|
|American Samoa (USA)||199||68,688||345.2||Pago Pago, Fagatogo|
|Cook Islands (NZ)||240||20,811||86.7||Avarua|
|Easter Island (Chile)||163.6||3,791||23.1||Hanga Roa|
|French Polynesia (France)||3,961||257,847||61.9||Papeete|
|Pitcairn Islands (UK)||5||47||10||Adamstown|
|Wallis and Futuna (France)||274||15,585||56.9||Mata-Utu|
|Total minus mainland Australia||1,350,845||17,844,851||13.2|
-Enjoy the following videos about Oceania!