The Oceania Portal
Oceania (UK: /ˌoʊsiˈɑːniə, ˌoʊʃi-, -ˈeɪn-/, US: /ˌoʊʃiˈæniə/ (listen), /-ˈɑːn-/) is a geographical region that is described as a continent in some parts of the world. It 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 44.4 million as of 2022. Oceania is described as a geographical region in most of the English-speaking world, but outside of the English-speaking world, Oceania is described as one of the continents. In this model of the world, Australia is only seen as an island nation contained inside of the continent of Oceania, and not a continent by itself. When compared to the other continents, Oceania is the smallest in land area and the second least populated after Antarctica.
Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia, French Polynesia, Hawaii, 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 U.S. 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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Melanesia (UK: /ˌmɛləˈniːziə/, US: /ˌmɛləˈniːʒə/) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It extends from New Guinea in the west to the Fiji Islands in the east, and includes the Arafura Sea.The region includes the four independent countries of Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. It also includes the Indonesian part of New Guinea, the French oversea collectivity of New Caledonia, and the Torres Strait Islands. Almost all of the region is in the Southern Hemisphere; only a few small islands that are not politically considered part of Oceania—specifically the northwestern islands of Western New Guinea—lie in the Northern Hemisphere. (Full article...)
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Hurricane Ioke, also referred to as Typhoon Ioke, was a record breaking, long-lived and extremely powerful storm that traversed the Pacific for 17 days, reaching the equivalent of Category 5 status on the Saffir–Simpson hurricane scale on three different occasions. It was the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Central Pacific, as well as the fifth-most intense Pacific hurricane on record, tied with 1973's Hurricane Ava. It also generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy for a single storm, until that record was broken by Cyclone Freddy in 2023. Ioke was the ninth named storm, fifth hurricane, and third major hurricane of the active 2006 Pacific hurricane season.The cyclone developed in the Intertropical Convergence Zone on August 20 far to the south of Hawaii. Encountering warm waters, little wind shear, and well-defined outflow, Ioke intensified from a tropical depression to Category 4 status within 48 hours. Late on August 22, it rapidly weakened to Category 2 status before crossing over Johnston Atoll. Two days later, favorable conditions again allowed for rapid strengthening, and Ioke attained Category 5 status on August 25 before crossing the International Date Line. As it continued westward, its intensity fluctuated, and on August 31, it passed near Wake Island with winds of 155 mph (250 km/h). Ioke gradually weakened as it turned northwestward and northward, and by September 6, it had transitioned into an extratropical cyclone. The remnants of Ioke accelerated northeastward and ultimately crossed into the Bering Sea, and then the Gulf of Alaska. (Full article...)
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