Oceania is a geographical (often geopolitical) region consisting of numerous countries and territories—mostly islands—in the Pacific Ocean. The exact scope of Oceania is controversial, with varying interpretations including East Timor, Australia, and New Zealand. more...
For the oceans of the Earth, see Oceans.
The primary use of the term Oceania is to describe a continental region (like Europe or Africa) that lies between Asia and the Americas, with Australia as the major land mass. The name Oceania is used, rather than Australia, because unlike the other continental groupings, it is the ocean rather than the continent that links the nations together. Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest, after Antarctica, in population.
Countries and territories of Oceania
Oceania has been traditionally divided into Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia (originally by the French explorer Dumont d'Urville in 1831). This subdivision is no longer recognised as correct by most geographers and scientists — who prefer to divide Oceania into Near Oceania and Remote Oceania — but it is still the most popular one.
Most of Oceania consists of small island nations. Australia is the only continental country, and Papua New Guinea and East Timor are the only countries with land borders, both with Indonesia.
The nations of Oceania have varying degrees of independence from their colonial powers and have negotiated a wide range of constitutional arrangements to suit their circumstances. The following list contains the countries and territories that are classified as part of Oceania by UNESCO; other countries are sometimes considered part of Oceania (see Other Interpretations below).
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