According to Wikipedia, the Pacific Ocean contains an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 islands (the exact number has yet to be precisely determined). Those islands lying south of the tropic of Cancer but excluding Australia are traditionally grouped into three divisions: Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Inhabitants are sometimes referred to as Pacific Islanders.
Melanesia means black islands. These include New Guinea (the largest Pacific island, which is divided into the sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian provinces of Maluku, Papua and West Papua), New Caledonia, Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands),Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.
Micronesia means small islands. These include the Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Most of these lie north of the equator.
Polynesia means many islands. These include New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, the Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island. It is the largest of the three zones.
Bronze statue of Chief Gadao, Inarajan, Guam.
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