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If New Zealand isn't part of the "continent" of Australia, then what continent is it a part of? Oceania. Of course. Oceania is the continent. (talk) 20:08, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

It isn't part of any continent. There seems to be a misconception that every piece of land has to be part of a continent, but this isn't true. There are many island nations that aren't part of a continent. Adding New Zealand to the continent of Australia (or Australasia) is unnecessary. It would make sense to do so if NZ was on the continental shelf of Australia, as New Guinea is, but NZ isn't on the continental shelf. So then you may wonder, what is NZ? Simple. NZ is the dry-land portion of the submerged Microcontinent of Zealandia. Oceania is a geopolitical region, not a true continent, as it doesn't comprise a unified landmass (which is how geologists describe a continent). Although Wikipedia should include that some people in various countries (especially in Europe) consider Oceania a continent, but note that this is not the most widely held definition, but merely a subjective and ambiguous identification. Walterego (talk) 08:45, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
Its suppoesed to be called Australasia and Ocenia Dance-pop (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 22:52, 6 February 2009 (UTC).
I realize this is old... but exactly what is the source that claims that Oceania not being a continent is the most popular notion? Is that from the point of view of a citizen of the United States? Because in Latin America they teach that Oceania is the continent. Apparently this is also the truth for Europe. I've no idea of how they teach it in africa, middle eastern countries, asia, or on Oceania itself, but surely a neutral source exists for the statement that Australian continent, and not Oceania, is the correct term. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)
It is the point of view of most English language sources. In Latin America, they speak Spanish or Portuguese so what is taught there isn't really relevant for determining what the primary notion of the continents is for an English language website such as this. There is no problem with mentioning the South American and European models, but the definitions most commonly used in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, etc (countries that are primarily native English speaking) should come first with the others presented as alternatives. In other words, I won't try to tell you how to name and describe things in Spanish/Portuguese if you won't try to tell me how to do it in English.--Khajidha (talk) 17:00, 24 July 2012 (UTC)


The ONLY part of Indonesia that should be included in Oceania is the island of New Guinea and its continental shelf. Adding in the Maluku Islands, which by the way is now cut in half into North Maluku and Maluku, complicates things. If needed, Indonesia's information here is steadily growing, with its provinces divided into kabupaten (regencies), and its regencies into kecamatan (districts). We should use that information to get a better picture. Doseiai2 (talk) 11:27, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Maps for continents - proposal[edit]

Currently a number of different styles of maps are used for continents (and for the poles), for example:

I'd like to try and standardise maps across the following articles: Americas, North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe and Oceania (and also, ideally, Arctic and Antarctica. My preference is for the orthographic projection currently used at Europe because:

  • It's an SVG instead of a PNG, so can be scaled easily.
  • New maps can be relatively created from existing SVGs (i.e. Europe's map - or the other SVG maps visible at File:Europe (orthographic projection).svg - can be recycled).
  • As an orthographic projection it allows the maps to be centred on the relevant continent or territory.

Assuming there's consensus for this, I'll post a request at Wikipedia:Graphic Lab/Image workshop (unless, of course, anyone volunteers beforehand!) However, before doing that I do want to check that there is consensus for this at each article affected. Additionally, I'm posting this at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Geography to increase the exposure - I'd rather find out if this is a stupid idea before I start requesting new images ;-)

Personally I think it would be good if the Arctic and Antarctic maps were consistent with the continent maps. I realise that the poles may have different requirements, however.

This proposal is quite a radical proposal, affecting many articles, and deals with areas I don't normally edit in. I'm therefore prepared to be slapped down if I'm stepping on toes!

Cheers, This flag once was redpropagandadeeds 19:16, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Requests submitted. I'd like to reiterate that I have no intention of enforcing these new maps on articles - if there is any objection I'll understand. My intent here is to make uniformity possible, not to enforce it. Cheers, This flag once was redpropagandadeeds 11:52, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Two navbars reverted[edit]

Editor Gadfium: The following templates, {{English dialects by continent}} and {{English official language clickable map}}, were added earlier to all the continents excluding Antarctica. Why is Oceania the only continental area that is not allowed to benefit from these two extremely useful and highly relevant Navbars? If you'll give them more than a glance, you'll find, for example, that the map template shows the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Australia, New Zealand, Palau, Nauru all as showing English as one of their official languages with a significant population of English speakers, as well as Fiji, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea showing English as their official language but with only a small number of English speakers. In addition, that template shows readers where other anglophone states are, so both that template and the "English dialects by continent" template are excellent focusing tools for general readers of this encyclopedia. I'm here on the talk page because I abhor edit wars. However I truly believe in the validity of these templates and their definite relevancy to the articles in which I have posted them.

Unless you can come up with a much better reason than "irrelevant", which just isn't true, then I do want to reinstate these highly useful Navbars!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  15:03, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

English is not the only language spoken in Oceania. Unless we also have a similar template for Spanish and French, this would appear to be selective information. Since as you say such templates apply to every continent. they appear to be bloat, and so I will remove them from all continents. Thank you for pointing this out.-gadfium 19:35, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Remove them if you must, that is certainly your preogative; however, no other editor seems to mind the new Navbars added to the other continent pages. I suggest you ask yourself why you are the only editor who wants to remove these Navbars from articles. All the other involved editors either agree with me and support their inclusion or are acquiescent and don't have strong feelings either way. Why are you the only one?
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  22:21, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
  • PS. Nobody would challenge your point about Spanish and French and other languages. But don't you think there are readers out there who might be interested in the present spread of English throughout the globe? As difficult as it is to learn (right up there with Russian and German) English is still managing to be spoken in more and more places. And many of the new English speakers are learning to handle the English alphabet and reading the language better and better. In any case, this is the English Wikipedia. How do you know there aren't already such Navbars on the French and Spanish Wikipedias?
This is the English Wikipedia, but that gives it no special privilege with regard to the coverage of the English language vs other languages.
Any navigational template should link an article to other articles on closely related topics. Oceania is a continent (or geopolitical region). It should be, and is, linked to other continents. However it is not a language and such language templates are not relevant.
According to Wikipedia:Navigation templates, a "navigation template, navbox or topicbox is a grouping of links used in multiple related articles to facilitate navigation between those articles." How is Cameroon English related to Oceania?-gadfium 01:36, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Gadfium, by pointing out that this is the English Wikipedia, I was merely alluding to the fact that there are other Wikipedia's in other languages. I would have thought that my question about the Spanish and French navbars would have made this apparent. There was no bias intended and I am sorry if you thought so. As a member of the WikiProject countering systemic bias, including language bias, I hope you will accept that my motive was merely to show that the Navbars that you suggested ought to exist might actually already be in place.
Oceania is indeed a continent in its own right. It is, however, so much more than just a geopolitical region. It is a continent of people, and people speak, write and read. They communicate. The closely and strongly related topic of anglophone states and the perhaps more politically defined "anglosphere" bring together both those states where English is an official language and there are a significant number of speakers, such as the Marshalls and Micronesias, and those states where English is an official language and yet there are but relatively few who understand English, such as the Solomons and Fiji. This makes the Navbars highly relevant.
Cameroon in West Africa is a country where English is an official language, just like all the states in Oceania that are either dark blue or light blue on the map. It is also a state where relatively few people speak and understand English, just like in Papua New Guinea and the other light blue areas in Oceania. I'm surprised you didn't get that important relationship without my aid. These are very valid and relevant navigational aids, and readers of the Oceania article really ought to have access to them when they finish reading this article.
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  02:45, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
You still haven't explained why we should link to English speaking countries but not French or Spanish speaking ones. Saying that there are French and Spanish Wikipedias is missing the point. There are also Chinese-speaking people, etc, although as far as I am aware Chinese is not an official language of any territory in Oceania.
Readers of Oceania are not particularly likely to be interested in Cameroon English, any more than they might be interested in a bird species that occurs only in Newfoundland, even though there are also bird species in Oceania. Is there a difference between the templates on English-speaking countries and a hypothetical template listing bird species by continent? I'm sure you are not suggesting that we link to every article that has something in common with something that occurs somewhere in Oceania, but this appears to be where your logic leads.-gadfium 04:12, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
If we're on the subject of logic, I find it fallacious to simply dispose of a navigation bar on the grounds that not all languages of relevance are represented. If we followed that logic on wikipedia - that all facets must be represented equally or not at all - we'd obviously run into the problem that either we'd have no articles at all or that we'd require someone with god-like writing speed. Either way, personally, I see such a nav-bar as helpful and not a hindrance. If Oceanic people disagree with this notion, I encourage them to speak up and disprove its utility ;). -User talk:Anonymous 5:31am, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

(out). I will not get into it with you about linking to English and not others, for the argument smacks of bias, except to say that one has to start somewhere. Instead of depriving readers of useful and relevant information, maybe you should be looking into how you can provide the information you think is necessary to balance things out.

You have NO idea what readers of Oceania are particularly likely to be interested in. How could you? People's interests vary far and wide. You sound like you're judging a whole lot of people whom you don't even know based upon your own apparently myopic views about what they should or shouldn't like. My logic leads toward improving this encyclopedia for readers all over the world. When I'm wrong, I am not afraid to admit it. However in this case I feel very strongly that I am correct, and that it is you who are wrong. You seem to be raising red herring arguments and searching for more. Getting back to basics, this is a highly relevant template, and it's very sad that you feel you must deprive the many and varied readers of this and the other continental articles of educational information.

I'm done here except to say that you missed a continental article, Anglo-America, which you could have easily found had you opened the clickable map template. But you seem to rather close your eyes to good solid knowledge and information. Best of everything to you and yours!
 —  .`^) Paine Ellsworthdiss`cuss (^`.  07:37, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

  • PS. Something for you to read, or reread as the case may be. If you cannot fathom the great importance of the Anglophone states template to the spread of the English language, the expansion of the Internet and the growth of Wikipedia, then you just might need to add that to your personal list of challenges.

samoan house of worship[edit]

The Samoan Bahá'í House of Worship in Tiapapata, 8 km from Apia, Samoa, was completed in 1984 making it the 1st house of worship on an Oceanian island off mainland Australia. Considering there are only 7 Baha'i houses accross the world, i think it would be appropriate to demonstrate 1 of these on this Oceania article as a picture. Even though i agree Baha'i is a fringe religion, it has consistently been at the top of fastest growing religion statistics and also ranks as the 2nd or 3rd largest religion on many Oceanian islands. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iwanttoeditthissh (talkcontribs) 10:53, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Comment: until 2007 the Samoan head of state was a Bahá'í convert.
However, there's currently very little in the "Religion" section, and the only image is of the Samoan Bahá'í House of Worship. I'd suggest this does give undue weight to Bahá'í at the expense of other faiths. In particular, I'm concerned that the text doesn't cover Bahá'í at all.
I'd suggest expanding the section, noting that Christianity in all its forms is dominant, but that there are a wide-range of religious beliefs. Bahá'í, Malietoa Tanumafili's conversion, and the Samoan Bahá'í House of Worship could be used to demonstrate the scope of faith in Oceania.
I'd also suggest trying to get a few Christian images - as a Kiwi I'm biased but I'd suggest that images of Rātana churches might be good, but other images too.
This is pretty much a "drive-by" comment, but I have this article (and its talk page) watchlisted, so if I can help do let me know.
Cheers, TFOWRpropaganda 11:12, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I removed the three photos of temples (two Bahá'í, two in Australia) that were initially added, because they seemed to make our coverage skewed very disproportionately away from more mainstream religions (and irreligion), and probably put too much emphasis on Australia. I would not object to the reinserted Samoan Bahá'í photo staying if the Religion section is expanded somewhat, with some mention of Oceanian Bahá'í followers, and preferably also including a more "mainstream" house of worship. As it stands, I think this photo's relevance is unclear and it may give the Bahá'í faith undue weight, but I won't delete it again just yet. It is a nice photo, and I agree that it could help illustrate the diversity of faiths in the region, especially alongside some explanatory text along the lines suggested above. --Avenue (talk) 11:36, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Pretty much agree fully. I take your point about "mainstream" houses of worship: my thinking is/was that "quirky images" are interesting - a beautifully carved Rātana church would be more interesting than a plain Anglican church in Ponsonby, for example. Thinking it through further, though, you're quite right - the "quirky" images should supplement the "mainstream" images. TFOWRpropaganda 11:42, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
It's certainly good to pique the reader's interest, and quirky images are one way to do that. I think distinctive yet reasonably representative images are even more useful, if we can find them. A homegrown minority religion like Ratana would be more informative than an import, I think, although I'm wary of Australian and New Zealand content tending to smother other aspects of the topic. --Avenue (talk) 12:36, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm certainly not wedded to the Rātana idea - and I take your point about too much Kiwi/Aussie stuff ;-) TFOWRpropaganda 12:41, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Does Bahai religion warrant a (written) mention in the Oceania article? --Merbabu (talk) 12:50, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

I believe it could do, if it serves as an example of the diversity of faiths in Oceania. I certainly think that without any text, the image should go. As it stands right now it's unclear to ordinary readers why the image is there. TFOWRpropaganda 12:52, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
There's diversity in faith in any large region - can anyone name a region/continent or even a country that does not have diversity? Surely it's trivial, and thus the pic is irrelevant. In fact, i don't think a symbol of any house of worship is all that useful to the article, even for the large religions. Such buildings exist all over the world. Can anyone suggest why a picture of a house of worship (of any religion) helps readers' understanding of Oceania? --Merbabu (talk) 12:56, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, the images (if any) should illustrate the text, and in that respect may be useful. An image of a place of worship that appears unusual (to non-Oceanian eyes) could certainly be useful (hence my comment about a beautifully carved church compared to a plain church - it's nothing like the typical church in Glasgow, for example).
That said, I took a look at other large regions: Asia, Europe and North America. Asia has images illustrating two major religions (Buddhism and Islam), Europe simply has a map indicating which religions are predominant in which areas, and North America has no "religion" section at all. I do think it's worth spelling out religious diversity - we can't assume that the reader will know about this - but whether or not we supplement this with images isn't quite so clear-cut.
Cheers, TFOWRpropaganda 13:09, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I think photos can be useful to illustrate the text, as TFOWR says, when they are fairly distinctive to the region. Maybe a locally decorated church would work well here, or maybe churchgoers in the local formal attire. I'd also like to include a video of choral hymn singing (e.g. like this, but in a more religious context). But the section needs some expansion before more than one item will fit. --Avenue (talk) 15:49, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
This and this may be useful, though I didn't notice any photos that matched our requirements (except, maybe, this one (anyone more familiar with Tonga than me care to comment on how representative this picture is? My experience of Tonga is all within NZ...) I've not gone much further in Commons; Fiji, PNG, the Solomons and Vanuatu were going to be my next port of call, if anyone fancies taking a look at Micronesia and the (large) part of Polynesia I've thus far ignored?
Regardless, I agree that the first step is to expand the text.
Cheers, TFOWRpropaganda 16:00, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Demographics heading[edit]

Aloha! I added a Demographics heading for the redirect page Demographics of Oceania, as requested on "Special:WantedPages". Retrieved September 28, 2010.  Peaceray (talk) 08:11, 29 September 2010 (UTC)


We've gotten into a revert war between a map of all of Oceania (Malay Archipelago thru Polynesia) and a map of the Australasian part of Oceania (Melanesia, Australia, & New Zealand). Personally, I think that an article on Oceania should be headed by a map of the entire region, and that maps of Australasia should be placed in that article, or given here with a description of being a narrower conception of Oceania. Another map to have would be the UN conception of Oceania, which matches neither map, including as in does Hawaii (currently excluded) and excluding West Papua (currently included).

The argument for limiting the map to Australasia is that this has been stable for years, but that is not a valid argument for retaining inaccuracies. — kwami (talk) 01:20, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

The argument you appear to be making is that the Malay archipelago should be added to the territories we currently list as part of Oceania. It would be preferable if you put forward your reasons for this, rather than simply asserting that the map should cover it.-gadfium 02:34, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
That's the broad definition of the term, as look can find by checking a dictionary or doing a search online for the hundreds of books which use the term that way. There's a narrow conception of Oceania that excludes Australia and perhaps New Guinea, a middling conception that includes them, and a broad conception that includes the Malay Archipelago. There's the UN geopolitical modification that follows current national boundaries. The EB mentions that even Japan might be included as part of the Pacific, but I've never seen a definition that broad in actual use. The current map is identical to Australasia: it doesn't even include not-Australasian Polynesia, and so fits no-one's conception of Oceanic. It's simply wrong. Since we have different articles on Oceania and Australasia, I would think our maps should distinguish them. To be complete, we should probably have four maps: narrow, middling, broad, and geopolitical, plus perhaps ecozone and others. But if we have only one, it should be the full extent of the region, not a subset that happens to be synonymous with a different article. — kwami (talk) 04:50, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Are you arguing that the article should adopt the broad definition of the term? If so, please actually put some arguments forward. At the moment, you appear to be arguing that neither map is perfect, which I entirely agree with. However, both maps fail because they don't display the full area of Oceania, which extends over the horizon to the east. The actual territories of Oceania are mostly too small to appear on the maps. Adding territories which are not part of the definition of Oceania as actually used in the article does not help at all.-gadfium 05:26, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm arguing that we should cover the various uses of the term, both those that include the Malay arch. and those which exclude Australia. We could have multiple maps, but IMO a general map should include all the areas included in the region, not just a particular narrower conception. — kwami (talk)

Recent sources that include the Malay archipelago as part of Oceania[edit]

Here are some sources which include the Malay arch. Most, but not all, also include Australia. (There are also many sources which exclude both.)

  • OED (2008): (A collective name for) the islands and island-groups of the Pacific Ocean and its adjacent seas, including Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, and sometimes also Australasia and the Malay archipelago.
  • Merriam-Webster (1996): the lands of the cen & S Pacific including Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia (including New Zealand), often Australia, & sometimes the Malay Archipelago.
  • EB (2010): The term, in its widest sense, embraces the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas. [I can find no such usage.] A more common definition excludes the Ryukyu, Kuril, and Aleutian islands and the Japan archipelago. The most popular usage delimits Oceania further by eliminating Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines ... Oceania then, in its most restricted meaning, includes more than 10,000 islands, with a total land area (excluding Australia, but including Papua New Guinea and New Zealand) of approximately 317,700 square miles (822,800 square km).

So the EB excludes Australia as well as the Malay arch. from the land area, but there are reasons (below) to think this is not a RS.

  • Douglas & Ballard (2008) Foreign bodies: Oceania and the science of race 1750-1940: They "recuperate" the term and apply it to Indonesia-Hawaii-Australia-New Zealand-Easter Island, and cover the history of the term. Its coinage as the "Fifth part of the World" included Bornea, Indonesia, Timor, Singapore, Philippines, New Guinea, Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and specifically excluded Japan, Formosa, Luchus, Aleutians, pace the EB. They note that "By the 1970s ... in French, Océanie had contracted in conformity with the international geopolitical norm that puts the Malay Archipelago in Asia and divides Asia from Oceania along the arbitrary colonial border which cuts the island of New Guinea in two."

We cover both the regional and the geopolitical conceptions noted in Douglas & Ballard, but neither are illustrated by our map: at the least we would need to include Polynesia and exclude Indonesian Papua. I would exclude the EB as an outlier I've been unable to verify even with this very detailed history. (We don't use encyclopedias as sources anyway.)

  • The Diagram Group (2006) Environment: An Illustrated Guide to Science, p 18: "Oceania comprises the islands of the southern, western, and central Pacific Ocean including Australia, New Zealand, and the Malay Archipelago."
  • Luck (1998) The American desk encyclopedia: It includes the islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia and, sometimes, Australasia ... and the Malay Archipelago.
  • Kerr (2003) Tourism public policy, and the strategic management of failure, p 64: "Oceania refers imprecisely to the lands of the Pacific Ocean such as Australia; New Zealand; the Malay Archipelago; Micronesia; Polynesia; Melanesia; New Guinea; and Papua New guinea"
  • Pendergast & Hermsen (2004) Fashion, costume, and culture: clothing, headwear, body decorations, and footwear through the ages, v 2, p 333: "To most geographers the lands that make up Oceania include Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia, New Zealand, and often Australia and the Malay Archipelago."
  • Bulkeley (2008), "Religions of Oceania", in Dreaming in the world's religions: a comparative history, NYU, p 233: The nineteenth-century French term "Oceania" ... is a collective noun denoting the kindred cultures of Australia, New Guinea, the Malay Archipelago, New Zealand, and the hundreds of Pacific islands ...

The broad conception is used in some surprising places, such as,

  • Leibs (2004) Sports and games of the Renaissance p 173: "Oceania refers to the myriad of islands ... in the central and southern Pacific Ocean, ranging roughly from Australia to Hawaii, including the Malay Archipelago, Melanesia, Micronesia, New Zealand, and Polynesia."
  • McEvoy (1988) Knife & tomahawk throwing: the art of the experts, p 139: Oceania, the islands of ... Australasia, Polynesia, and the Malay archipelago, were all peopled with hunters and warriors who used spear-throwers of various types.
  • DP Sen (2005) Advances in Fish Processing Technology, p 631: "In Asia (Japan and China) and Oceania (Malay archipelago), several species [of seaweed] are eaten raw"

The last was published in India, and so might be expected to have a clear idea as to what "Asia" is.

It's not even the case that Australia is always included when the Malay arch. is. In Blackwood William and Sons' Fifth Geographical Reader, Standard VI (can't find a date, but old), "Oceania" is the Malay arch, Melanesia (New Guinea, Fiji, etc. but not Australia), Micronesia, & Polynesia. The islands are commonly defined to include up to the Bonins in the N.

Australasia, BTW, is commonly defined to be almost exactly what we have on our map: Australia, Melanesia, & New Zealand, with the only difference being the common inclusion of the Moluccas / Wallacea in Melanesia and Australasia. — kwami (talk) 06:13, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Perhaps the article then needs to be expanded, especially the interpretation section, before all the map debate. I think the common interpretation of Australia+Pacific w/o Malay archipelago is due to atlases using Oceania as a 7th continent I reckon. That's personally how I've always seen it. If the sources elaborate on this definition, and why, that'd be useful. For now more acknowledgement and explanation would be useful.
In regards to the map, maybe if we shift the current globe northeast, showing the pacific with australasia in the southwest? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 12:23, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, these descriptions all seem to consider Oceania a geographic region rather than a continent; the continent tends to be Australia or Australasia. The geopolitical conception is the most common when fitting this into political boundaries, as in atlases & the UN. Most of our article is about geopolitical Oceania, but the current map is not. We should at least have a map that matches one of the two. — kwami (talk) 15:04, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Douglas & Ballard (2008) also acknowledge the typically more limited scope of the term in English (i.e. excluding the Malay archipelago and Australasia). Here is a link to the most relevant section: Naming spaces. I think our map should also distinguish between "core" and "broad" definitions of Oceania, e.g. by showing them in two different shades of green. --Avenue (talk) 20:01, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, we mention that. I don't know if it would be very easy to make a bicolored map, since much of the core area is too fine grained to show up, but we could try. (I'll have to read them again, but I assume they only remove continental Australasia, not things like Fiji.) — kwami (talk) 03:55, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Both of the two maps that have been tried are far from ideal. They are centred over mid-Australia, so Hawaii is perched on the edge of the globe, and I'm not sure if Easter Island is even visible. India is given much more prominence. And the maps do not show small islands well (or at all?), which is a big defect for this region. I think a better map would be centred around the intersection of the date line and the equator, or a bit to its west, and would show EEZ outlines as well as coastlines. --Avenue (talk) 18:03, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, apart from Hawaii, they don't show Polynesia or Micronesia at all. Impossible, really, given the scale of the maps. I added the EEZ map back in to at least outline where they are. — kwami (talk) 18:13, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I've replaced the map of Australasia and South East Asia with one that shows the full extent of Oceania. It would be nice to find a map in a similar style to the previous one, but it seems everyone agrees that a map centred on Australasia and omitting much of the area of Polynesia is inappropriate.-gadfium 18:52, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Except that that wasn't the full extent of Oceania. I moved it to the top of the page and labeled it 'Pacific Ocean'. — kwami (talk) 19:08, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Aleutian Islands[edit]

Aleutian Islands are not the americas oceania that term is used or is not correct ecjo to hawaii geographically belong to the americas —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

It's hard to understand what you mean here. The article explains that the Aleutian Islands are not normally considered as part of Oceania, except by the very broadest definition. They do not share cultural origins or ecology with the rest of Oceania. Hawaii is certainly part of Oceania, as it is a part of Polynesia. This is not a denial that it is a part of the United States, but it is not part of the continent or continents of America.-gadfium 19:51, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
thanks cleared my doubts but for me hawaii america should be, not what oceania both politically and geographically is —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:30, 26 November 2010 (UTC)


Is it possible to consider Mauritius a oceanian country? Geographically, it looks like its within the range of oceanian countries, since it sits in the middle of the indian ocean. Wikipedia suggests here that its an african country but i would disagree, since its not near Africa. Someone65 (talk) 21:38, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Oceania is the land beyond Southeast Asia. The furthest west it goes in any conception I've seen is Sumatra. The one exception was a very old source that included Madagascar, but that was because the people came from Borneo, which is in Oceania, not because of the geography. — kwami (talk) 23:54, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Interpretive details[edit]

has been changed to

  • The term, in its widest sense, embraces the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas. A more common definition excludes the Ryukyu, Kuril, Aleutian islands and the Japanese Archipelago.

multiple times. This is pointless. The whole reason that bullet point was there was to describe the widest definition. Of course a more common definition excludes them, thus the entire point of placing it in an Interpretative details and controversies section. The common definition is the one used in the demographics section. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 15:55, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

What is the "entire insular region between Asia" mentioned in the first example?Moriori (talk) 22:40, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
It should say and the Americas, sorry, don't know why that's out. That sentence is directly taken from britannica, and the IP is actually making it a complete COPYVIO. I've rewritten. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 10:47, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Aleutian islands, the Japanese archipelago[edit]

in the British dictionary says that these islands are excluded but included taiwan if you put the opposite —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:52, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

  • The term, in its widest sense, embraces the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas. A more common definition excludes the Ryukyu, Kuril, Aleutian islands and the Japanese Archipelago. from the Encyclopædia Britannica
  • The widest definition of Oceania covers the entire region between continental Asia and the Americas, thereby including islands in the Pacific Rim such as the Japanese Archipelago, Taiwan, and the Aleutian islands????? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Juanediaz (talkcontribs) 05:47, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Yes it does. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 05:53, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
is wrong then place what it actually says the Encyclopedia Britannica please .... it is unclear what it says there —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:16, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
We can't exactly copy what is in Britannica as it would be a copyright violation. As it stands that bullet addresses the wider view. I've moved it, if that helps. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 15:38, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
but does not specify the Encyclopædia Britannica that these islands are included, just says they are all islands between Asia and the Americas so the rest did not because it is wrong to put —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:01, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
is more consistent and understandable so please dejalo.The WIDESTAR definition of Entire Oceania region covers the continental entre Asia and the Americas. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Juanediaz (talkcontribs) 16:54, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Please clarify/explain? Chipmunkdavis (talk) 16:59, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
on a map of the great oceania lack taiwan because it also incorporates the continent place it — Preceding unsigned comment added by Juanediaz (talkcontribs) 17:08, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Taiwan is usually in Asia. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 23:15, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
The term, in its widest sense, embraces the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas. A more common definition excludes the Ryukyu, Kuril, and Aleutian islands and the Japan archipelago. The most popular usage delimits Oceania further by eliminating Indonesia, Taiwan, and the Philippines, because the peoples and cultures of those islands are more closely related historically to the Asian mainland. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Many definitions are discussed in the beginning of the article, and the sections after this focus on that most common definition you mention above. This obsession to try and make one bullet point show this entire point is unproductive and detrimental. Chipmunkdavis (talk) 18:00, 17 March 2011 (UTC)


I have read and wrote the word "Oceania" many times, but I've rarely heard it spoken. For when I was at school the term mostly used there was "Australasia". I can imagine more than one logical way "Oceania" could be prounounced, could someone add the correct pronunciation(s) to the article. Or alternatively, if you're not sure how to add pronunciations, tell me here and I could add it my self. Thank you please. Carlwev (talk) 02:50, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

I dug out my dictionary and found the entry myself, added and cited it. Might do it for more articles too/ Carlwev (talk) 21:37, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Clarify Oceania v Australasia[edit]

In simple terms, should Australia and New Zealand not be included in the region Oceania, this being confined to the islands of the south pacific {possibly excluding Hawaii)? Despite previous vagaries Australia and New Zealand13:56, 21 January 2013 (UTC)13:56, 21 January 2013 (UTC)~~ are surely included in the larger region of Australasia — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I'm not sure exactly what you're advocating, but our article already covers definitions of Oceania that both include and exclude Australia and New Zealand. --Avenue (talk) 22:21, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Oceania is a continent in English-language world[edit]

In discussing with many native speakers, mostly British or American, but even Australian people, all educated in Oxford University, I realized Oceania is definitively a common way to refer to the otherwise-called-Australia continent in the modern world.

Of course, in Wikipedia, referencing is the way of demonstrating, so here are some English-language references for Oceania as a continent.[1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

I think it is now fair to mention both Australia and Oceania in the introduction. What do you think? Adrien16 (talk) 00:02, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ The Times Atlas of the World : 10th Comprehensive Edition (London)
  2. ^ "Philip's E.A.E.P Atlas". 2003. p. 79. 
  3. ^ Scholastic Atlas of the World. 2003.  "Oceania is the smallest of all the continents"
  4. ^ Chambers Reference Atlas. 2003. 
  5. ^ Barnes & Noble Quick Reference World Atlas. 2006. 
  6. ^ "Continental statistics of the United Nations". Retrieved 2013-03-15.  "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings -- Oceania is listed as a continent."
  7. ^ Harper Collins Concise World Atlas. 2004. 
  8. ^ Rand McNally Answer Atlas. 2006. 
  9. ^ "Collins maps".  "Headers refers to the Oceania as a continent"
  10. ^ "World Atlas".  "Australia/Oceania is one of the continents"
  11. ^ The World - Continents, Atlas of Canada

The lead already notes that Oceania is often considered a continent. CMD (talk) 00:44, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Ok, I just insert the references then. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Adrien16 (talkcontribs) 11:29, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
There are already too many references for that point, there definitely doesn't need to be more. CMD (talk) 11:32, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
It is not the policy of Wikipedia to try to decrease the amount of references....Adrien16 (talk) 11:35, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
It is wikipedia policy that everything be verifiable. A single good source does this. See Wikipedia:Citation overkill. CMD (talk) 11:44, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I did not know that. I've seen a page with 172 citations, it is quiet funny. Adrien16 (talk) 12:19, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Pages should have many citations, but each point within that page only needs one or two. CMD (talk) 18:19, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Slight problem. Not all of those explicitly say that they are using Oceania as a continent nor do all of them use Oceania exclusively. For example, the Philip's EAEP source has a map on "Australia and Oceania". I would interpret this as the continent of Australia plus the region of non-continental islands called Oceania. The World Atlas uses "Australia/Oceania" which would probably mean the same thing. And I wouldn't really count the UN as an English language source in the same sense as the Encyclopedia Britannica or the NY Times. Do you have sources from native English speakers that explicitly lists Oceania as a continent (As in "the continents are Asia, Africa.... and Oceania)? Because as a native English speaker I most often come across the term Oceania as a grouping of non-continental islands in the Pacific Ocean, with the continental landmass of Australia sometimes included and sometimes listed alongside it. --Khajidha (talk) 17:20, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
HERE - it is right for the world atlas. Other references are less ambiguous but you need the paper versions. Here an image for the Scholastic atlas => [1]. It is written explicitly that it is the smallest continent. For the Philip's EAEP source , p79 (see on google books), you have 'food production and population by continent' and Oceania is mentioned as a continent. The Chambers atlas can also be found here [2]: Oceania is compared with the other continents. Harper Collins atlas has divided the world into the different continents and called the last one Oceania, when other atlas called that Australia [3]. You can see in the table of contents of Barnes and Nobles atlas that you have one section for each continent, including Oceania [4] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Adrien16 (talkcontribs) 19:31, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
But are those books that compare Oceania to the other continents actually using Oceania as a continent and not as a convenient statistical group? I have seen atlases that use Oceania as the section heading, but still put the word Australia on the main land mass using the same font as is used for "Asia", "Europe", etc. This is then listed on the map key as the font used for continental names. The name of the country is printed in a smaller type on these maps so that the word "Australia" appears twice (more if the names of the Australian states are printed on the map as well). Again, for the Times Atlas, are these sections specifically called continents? We have sources already that explicitly list Australia as a continent, you need to show something just as concrete. --Khajidha (talk) 20:34, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
Please see my last message above. For those ones, I have been careful when selecting them, because I am aware that sometimes, as you said, Oceania is used in the heading and then Australia is mentioned as the continent (Rand McNally Answer Atlas is a mistake and should not been here). In all those atlases, continents are defined as cultural-political constructs, which is the common usage (Europe includes all islands, same for all other continents). The name of Australia continent when seen as a political construct is Oceania. So it does make sense to compare statistics between continents because a continent IS a region according to that definition and that is why do you find Oceania compared with other continents. If you are picky, you can see online at least the unambiguous Scholastic Atlas and unambiguous Philip's EAEP source p79 (links above) Adrien16 (talk) 13:02, 19 March 2013 (UTC).
You're still not getting it. Very few of those sources say specifically "Oceania is the name of a continent". That simply isn't a common usage in English. In English it is most common for the continent to be Australia (more or less limited to the same territory as the country). When comparing all countries around the world it is common for English sources to use the REGION Oceania and compare it to the CONTINENTS Europe, Asia, etc. Looking at the sources you listed, virtually all of them use the "Australia and Oceania" (or "Australia/Oceania" construction) or use Oceania as a specifically named REGION (not continent). There are a few that used "Oceania" in a list with "Europe, Asia, etc." You are interpreting those as saying that Oceania is the name of a continent, I am telling you that that is not necessarily a valid assumption. Are these listed items SPECIFICALLY called "Continents"? --Khajidha (talk) 15:11, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I understood perfectly and I answered 2 times now: please follow the links and instructions I have provided in the message above that is now beginning by a HERE (you probably go too far in the past) and you will see that Oceania is mentioned as a continent for those 2 first selected references. For the other sources I provided, it is more ambiguous, because all the continents are compared to Oceania - as you said, it does not mention the world 'continent'. However, perhaps you do not think they are referring to the continent but the region because you would not do that. But I do not think a geographer would compare all the continents together and then choose to compare the continents with Oceania if they do not think Oceania is a continent. It would be comparing apples and bananas, a geographical non-sense and a little rude slap for Australia inhabitants.Adrien16 (talk) 10:01, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
Such a comparison is meaningful if they are using the continents not as continents per se but as convenient groupings of countries. Comparing the continent of Australia (with its sole country) to the continent of Africa (with its dozens) makes little sense. Comparing the Oceanian region to an African region (that is basically the same as the African continent) does. As far as your sources go, I was simply trying to put those two with Oceania used as a continent into perspective with the many others that use it differently. --Khajidha (talk) 15:10, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
You do not know if they use it differently so you cannot put them in perspective. Many atlases chose to use both names Australia and Oceania when they want to compare the continents and still show the region of Oceania that features more countries.Adrien16 (talk) 19:06, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
well, at least, I'll change some of the ambiguous references for the non-ambiguous ones.Adrien16 (talk) 18:03, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
And I keep the list updated below Adrien16 (talk) 18:32, 22 March 2013 (UTC)

Unambiguous references mentioning explicitly Oceania as a continent and that can be checked online[edit]

[1] that can be checked here

[2] can be checked here - p79, you have 'food production and population by continent' and Oceania is mentioned as a continent.

[3]that can be checked here. Oceania is listed as a continent in the United Nations geoscheme.

More ambiguous references that can be checked online[edit]

[4] that can be checked here: Oceania is compared directly with the other continents.

[5] that can be checked here. The atlas has divided the world into the different continents and called the last one Oceania, when other atlas called that Australia.

[6] that can be checked here - in the table of contents, you have one section for each continent, including Oceania.

[7] that can be checked here. Headers refers to the Oceania as a continent.

References not available online[edit]

[8] [9] [10]Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page).

  1. ^ The Times Atlas of the World : 10th Comprehensive Edition (London)
  2. ^ "Philip's E.A.E.P Atlas". 2003. p. 79. 
  3. ^ Scholastic Atlas of the World. 2003.  "Oceania is the smallest of all the continents"
  4. ^ Chambers Reference Atlas. 2003. 
  5. ^ Barnes & Noble Quick Reference World Atlas. 2006. 
  6. ^ "Continental statistics of the United Nations". Retrieved 2013-03-15.  "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings -- Oceania is listed as a continent."
  7. ^ Harper Collins Concise World Atlas. 2004. 
  8. ^ Rand McNally Answer Atlas. 2006. 
  9. ^ "Collins maps".  "Headers refers to the Oceania as a continent"
  10. ^ "World Atlas".  "Australia/Oceania is one of the continents"
  11. ^ The World - Continents, Atlas of Canada

Your first unambiguous reference links to a page saying that "this photo cannot be viewed because it has either been deleted or marked as private by the user." The second unambiguous reference is to a page that I cannot view as "[I] have either reached a page that cannot be displayed, or have reached [my] viewing limit for this book." The third unambiguous reference brings a "page cannot be found" result. Your first two ambiguous references bring up the same page (image 22 of 34) for me. The image I see is actually an unambiguous usage of Oceania as a continent. Your third ambiguous reference lists Oceania as a section, but it doesn't seem to show anything about whether the book considers Oceania a continent or simply a convenient region. The fourth ambiguous reference gives me a "file not found" page. However, your reference to the headers makes me think that you mean the list at the top of the page "Africa · Asia · Europe · North America · Oceania · South America · World". Again, there is no notation that these are continents. You seem to assume that they are because most of the list includes continental names. Clicking on Oceania brings up a list of countries within Oceania. Clicking on Australia brings up a page stating that "Australia, the world’s sixth largest country, occupies the smallest, flattest and driest continent." This seems to indicate that the source considers Australia a continent and Oceania a convenient shorthand for "the continent of Australia along with numerous Pacific islands". As for your unavailable online sources, I won't be able to say much about them. I did check the "World Atlas" link and it shows a very confused usage. In some places it uses the combined form Australia/Oceania and in others simply Oceania. --Khajidha (talk) 14:10, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
Quick addition. I just clicked on the footnote for your UN source. That took me to a page concerning "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions". This is fairly unambiguous usage of Oceania as a continent. There is still a slight possibility that continent is being suggested as a convenient shorthand for macro geographical region without it being seen as an exact synonym, but without a statement from the UN to that effect I see no reason to not accept this as a usage of Oceania as a continent. --Khajidha (talk) 14:16, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
I don't see what the big deal is here. Doesn't Wikipedia have guidelines for statements/facts that are not agreed on by all sources. Isn't the answer, that some sources say it is a continent, some say it is not a continent, some use the word but do not say whether it is a continent or not. - Clearly the chunk of land that contains most of the country of Australia is a continent/continental landmass, what is considered part of this continent and what is not considered part of this continent are not agreed by everyone, and the proper name of the continent is not agreed on by everyone. Whether islands in the middle of the ocean are part of any continent is not agreed on by everyone. It's not hard to grasp. Same as the exact meaning/scope/coverage of the word itself "Oceania" is not agreed on by all sources, much of this is all ready mentioned in the article anyway. Carlwev (talk) 14:35, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
arf! I updated the links again...Also not sure why the reflist does not work correctly (#1 is not the times reference...)Adrien16 (talk) 17:22, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

Is the map wrong?[edit]

Is the map wrong? The article says Australasia is a "part" of Oceania, but I don't think it makes it clear what the difference is. The map of Oceania on this page has only half the island of New Guineau, PNG, but the Australasia page includes all of it. Which is right?

Seems to me there's a great deal of confusion about what's what. I wonder if there's even any point having two articles about the same thing, since as far as I'm aware Australasia and Oceania are used interchangeably. (talk) 22:05, 20 September 2013 (UTC)

In my experience, Australasia has one of two similar meanings: 1) it is used as a shorthand for the countries of Australia and New Zealand acting as a unit, as happened in the past in some sports or 2) it is used as a subregion within Oceania (in its broadest meaning) containing the two previously mentioned countries (and occasionally Papua New Guinea) in contrast to the common subregions Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia. In this second sense it is sometimes referred to as "Meganesia" ("big islands") and may include the entire island of New Guinea. --Khajidha (talk) 00:36, 21 September 2013 (UTC)

Other uses?[edit]

Oceania has an entirely different meaning in Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four - a political region: "Oceania, Eurasia and Eastasia are the three fictional superstates in George Orwell's futuristic dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four." The novel states "Oceania comprises the Americas, the Atlantic islands including the British Isles, Australasia and the Southern portion of Africa."

Worth mentioning, but I'm not sure where. --Chriswaterguy talk 23:54, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Such different meanings are covered at Oceania (disambiguation), which is linked to at the top of the article.-gadfium 23:56, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

Cite error: There are <ref> tags on this page, but the references will not show without a {{reflist}} template (see the help page).