Pacific American Heritage Month
   HOME

TheInfoList



The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wit ...

Earth
's five
ocean The ocean (also the or the world ocean) is the body of that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of and contains 97% of . Another definition is "any of the large bodies of water into which the great ocean is divided".
ic divisions. It extends from the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
in the north to the
Southern Ocean The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctica. As such, it is regarded as the second-smallest of t ...

Southern Ocean
(or, depending on definition, to
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is 's southernmost . It contains the geographic and is situated in the region of the , almost entirely south of the , and is surrounded by the . At , it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of . At 0.00 ...

Antarctica
) in the south and is bounded by the continents of
Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area of , about 30% of Earth's total lan ...

Asia
and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...
in the west and the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...

Americas
in the east. At in the area (as defined with a southern Antarctic border), this largest division of the
World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% of Water distribution on Earth, Earth's water. Another definition is "any of the larg ...
—and, in turn, the
hydrosphere The hydrosphere (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appr ...
—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about 32% of its total surface area, larger than all of Earth's land area combined (148,000,000 square kilometers).Pacific Ocean
. '' Britannica Concise.'' 2008: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
The centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. Ocean circulation (caused by the
Coriolis effect In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior throug ...

Coriolis effect
) subdivides it into two largely independent volumes of water, which meet at the
equator The Equator is a , about in circumference, that divides into the and hemispheres. It is an located at 0 degrees , halfway between the and poles. In , as applied in , the equator of a rotating (such as a ) is the parallel (circle of l ...

equator
: the North(ern) Pacific Ocean and South(ern) Pacific Ocean. The Galápagos and
Gilbert Islands The Gilbert Islands ( gil, Tungaru;Reilly Ridgell. ''Pacific Nations and Territories: The Islands of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia.'' 3rd. Ed. Honolulu: Bess Press, 1995. p. 95. formerly Kingsmill or King's-Mill IslandsVery often, this na ...

Gilbert Islands
, while straddling the
equator The Equator is a , about in circumference, that divides into the and hemispheres. It is an located at 0 degrees , halfway between the and poles. In , as applied in , the equator of a rotating (such as a ) is the parallel (circle of l ...

equator
, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific. Its mean depth is .
Challenger Deep The Challenger Deep is the deepest known point in the Earth's seabed hydrosphere (the oceans), with a depth of by direct measurement from deep-diving submersible A submersible is a small watercraft designed to operate underwater. The t ...
in the
Mariana Trench The Mariana Trench or Marianas Trench is located in the western Pacific Ocean about east of the Mariana Islands; it is the deep sea, deepest oceanic trench on Earth. It is crescent-shaped and measures about in length and in width. The maxim ...
, located in the western north Pacific, is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of . The Pacific also contains the deepest point in the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western Hem ...

Southern Hemisphere
, the
Horizon Deep The Tonga Trench is an oceanic trench , while the lithosphere is subducted back into the asthenosphere at trenches Oceanic trenches are topography, topographic depressions of the seafloor, relatively narrow in width, but very long. These Oceanog ...
in the
Tonga Trench The Tonga Trench is an oceanic trench , while the lithosphere is subducted back into the asthenosphere at trenches Oceanic trenches are topography, topographic depressions of the seafloor, relatively narrow in width, but very long. These Oceanog ...
, at . The third deepest point on Earth, the
Sirena Deep The Sirena Deep, originally named the HMRG Deep, was discovered in 1997 by a team of scientists from Hawaii. Its directly measured depth of is third only to the Challenger Deep and Tonga Trench, Horizon Deep, currently the deepest known directl ...
, is also located in the Mariana Trench. The western Pacific has many major
marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% of Water distribution on Earth, Earth's w ...
s, including but not limited to the
South China Sea The South China Sea is a of the . It is bounded in the north by the shores of (hence the name), in the west by the , in the east by the islands of and northwestern (mainly , and ), and in the south by , and the , encompassing an area of ...

South China Sea
, the
East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . Its northern extension between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula Korea is a regi ...

East China Sea
, the
Sea of Japan The Sea of Japan is the marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% ...

Sea of Japan
, the
Sea of Okhotsk The Sea of Okhotsk ( rus, Охо́тское мо́ре, Okhótskoye móre ; ja, オホーツク海, Ohōtsuku-kai) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of S ...
, the
Philippine Sea The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...
, the
Coral Sea The Coral Sea () is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% ...

Coral Sea
,
Java Sea Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#S ...
and the
Tasman Sea The Tasman Sea ( Māori: ''Te Tai-o-Rēhua'', ) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also ...

Tasman Sea
.


Etymology

Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer
Vasco Núñez de Balboa Vasco may refer to: * Basque language, called ''vasco'' in Spanish * Vasco (album), ''Vasco'' (album), a two-part EP by Ricardo Villalobos * Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer * Vasco da Gama, Goa, a city in India, often called simply Vasco * CR Va ...

Vasco Núñez de Balboa
crossed the
Isthmus of Panama The Isthmus of Panama ( es, Istmo de Panamá), also historically known as the Isthmus of Darien (), is the narrow strip of land that lies between the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Kara ...
in 1513 and discovered the great "Southern Sea" which he named ''Mar del Sur'' (in Spanish). The ocean's current name was coined by
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
explorer
Ferdinand Magellan Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; pt, Fernão de Magalhães, ; es, link=no, Fernando de Magallanes, ; c. 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information In ...

Ferdinand Magellan
during the Spanish
circumnavigation 300px, In 2012, the Swiss boat '' PlanetSolar'' became the first ever solar electric vehicle to circumnavigate the globe. Circumnavigation is the complete navigation around an entire island, continent, or astronomical object, astronomical body ...
of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it ''Mar Pacífico'', which in both
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
and
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
means "peaceful sea".


Largest seas in the Pacific Ocean

Top large seas: *
Australasian Mediterranean Sea The Australasian Mediterranean Sea ( id, Laut Tengah Australasia) is a mediterranean sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the nor ...
– 9.080 million km2 *
Philippine Sea The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...
– 5.695 million km2 *
Coral Sea The Coral Sea () is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% ...

Coral Sea
– 4.791 million km2 *
Chilean Sea The Chilean Sea is the portion of the Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarcti ...
– 3.6 million km2 *
South China Sea The South China Sea is a of the . It is bounded in the north by the shores of (hence the name), in the west by the , in the east by the islands of and northwestern (mainly , and ), and in the south by , and the , encompassing an area of ...

South China Sea
– 3.5 million km2 *
Tasman Sea The Tasman Sea ( Māori: ''Te Tai-o-Rēhua'', ) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also ...

Tasman Sea
– 2.3 million km2 *
Bering Sea The Bering Sea (, ; rus, Бе́рингово мо́ре, r=Béringovo móre) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Oc ...
– 2 million km2 *
Sea of Okhotsk The Sea of Okhotsk ( rus, Охо́тское мо́ре, Okhótskoye móre ; ja, オホーツク海, Ohōtsuku-kai) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of S ...
– 1.583 million km2 *
Gulf of Alaska A gulf is a large inlet from the ocean into the landmass, typically with a narrower opening than a bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean The ocean ...
– 1.533 million km2 *
East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . Its northern extension between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula Korea is a regi ...

East China Sea
– 1.249 million km2 * Mar de Grau – 1.14 million km2 *
Sea of Japan The Sea of Japan is the marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% ...

Sea of Japan
– 978,000 km2 *
Solomon Sea The Solomon Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.New Ireland alon ...
– 720,000 km2 *
Banda Sea The Banda Sea is a sea in the Maluku Islands The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas () (''Molukken'') are an archipelago in eastern Indonesia. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geogra ...
– 695,000 km2 *
Arafura Sea The Arafura Sea (or Arafuru Sea) lies west of the Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to A ...
– 650,000 km2 *
Timor Sea The Timor Sea ( id, Laut Timor; pt, Mar de Timor; tet, Tasi Mane or ''Tasi Timór'') is a relatively shallow sea bounded to the north by the island of Timor Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, in the north o ...
– 610,000 km2 *
Yellow Sea The Yellow Sea is a marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean located between mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitics, geopolit ...

Yellow Sea
– 380,000 km2 *
Java Sea Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#S ...
– 320,000 km2 *
Gulf of Thailand The Gulf of Thailand, also known as the Gulf of Siam, is a shallow inlet in the southwestern South China Sea The South China Sea is a marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean. It is bounded in the north by the shores of South China (hence t ...

Gulf of Thailand
– 320,000 km2 *
Gulf of Carpentaria The Gulf of Carpentaria () is a large, shallow sea enclosed on three sides by northern Australia and bounded on the north by the eastern Arafura Sea (the body of water that lies between Australia and New Guinea). The northern boundary is ge ...
– 300,000 km2 *
Celebes Sea The Celebes Sea ( ms, Laut Sulawesi, id, Laut Sulawesi, fil, Dagat Selebes) of the western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the So ...
– 280,000 km2 *
Sulu Sea The Sulu Sea ( fil, Dagat Sulu; Tausug language, Tausug: ''Dagat sin Sūg''; Chavacano: ''Mar de Sulu''; Cebuano language, Cebuano: ''Dagat sa Sulu''; Hiligaynon language, Hiligaynon: ''Dagat sang Sulu''; Karay-a language, Karay-a: ''Dagat k ...
– 260,000 km2 *
Bismarck Sea The Bismarck Sea (german: Bismarcksee) lies in the southwestern Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on d ...
– 250,400 km2 *
Gulf of Anadyr The Gulf of Anadyr, or Anadyr Bay (russian: Анадырский залив), is a large bay on the Bering Sea The Bering Sea (, ; rus, Бе́рингово мо́ре, r=Béringovo móre) is a marginal sea of the Northern Pacific Ocean. It ...
– 200,000 km2 *
Molucca Sea The Molucca Sea ( Indonesian: ''Laut Maluku'') is located in the western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depen ...
– 200,000 km2 *
Gulf of California The Gulf of California ( es, :es:Golfo de California, Golfo de California), also known as the Sea of Cortés (''Mar de Cortés'') or Sea of Cortez, or less commonly as the Vermilion Sea (''Mar Bermejo''), is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean t ...

Gulf of California
– 160,000 km2 *
Gulf of Tonkin The Gulf of Tonkin ( vi, Vịnh Bắc Bộ, ; formerly known as or during the ) is a at the northwestern portion of the , located off the coasts of () and . It has a total surface area of . It is defined in the west and northwest by the ...

Gulf of Tonkin
– 126,250 km2 *
Halmahera Sea , native_name_lang = , image = Locatie Zee van Halmahera.PNG , caption = Location of the Halmahera Sea within Southeast Asia , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location ...
– 95,000 km2 *
Bohai Sea The Bohai Sea or Bo Sea, also known as Bohai Gulf, Bo Gulf or Pohai Bay (), is a marginal sea approximately in area on the east coast of mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland A ...

Bohai Sea
– 78,000 km2 *
Gulf of Papua The Gulf of Papua is located in the southern coast region of New Guinea. It has a total surface area of . Geography Some of New Guinea's largest rivers, such as the Fly River, Turama River, Kikori River, Purari River, and Wawoi River flow in ...
– 70,400 km2 * Koro Sea – 58,000 km2 *
Bali Sea , native_name_lang = , image = Locatie Balizee.PNG , caption = The location of the Bali Sea, shown in blue. , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location = , pushpin_ ...
– 45,000 km2 *
Savu Sea The Savu Sea (or the Sawu Sea) is a small sea within Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Paci ...
– 35,000 km2 *
Seto Inland Sea The , sometimes shortened to the Inland Sea, is the body of water separating Honshū , historically called , is the largest and most populous main island of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag ...

Seto Inland Sea
– 23,203 km2 *
Salish Sea , image = PNW-straits.jpg , alt = , caption = The Salish Sea, showing the open Pacific Ocean at lower left, and from there, heading inland: the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the narrow Puget Sound at lower righ ...
- 18,000 km2 *
Seram Sea , native_name_lang = , image = Locatie Ceramzee.PNG , caption = Location of the Ceram Sea within Southeast Asia. , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location = , pus ...
– 12,000 km2


History


Prehistory

Between the mainlands of
Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area of , about 30% of Earth's total lan ...

Asia
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
and the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...

Americas
, more than 25,000 islands, large and small, rise above the surface of the Pacific Ocean. These islands were the shells of once active
volcano A volcano is a rupture in the of a , such as , that allows hot , , and to escape from a below the surface. On Earth, volcanoes are most often found where are or , and most are found underwater. For example, a , such as the , has volcanoe ...

volcano
es, that have laid extinct for centuries. Just near or close to the equator are a chain of
atoll An atoll (), sometimes known as a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef A coral reef is an underwater ecosystems, ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of Colony (biology), colonies of coral polyp (zoology) ...

atoll
s that have over intervals of time been formed by
seamounts A seamount is a large geologic landform that rises from the ocean floor but that does not reach to the water's surface (sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an mean, average level of the surface of one or more of ...
.


Early migrations

Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. Modern humans first reached the western Pacific in the
Paleolithic The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek wikt:παλαιός, palaios - old, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of ...
, at around 60,000 to 70,000 years ago. Originating from an early coastal human migration out of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of 's total surface area and 20% of its land area.Sayre ...

Africa
, they reached the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
,
New Guinea New Guinea (; : ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the , and with an area of , the largest island in the . Located in in the southwestern , it is separated by the wide from . Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east ...

New Guinea
, and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
via the now sunken
land bridge Image:Pm-map.png, upright=1.3, The Isthmus of Panama is a land bridge whose appearance 3 million years ago allowed the Great American Interchange In biogeography, a land bridge is an isthmus or wider land connection between otherwise separate are ...
s of
Sundaland Sundaland (also called the Sundaic region) is a biogeographical Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an o ...
and Sahul. The descendants of these early migrations today are the highly diverse
Australo-Melanesian Australo-Melanesians (also known as Australasians or Australomelanesoid race or Australoid race) is an outdated historical grouping of various people indigenous to Melanesia Melanesia (, ) is a subregion of Oceania in the southwestern Pacific ...
peoples (including
Negritos The Negrito () are several diverse ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia and the Andaman Islands. Their current populations include: the Andamanese peoples of the Andaman Islands, the Semang peoples (among them, the Batek p ...

Negritos
,
Papuans The indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ''indigenous'' was fir ...

Papuans
, and Native Australians). These groups did not have boat or sailing technology and thus could only cross short distances of water. Their populations in
maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
, coastal
New Guinea New Guinea (; : ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the , and with an area of , the largest island in the . Located in in the southwestern , it is separated by the wide from . Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east ...

New Guinea
, and
Island MelanesiaIsland Melanesia is a subregion of Melanesia in Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a p ...
later intermarried with the incoming
Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ...
settlers, resulting in the modern peoples of Island Southeast Asia and Oceania. The first seaborne migration in human history is the
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of ...
Austronesian expansion The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan (collectively known as Taiwanese indigenous peoples), Maritime Southeast Asia, Oceania and Madagascar that ...
(c. 3000-1500 BCE) of the
Austronesian peoples The Austronesian peoples, also sometimes referred to as the Austronesian-speaking peoples, are a large group of various peoples in Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries ...
. Austronesians originated from the island of
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...
where they invented the first maritime sailing technologies (notably
outrigger boat Outrigger boats are various watercraft featuring one or more lateral support floats known as outriggers, which are fastened to one or both sides of the main hull (ship), hull. They can range from small dugout (boat), dugout canoes to large plan ...
s,
catamaran A Formula 16 beachable catamaran file:Salem Ferry.JPG, Powered catamaran passenger ferry at Salem, Massachusetts, Salem, Massachusetts, United States A catamaran () (informally, a "cat") is a multihull, multi-hulled watercraft featuring two pa ...

catamaran
s,
lashed-lug Lashed-lug boats are ancient boat-building Boat building is the design and construction of boats and their systems. This includes at a minimum a hull (watercraft), hull, with propulsion, mechanical, navigation, safety and other systems as a craft ...
boats, and the
crab claw sail The crab claw sail is a fore-and-aft triangular sail with spars along upper and lower edges. The crab claw sail was first developed by the Austronesian peoples some time around 1500 BC. It is used in many traditional Austronesian cultures in Island ...
). Starting at around 2200 BCE, Austronesians sailed southwards to settle the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
. From the Philippines, they crossed the western Pacific to reach the
Marianas Islands The Mariana Islands (; also the Marianas; in Chamorro: ''Manislan Mariånas'') are a crescent-shaped archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometim ...
by 1500 BCE, as well as
Palau Palau (), officially the Republic of Palau ( pau, Beluu er a Belau) and historically ''Belau'', ''Palaos'' or ''Pelew'', is an island country in the western Pacific Ocean, Pacific. The nation has approximately 340 islands and connects the w ...

Palau
and
Yap Yap ( yap, Waqaab) traditionally refers to an island group located in the Caroline Islands The Caroline Islands (or the Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island cha ...

Yap
by 1000 BCE. They were the first humans to reach
Remote OceaniaRemote Oceania is the part of Oceania Oceania (, , ) is a geographic region that includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of and a population of over 4 ...
, and the first to cross vast distances of open water. They also continued spreading southwards and settling the rest of
Maritime Southeast Asia Maritime Southeast Asia comprises the countries of Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Singapore. Maritime Southeast Asia is sometimes also referred to as Island Southeast Asia, Insular Southeast Asia ...
, reaching
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of I ...

Indonesia
and
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are geographically south of C ...

Malaysia
by 1500 BCE, and further west to
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mala ...

Madagascar
and the
Comoros The Comoros,; ar, جزر القمر, ' officially the Union of the Comoros,Comorian languages, Comorian: ''Udzima wa Komori,'' french: Union des Comores, ar, الاتحاد القمري ' is an island country in the Indian Ocean, at the nor ...
in the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to the west and Australia (continent), Australia to the east. To the s ...

Indian Ocean
by around 500 CE. At around 1300 to 1200 BCE, a branch of the Austronesian migrations known as the
Lapita culture The Lapita culture is the name given to a prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by ...
reached the
Bismarck Archipelago The Bismarck Archipelago is a group of islands off the northeastern coast of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu: ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the List of islands by area, world's second-largest island, and with an area of , t ...
, the
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, in ...
,
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; : ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an located in the South Pacific Ocean. The , which is of volcanic origin, is east of northern Australia, north ...

Vanuatu
,
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about northeast of New Zealand. Fiji consists of an archipelago ...

Fiji
, and
New Caledonia ) , anthem = " Soyons unis, devenons frères" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , s ...

New Caledonia
. From there, they settled
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
and
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
by 900 to 800 BCE. Some also back-migrated northwards in 200 BCE to settle the islands of eastern
Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with three other isl ...

Micronesia
(including the Carolines, the
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
, and
Kiribati Kiribati (), officially the Republic of Kiribati (: '' ibaberikiKiribati''),Kiribati
''The W ...

Kiribati
), mixing with earlier Austronesian migrations in the region. This remained the furthest extent of the Austronesian expansion into
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
until around 700 CE when there was another surge of island exploration. They reached the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua Avarua (meaning "Two Harbours" in Cook Islands Māori) is a town and district in the north of the island of Rarotonga, and is ...
,
Tahiti Tahiti (; Tahitian language, Tahitian ; ; previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island of the Windward Islands (Society Islands), Windward group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, located in the central part of the Pacific ...

Tahiti
, and the
Marquesas The Marquesas Islands (; french: Îles Marquises or ' or '; Marquesan language, Marquesan: ' (North Marquesan language, North Marquesan) and ' (South Marquesan language, South Marquesan), both meaning "the land of men") are a group of volcano, ...
by 700 CE;
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
by 900 CE;
Rapa Nui Easter Island ( rap, Rapa Nui; es, Isla de Pascua) is an island and special territory of Chile Chile (, ; ), officially the Republic of Chile (), is a country in western South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land between ...
by 1000 CE; and finally
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
by 1200 CE. Austronesians may have also reached as far as the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or cardinal directions. It is the opposite of south and is perpendicular to East and West. ''North'' ...

Americas
, although evidence for this remains inconclusive.


European exploration

The first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and , via the
Lesser Sunda Islands The Lesser Sunda Islands ( id, Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara "southeastern archipelago" or "lesser sunda archipelago") are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection ...

Lesser Sunda Islands
, to the
Maluku Islands The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas () (''Molukken'') are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island An island (or isle) is an isolated piec ...

Maluku Islands
, in 1512, and with
Jorge Álvares Jorge Álvares (died July 8, 1521) was a Portuguese explorer. He is credited as the first European to have reached China by sea during the Age of Discovery The Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration (sometimes also, particularly regionally, A ...
's expedition to southern China in 1513,Porter, Jonathan. (1996). ''Macau, the Imaginary City: Culture and Society, 1557 to the Present''. Westview Press. both ordered by
Afonso de Albuquerque Afonso de Albuquerque, Duke of Goa (; 1453 – 16 December 1515) (also spelled Aphonso or Alfonso) was a Portuguese general, admiral, and statesman. He served as Governor of Portuguese India from 1509 to 1515, during which he expanded Portugues ...

Afonso de Albuquerque
from
Malacca Malacca, officially the State of Malacca, is a Federated state, state in Malaysia located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Strait of Malacca. Its capital is Malacca City, dubbed the Historic City, which has been listed ...
. The eastern side of the ocean was encountered by Spanish explorer
Vasco Núñez de Balboa Vasco may refer to: * Basque language, called ''vasco'' in Spanish * Vasco (album), ''Vasco'' (album), a two-part EP by Ricardo Villalobos * Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer * Vasco da Gama, Goa, a city in India, often called simply Vasco * CR Va ...

Vasco Núñez de Balboa
in 1513 after his expedition crossed the
Isthmus of Panama The Isthmus of Panama ( es, Istmo de Panamá), also historically known as the Isthmus of Darien (), is the narrow strip of land that lies between the Caribbean Sea The Caribbean Sea ( es, Mar Caribe; french: Mer des Caraïbes; ht, Lamè Kara ...
and reached a new ocean. He named it ''Mar del Sur'' (literally, "Sea of the South" or "South Sea") because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1520, navigator
Ferdinand Magellan Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; pt, Fernão de Magalhães, ; es, link=no, Fernando de Magallanes, ; c. 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information In ...

Ferdinand Magellan
and his crew were the first to cross the Pacific in recorded history. They were part of a Spanish expedition to the
Spice Islands SPICE ("Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis")Nagel, L. W, and Pederson, D. O., ''SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis)'', Memorandum No. ERL-M382, University of California, Berkeley, Apr. 1973Nagel, Lauren ...
that would eventually result in the first world
circumnavigation 300px, In 2012, the Swiss boat '' PlanetSolar'' became the first ever solar electric vehicle to circumnavigate the globe. Circumnavigation is the complete navigation around an entire island, continent, or astronomical object, astronomical body ...
. Magellan called the ocean ''Pacífico'' (or "Pacific" meaning, "peaceful") because, after sailing through the stormy seas off
Cape Horn Cape Horn ( es, Cabo de Hornos, ) is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island. Although not the most southerly point of South America (which are the Diego Ramírez ...
, the expedition found calm waters. The ocean was often called the ''Sea of Magellan'' in his honor until the eighteenth century. Magellan stopped at one uninhabited Pacific island before stopping at
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
in March 1521. Although Magellan himself died in the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
in 1521, Spanish navigator
Juan Sebastián Elcano Juan Sebastián Elcano (sometimes misspelled ''del Cano''; 1486/1487 – 4 August 1526) was a Castilian explorer of Basque origin who completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth. After Magellan's death in the Philippines The Phil ...
led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to the west and Australia (continent), Australia to the east. To the s ...

Indian Ocean
and round the
Cape of Good Hope A cape is a sleeveless , which drapes the wearer's back, arms, and chest, and connects at the neck. History Capes were common in , especially when combined with a in the . They have had periodic returns to - for example, in nineteenth-cent ...

Cape of Good Hope
, completing the first world circumnavigation in 1522."Life in the sea: Pacific Ocean"
Oceanário de Lisboa. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions encountered the
Caroline Islands The Caroline Islands (or the Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea. Politically, they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia in the central and ...
, the
Aru Islands The Aru Islands Regency ( id, Kabupaten Kepulauan Aru) are a group of about ninety-five low-lying island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very smal ...
, and
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in that comp ...

Papua New Guinea
. In 1542–43 the Portuguese also reached
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japan is a part of the , and spans of coveri ...

Japan
. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 soldiers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by
Miguel López de Legazpi Miguel López de Legazpi (; c. 1502 – August 20, 1572), also known as '' El Adelantado'' and ''El Viejo'' (The Elder), was a Spanish navigator and governor who established the first Spanish settlement in the East Indies when his expediti ...
, and colonized the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
and
Mariana Islands The Mariana Islands (; also the Marianas; in ChamorroChamorro may refer to: * Chamorro language, an Austronesian language indigenous to The Marianas * Chamorro people, the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific * Chamorr ...
. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spain maintained military and mercantile control, with ships sailing from
Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; ...

Mexico
and
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = National seal , national_motto ...

Peru
across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
, and establishing the
Spanish East Indies Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_an ...
. The
Manila galleon fil, Galyon ng Maynila , english_name = Manila Galleon , duration = From 1565 to 1815 (250 years) , venue = Between Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( f ...
s operated for two and a half centuries, linking
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila, ), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are i ...

Manila
and
Acapulco Acapulco de Juárez (), commonly called Acapulco ( , also ), is a city and major seaport in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), ...

Acapulco
, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions also arrived at
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
, the
Marquesas The Marquesas Islands (; french: Îles Marquises or ' or '; Marquesan language, Marquesan: ' (North Marquesan language, North Marquesan) and ' (South Marquesan language, South Marquesan), both meaning "the land of men") are a group of volcano, ...
, the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua Avarua (meaning "Two Harbours" in Cook Islands Māori) is a town and district in the north of the island of Rarotonga, and is ...
, the
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, in ...
, and the
Admiralty Islands The Admiralty Islands are an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands. Examples of ar ...

Admiralty Islands
in the South Pacific. Later, in the quest for
Terra Australis Terra Australis (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
("the reatSouthern Land"), Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator
Pedro Fernandes de Queirós Pedro Fernandes de Queirós ( es, Pedro Fernández de Quirós) (1563–1614) was a Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt ...
, arrived at the
Pitcairn The Pitcairn Islands (; Pitkern: '), officially the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, is a group of four volcanic A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth Earth is the third planet ...
and
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; : ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an located in the South Pacific Ocean. The , which is of volcanic origin, is east of northern Australia, north ...

Vanuatu
archipelagos, and sailed the
Torres Strait The Torres Strait (), also known as Zenadh Kes, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both s ...

Torres Strait
between
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
and New Guinea, named after navigator
Luís Vaz de Torres Luís Vaz de Torres ( Galician and Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal Portugal (), officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=no ), is a cou ...
. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa, also engaged in exploration and trade;
Willem Janszoon Willem Janszoon (; ), sometimes abbreviated to Willem Jansz., was a Dutch Republic, Dutch navigator and colonial governor. Janszoon served in the Dutch East Indies, Dutch East Indies in the periods 16031611 and 16121616, including as governor of ...
, made the first completely documented European landing in Australia (1606), in
Cape York Peninsula Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to a mainland from which it extends. The surrounding w ...
, and
Abel Janszoon Tasman Abel Janszoon Tasman (; 160310 October 1659) was a Dutch seafarer, explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers ...

Abel Janszoon Tasman
circumnavigated and landed on parts of the
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
n continental coast and arrived at
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island States and territories of Australia, state of Australia. It is located 240 km (150 mi) to the south of the Mainland Australia, Australian mainland, separated from it by Bass Strait. T ...
and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
in 1642. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a ''
mare clausum ''Mare clausum'' ( legal Latin meaning "closed sea") is a term used in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relations bet ...
''—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the
Strait of Magellan The Strait of Magellan (), also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable sea route in southern Chile Chile (, ; ), officially the Republic of Chile (), is a country in western South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land ...
was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the
Spanish Philippines Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map ...

Spanish Philippines
. The 18th century marked the beginning of major exploration by the Russians in
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
and the
Aleutian Islands The Aleutian Islands (; ; ale, Unangam Tanaa, literally "Land of the s", possibly from ''aliat'', "island"), also called the Aleut Islands or Aleutic Islands and known before 1867 as the Catherine Archipelago, are a chain of 14 large volcanic ...
, such as the
First Kamchatka expedition The First Kamchatka expedition was the first Russian expedition to explore the Asian Pacific coast. It was commissioned by Peter the Great in 1724 and was led by Vitus Bering Vitus Jonassen Bering (baptised 5 August 1681 – 19 December 1741) ...
and the
Great Northern Expedition 's and Aleksei Chirikov's sea route. The new geographic information was quickly diffused and received widespread attention in all of Europe. The above is an English map entitled ''The Russian Discoveries'' prepared by the London cartographer Thoma ...
, led by the Danish Russian navy officer
Vitus Bering Vitus Jonassen Bering (baptised 5 August 1681 – 19 December 1741),All dates are here given in the Julian calendar The Julian calendar, proposed by Julius Caesar in , was a reform of the Roman calendar. It took effect on , by edict. It was ...

Vitus Bering
. Spain also sent expeditions to the Pacific Northwest, reaching
Vancouver Island Vancouver Island is an island in the northeastern Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to ...
in southern Canada, and Alaska. The French explored and colonized
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
, and the British made three voyages with
James Cook Captain Captain is a title for the commander of a military unit, the commander of a ship, aeroplane, spacecraft, or other vessel, or the commander of a port, fire department or police department, election precinct, etc. The captain is a milit ...

James Cook
to the South Pacific and
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
, and the North American
Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a geographic region in western North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern s ...
. In 1768, Pierre-Antoine Véron, a young
astronomer An astronomer is a in the field of who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of . They observe s such as s, s, , s and – in either (by analyzing the data) or . Examples of topics or fields astronomers stud ...

astronomer
accompanying
Louis Antoine de Bougainville Louis-Antoine, Comte de Bougainville (, , ; 12 November 1729 – August 1811) was a French admiral and exploration, explorer. A contemporary of the British explorer James Cook, he took part in the Seven Years' War in North America and the America ...
on his voyage of exploration, established the width of the Pacific with precision for the first time in history. One of the earliest voyages of scientific exploration was organized by Spain in the
Malaspina Expedition The Malaspina Expedition (1789–1794) was a five-year maritime scientific exploration commanded by Alessandro Malaspina and José de Bustamante y Guerra. Although the expedition receives its name from Malaspina, he always insisted on giving Bustam ...
of 1789–1794. It sailed vast areas of the Pacific, from Cape Horn to Alaska, Guam and the Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific. File:Carta universal en que se contiene todo lo que del mundo se ha descubierto fasta agora hizola Diego Ribero cosmographo de su magestad, ano de 1529, en Sevilla.jpg, Made in 1529, the
Diogo Ribeiro 350px, Facsimile of a world map by Diogo Ribeiro of 1529 Diogo Ribeiro, known in Spanish as Diego Ribero, was a Portuguese cartographer and explorer who worked most of his life in Spain. He worked on the official maps of the '' Padrón Real'' ...
map was the first to show the Pacific at about its proper size File:A compleat chart of the coast of Asia and America with the great South Sea - R.W. Seale del. et sculp. NYPL465242.tiff, Map of the Pacific Ocean during European Exploration, circa 1754. File:Ortelius - Maris Pacifici 1589.jpg, Maris Pacifici by
Ortelius Abraham Ortelius (; also Ortels, Orthellius, Wortels; 14 April 152728 June 1598) was a Brabantian Brabantian or Brabantish, also Brabantic or Brabantine ( nl, Brabants, Standard Dutch pronunciation: , ), is a dialect The term dialect (from ...

Ortelius
(1589). One of the first printed maps to show the Pacific Ocean File:A generall chart of the South Sea ... NYPL481132.tiff, Map of the Pacific Ocean during European Exploration, circa 1702–1707


New Imperialism

Growing
imperialism Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending rule over peoples and other countries, for extending political and economic access, power and control, often through employing , especially military force, but also . While related to the concept ...

imperialism
during the 19th century resulted in the occupation of much of Oceania by European powers, and later Japan and the United States. Significant contributions to oceanographic knowledge were made by the voyages of HMS ''Beagle'' in the 1830s, with
Charles Darwin Charles Robert Darwin (; ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English , and , best known for his contributions to the science of . His proposition that all species of life have descended from is now widely accepted and cons ...

Charles Darwin
aboard; during the 1870s; the USS ''Tuscarora'' (1873–76); and the German ''Gazelle'' (1874–76). In Oceania, France obtained a leading position as imperial power after making
Tahiti Tahiti (; Tahitian language, Tahitian ; ; previously also known as Otaheite) is the largest island of the Windward Islands (Society Islands), Windward group of the Society Islands in French Polynesia, located in the central part of the Pacific ...

Tahiti
and
New Caledonia ) , anthem = " Soyons unis, devenons frères" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , s ...

New Caledonia
protectorates in 1842 and 1853, respectively.Bernard Eccleston, Michael Dawson. 1998. ''The Asia-Pacific Profile''. Routledge. p. 250. After navy visits to Easter Island in 1875 and 1887, Chilean navy officer Policarpo Toro negotiated the incorporation of the island into Chile with native Rapanui in 1888. By occupying Easter Island, Chile joined the imperial nations.William Sater, ''Chile and the United States: Empires in Conflict'', 1990 by the University of Georgia Press, By 1900 nearly all Pacific islands were in control of Britain, France, United States, Germany, Japan, and Chile. Although the United States gained control of
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
and the Philippines from Spain in 1898, Japan controlled most of the western Pacific by 1914 and occupied many other islands during the Pacific War; however, by the end of that war, Japan was defeated and the United States Navy, U.S. Pacific Fleet was the virtual master of the ocean. The Japanese-ruled Northern Mariana Islands came under the control of the United States. Since the end of World War II, many former colonies in the Pacific have become independent Sovereign state, states.


Geography

The Pacific separates Asia and Australia from the Americas. It may be further subdivided by the equator into northern (North Pacific) and southern (South Pacific) portions. It extends from the Antarctic region in the South to the Arctic in the north. The Pacific Ocean encompasses approximately one-third of the Earth's surface, having an area of — larger than Earth's entire landmass combined, . Extending approximately from the
Bering Sea The Bering Sea (, ; rus, Бе́рингово мо́ре, r=Béringovo móre) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Oc ...
in the Arctic to the northern extent of the circumpolar
Southern Ocean The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctica. As such, it is regarded as the second-smallest of t ...

Southern Ocean
at 60th parallel south, 60°S (older definitions extend it to
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is 's southernmost . It contains the geographic and is situated in the region of the , almost entirely south of the , and is surrounded by the . At , it is the fifth-largest continent and nearly twice the size of . At 0.00 ...

Antarctica
's Ross Sea), the Pacific reaches its greatest east–west width at about 5th parallel north, 5°N latitude, where it stretches approximately from Indonesia to the coast of Colombia—halfway around the world, and more than five times the diameter of the Moon. The lowest known point on Earth—the
Mariana Trench The Mariana Trench or Marianas Trench is located in the western Pacific Ocean about east of the Mariana Islands; it is the deep sea, deepest oceanic trench on Earth. It is crescent-shaped and measures about in length and in width. The maxim ...
—lies below sea level. Its average depth is , putting the total water volume at roughly . Due to the effects of plate tectonics, the Pacific Ocean is currently shrinking by roughly per year on three sides, roughly averaging a year. By contrast, the Atlantic Ocean is increasing in size. Along the Pacific Ocean's irregular western margins lie many seas, the largest of which are the
Celebes Sea The Celebes Sea ( ms, Laut Sulawesi, id, Laut Sulawesi, fil, Dagat Selebes) of the western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the So ...
,
Coral Sea The Coral Sea () is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% ...

Coral Sea
,
East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . Its northern extension between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula Korea is a regi ...

East China Sea
(East Sea),
Philippine Sea The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...
,
Sea of Japan The Sea of Japan is the marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% ...

Sea of Japan
,
South China Sea The South China Sea is a of the . It is bounded in the north by the shores of (hence the name), in the west by the , in the east by the islands of and northwestern (mainly , and ), and in the south by , and the , encompassing an area of ...

South China Sea
(South Sea),
Sulu Sea The Sulu Sea ( fil, Dagat Sulu; Tausug language, Tausug: ''Dagat sin Sūg''; Chavacano: ''Mar de Sulu''; Cebuano language, Cebuano: ''Dagat sa Sulu''; Hiligaynon language, Hiligaynon: ''Dagat sang Sulu''; Karay-a language, Karay-a: ''Dagat k ...
,
Tasman Sea The Tasman Sea ( Māori: ''Te Tai-o-Rēhua'', ) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also ...

Tasman Sea
, and
Yellow Sea The Yellow Sea is a marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean located between mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitics, geopolit ...

Yellow Sea
(West Sea of Korea). The Geology of Indonesia#Indonesian Seaway, Indonesian Seaway (including the Strait of Malacca and
Torres Strait The Torres Strait (), also known as Zenadh Kes, is a strait A strait is a naturally formed, narrowing, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both s ...

Torres Strait
) joins the Pacific and the
Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's five oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the water on Earth's surface. It is bounded by Asia to the north, Africa to the west and Australia (continent), Australia to the east. To the s ...

Indian Ocean
to the west, and Drake Passage and the
Strait of Magellan The Strait of Magellan (), also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable sea route in southern Chile Chile (, ; ), officially the Republic of Chile (), is a country in western South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land ...
link the Pacific with the Atlantic Ocean on the east. To the north, the Bering Strait connects the Pacific with the
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
. As the Pacific straddles the 180th meridian, the ''West Pacific'' (or ''western Pacific'', near Asia) is in the Eastern Hemisphere, while the ''East Pacific'' (or ''eastern Pacific'', near the Americas) is in the Western Hemisphere. The Southern Pacific Ocean harbors the Southeast Indian Ridge crossing from south of
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
turning into the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge (north of the South Pole) and merges with another ridge (south of South America) to form the East Pacific Rise which also connects with another ridge (south of North America) which overlooks the Juan de Fuca Ridge. For most of Magellan's voyage from the
Strait of Magellan The Strait of Magellan (), also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable sea route in southern Chile Chile (, ; ), officially the Republic of Chile (), is a country in western South America. It occupies a long, narrow strip of land ...
to the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, the explorer indeed found the ocean peaceful; however, the Pacific is not always peaceful. Many tropical storms batter the islands of the Pacific. The lands around the Pacific Rim are full of
volcano A volcano is a rupture in the of a , such as , that allows hot , , and to escape from a below the surface. On Earth, volcanoes are most often found where are or , and most are found underwater. For example, a , such as the , has volcanoe ...

volcano
es and often affected by earthquakes. Tsunamis, caused by underwater earthquakes, have devastated many islands and in some cases destroyed entire towns. The Martin Waldseemüller map of 1507 was the first to show the Americas separating two distinct oceans. Later, the
Diogo Ribeiro 350px, Facsimile of a world map by Diogo Ribeiro of 1529 Diogo Ribeiro, known in Spanish as Diego Ribero, was a Portuguese cartographer and explorer who worked most of his life in Spain. He worked on the official maps of the '' Padrón Real'' ...
map of 1529 was the first to show the Pacific at about its proper size.


Bordering countries and territories


Sovereign nations

*
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
* Brunei * Cambodia * Canada * Chile * China * Colombia * Costa Rica * Ecuador * El Salvador * Federated States of Micronesia *
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about northeast of New Zealand. Fiji consists of an archipelago ...

Fiji
* Guatemala * Honduras *
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Pacific Ocean, Pacific oceans. It consists of over List of islands of I ...

Indonesia
*
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japan is a part of the , and spans of coveri ...

Japan
*
Kiribati Kiribati (), officially the Republic of Kiribati (: '' ibaberikiKiribati''),Kiribati
''The W ...

Kiribati
*
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions that are geographically south of C ...

Malaysia
*
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
*
Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), is a List of sovereign states, country in the southern portion of North America. It is borders of Mexico, bordered to the north by the United States; ...

Mexico
* Nauru *
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
* Nicaragua * North Korea *
Palau Palau (), officially the Republic of Palau ( pau, Beluu er a Belau) and historically ''Belau'', ''Palaos'' or ''Pelew'', is an island country in the western Pacific Ocean, Pacific. The nation has approximately 340 islands and connects the w ...

Palau
* Panama *
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in that comp ...

Papua New Guinea
*
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = National seal , national_motto ...

Peru
*
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
* Russia *
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
* Singapore *
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, in ...
* South Korea * Taiwan * Thailand * Timor-Leste *
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
*
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
* United States *
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; : ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an located in the South Pacific Ocean. The , which is of volcanic origin, is east of northern Australia, north ...

Vanuatu
* Vietnam


Territories

* American Samoa (US) * Baker Island (US) * Clipperton Island (France) *
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua Avarua (meaning "Two Harbours" in Cook Islands Māori) is a town and district in the north of the island of Rarotonga, and is ...
(New Zealand) * Coral Sea Islands (Australia) * French Polynesia (France) *
Guam Guam (; ch, Guåhan ) is an in the subregion of the western . It is the and territory of the United States (reckoned from the ); in , it is the largest and southernmost of the and the largest island in Micronesia. Guam's capital is , and t ...

Guam
(US) * Hong Kong (China) * Howland Island (US) * Jarvis Island (US) * Johnston Island (US) * Kingman Reef (US) * Macau (China) * Macquarie Island (Australia) * Midway Atoll (US) *
New Caledonia ) , anthem = " Soyons unis, devenons frères" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , s ...

New Caledonia
(France) * Norfolk Island (Australia) * Northern Mariana Islands (US) * Niue (New Zealand) * Palmyra Atoll (US) * Pitcairn Islands (UK) * Tokelau (New Zealand) * Wallis and Futuna (France) * Wake Island (US)


Landmasses and islands

The Pacific Ocean has most of the islands in the world. There are about 25,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. The islands entirely within the Pacific Ocean can be divided into three main groups known as
Micronesia Micronesia (, ; from grc, μικρός ''mikrós'' "small" and ''nêsos'' "island") is a subregion of Oceania, consisting of thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It has a close shared cultural history with three other isl ...

Micronesia
, Melanesia and
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
. Micronesia, which lies north of the equator and west of the International Date Line, includes the
Mariana Islands The Mariana Islands (; also the Marianas; in ChamorroChamorro may refer to: * Chamorro language, an Austronesian language indigenous to The Marianas * Chamorro people, the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific * Chamorr ...
in the northwest, the
Caroline Islands The Caroline Islands (or the Carolines) are a widely scattered archipelago of tiny islands in the western Pacific Ocean, to the north of New Guinea. Politically, they are divided between the Federated States of Micronesia in the central and ...
in the center, the
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
to the east and the islands of
Kiribati Kiribati (), officially the Republic of Kiribati (: '' ibaberikiKiribati''),Kiribati
''The W ...

Kiribati
in the southeast. Melanesia, to the southwest, includes
New Guinea New Guinea (; : ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the , and with an area of , the largest island in the . Located in in the southwestern , it is separated by the wide from . Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east ...

New Guinea
, the world's second largest island after Greenland and by far the largest of the Pacific islands. The other main Melanesian groups from north to south are the
Bismarck Archipelago The Bismarck Archipelago is a group of islands off the northeastern coast of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu: ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the List of islands by area, world's second-largest island, and with an area of , t ...
, the
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, in ...
, Santa Cruz Islands, Santa Cruz,
Vanuatu Vanuatu ( or ; ), officially the Republic of Vanuatu (french: link=no, République de Vanuatu; : ''Ripablik blong Vanuatu''), is an located in the South Pacific Ocean. The , which is of volcanic origin, is east of northern Australia, north ...

Vanuatu
,
Fiji Fiji ( ; fj, Viti, ; hif, फ़िजी, ''Fijī''), officially the Republic of Fiji, is an island country in Melanesia, part of Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies about northeast of New Zealand. Fiji consists of an archipelago ...

Fiji
and
New Caledonia ) , anthem = " Soyons unis, devenons frères" , image_map = New Caledonia on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , map_alt = Location of New Caledonia , map_caption = Location of New Caledonia , mapsize = 290px , s ...

New Caledonia
. The largest area,
Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; fj, Kai-Polinesia; sm, Polenisia; rar, Porinetia; ty, Pōrīnetia; tvl, Polenisia; tkl, Polenihia) is a ...

Polynesia
, stretching from
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
in the north to
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
in the south, also encompasses
Tuvalu Tuvalu ( or ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands Tuvalu ( ; formerly known as the Ellice Islands) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial ...

Tuvalu
, Tokelau,
Samoa Samoa (, ), officially the Independent State of Samoa ( sm, Malo Saʻoloto Tutoʻatasi o Sāmoa; sm, Sāmoa, ) and until 1997 known as Western Samoa, is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "i ...

Samoa
,
Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" and grc, νῆσος "island") ( to, Faka-Polinisia; mi, Porinihia; haw, Polenekia; ...

Tonga
and the Kermadec Islands to the west, the
Cook Islands ) , image_map = Cook Islands on the globe (small islands magnified) (Polynesia centered).svg , capital = Avarua Avarua (meaning "Two Harbours" in Cook Islands Māori) is a town and district in the north of the island of Rarotonga, and is ...
, Society Islands and Austral Islands in the center, and the Marquesas Islands, Tuamotus, Tuamotu, Mangareva Islands, and Easter Island to the east. Islands in the Pacific Ocean are of four basic types: continental islands, high islands, coral reefs and uplifted coral platforms. Continental islands lie outside the andesite line and include New Guinea, the islands of New Zealand, and the Philippines. Some of these islands are structurally associated with nearby continents. High islands are of volcanic origin, and many contain active volcanoes. Among these are Bougainville Island, Bougainville, Hawaii, and the Solomon Islands. The coral reefs of the South Pacific are low-lying structures that have built up on basaltic lava flows under the ocean's surface. One of the most dramatic is the Great Barrier Reef off northeastern
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
with chains of reef patches. A second island type formed of coral is the uplifted coral platform, which is usually slightly larger than the low coral islands. Examples include Banaba Island, Banaba (formerly Ocean Island) and Makatea in the Tuamotu group of French Polynesia. > File:Ladrilleros Beach Colombia.jpg, Ladrilleros Beach in Colombia on the coast of Pacific/Chocó natural region, Chocó natural region File:Tahuna maru islet Raroia.jpg, Tahuna maru islet, French Polynesia File:Los Molinos.JPG, Los Molinos, Chile, Los Molinos on the coast of Zona Sur, Southern Chile


Water characteristics

The volume of the Pacific Ocean, representing about 50.1 percent of the world's oceanic water, has been estimated at some . Surface water temperatures in the Pacific can vary from , the freezing point of sea water, in the poleward areas to about near the equator. Salinity also varies latitudinally, reaching a maximum of 37 parts per thousand in the southeastern area. The water near the equator, which can have a salinity as low as 34 parts per thousand, is less salty than that found in the mid-latitudes because of abundant equatorial precipitation throughout the year. The lowest counts of less than 32 parts per thousand are found in the far north as less evaporation of seawater takes place in these frigid areas. The motion of Pacific waters is generally clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere (the Ocean gyre, North Pacific gyre) and counter-clockwise in the
Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere of Earth ** Northern Hemisphere ** Southern Hemisphere ** Eastern Hemisphere ** Western Hem ...

Southern Hemisphere
. The North Equatorial Current, driven westward along 15th parallel north, latitude 15°N by the trade winds, turns north near the Philippines to become the warm Japan or Kuroshio Current. Turning eastward at about 45th parallel north, 45°N, the Kuroshio forks and some water moves northward as the Aleutian Current, while the rest turns southward to rejoin the North Equatorial Current. The Aleutian Current branches as it approaches North America and forms the base of a counter-clockwise circulation in the
Bering Sea The Bering Sea (, ; rus, Бе́рингово мо́ре, r=Béringovo móre) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Oc ...
. Its southern arm becomes the chilled slow, south-flowing California Current. The South Equatorial Current, flowing west along the equator, swings southward east of
New Guinea New Guinea (; : ''Niu Gini''; id, Papua, historically ) is the , and with an area of , the largest island in the . Located in in the southwestern , it is separated by the wide from . Numerous smaller islands are located to the west and east ...

New Guinea
, turns east at about 50th parallel south, 50°S, and joins the main westerly circulation of the South Pacific, which includes the Earth-circling Antarctic Circumpolar Current. As it approaches the Chilean coast, the South Equatorial Current divides; one branch flows around
Cape Horn Cape Horn ( es, Cabo de Hornos, ) is the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago of southern Chile, and is located on the small Hornos Island. Although not the most southerly point of South America (which are the Diego Ramírez ...
and the other turns north to form the Peru or Humboldt Current.


Climate

The climate patterns of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres generally mirror each other. The trade winds in the southern and eastern Pacific are remarkably steady while conditions in the North Pacific are far more varied with, for example, cold winter temperatures on the east coast of Russia contrasting with the milder weather off British Columbia during the winter months due to the preferred flow of ocean currents. In the tropical and subtropical Pacific, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) affects weather conditions. To determine the phase of ENSO, the most recent three-month sea surface temperature average for the area approximately to the southeast of
Hawaii Hawaii ( ; haw, Hawaii or ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspape ...

Hawaii
is computed, and if the region is more than above or below normal for that period, then an El Niño or La Niña is considered in progress. In the tropical western Pacific, the monsoon and the related wet season during the summer months contrast with dry winds in the winter which blow over the ocean from the Asian landmass. Worldwide, tropical cyclone activity peaks in late summer, when the difference between temperatures aloft and sea surface temperatures is the greatest; however, each particular basin has its own seasonal patterns. On a worldwide scale, May is the least active month, while September is the most active month. November is the only month in which all the tropical cyclone basins are active. The Pacific hosts the two most active tropical cyclone basins, which are the northwestern Pacific and the eastern Pacific. Pacific hurricanes form south of Mexico, sometimes striking the western Mexican coast and occasionally the southwestern United States between June and October, while typhoons forming in the northwestern Pacific moving into southeast and east Asia from May to December. Tropical cyclones also form in the South Pacific tropical cyclone, South Pacific basin, where they occasionally impact island nations. In the arctic, icing from October to May can present a hazard for shipping while persistent fog occurs from June to December. A climatological low in the Gulf of Alaska keeps the southern coast wet and mild during the winter months. The Westerlies and associated jet stream within the Mid-Latitudes can be particularly strong, especially in the Southern Hemisphere, due to the temperature difference between the tropics and Antarctica,John P. Stimac
Air pressure and wind.
Retrieved on 8 May 2008.
which records the coldest temperature readings on the planet. In the Southern hemisphere, because of the stormy and cloudy conditions associated with extratropical cyclones riding the jet stream, it is usual to refer to the Westerlies as the Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties and Shrieking Sixties according to the varying degrees of latitude.


Geology

The ocean was first mapped by Abraham Ortelius; he called it Maris Pacifici following
Ferdinand Magellan Ferdinand Magellan ( or ; pt, Fernão de Magalhães, ; es, link=no, Fernando de Magallanes, ; c. 1480 – 27 April 1521) was a Portuguese explorer Exploration is the act of searching for the purpose of discovery of information In ...

Ferdinand Magellan
's description of it as "a pacific sea" during his circumnavigation from 1519 to 1522. To Magellan, it seemed much more calm (pacific) than the Atlantic. The andesite line is the most significant regional distinction in the Pacific. A petrologic boundary, it separates the deeper, mafic igneous rock of the Central Pacific Basin from the partially submerged continental areas of felsic igneous rock on its margins. The andesite line follows the western edge of the islands off California and passes south of the Aleutian Islands, Aleutian arc, along the eastern edge of the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kuril Islands, Japan, the
Mariana Islands The Mariana Islands (; also the Marianas; in ChamorroChamorro may refer to: * Chamorro language, an Austronesian language indigenous to The Marianas * Chamorro people, the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands in the Western Pacific * Chamorr ...
, the
Solomon Islands Solomon Islands is a sovereign country A sovereign state is a political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, in ...
, and
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
's North Island. The dissimilarity continues northeastward along the western edge of the Andes American Cordillera, Cordillera along South America to Mexico, returning then to the islands off California. Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, New Guinea, and New Zealand lie outside the andesite line. Within the closed loop of the andesite line are most of the deep troughs, submerged volcanic mountains, and oceanic volcanic islands that characterize the Pacific basin. Here basaltic lavas gently flow out of rifts to build huge dome-shaped volcanic mountains whose eroded summits form island arcs, chains, and clusters. Outside the andesite line, volcanism is of the explosive type, and the Pacific Ring of Fire is the world's foremost belt of explosive volcanism. The Ring of Fire is named after the several hundred active volcanoes that sit above the various subduction zones. The Pacific Ocean is the only ocean which is mostly bounded by subduction zones. Only the Antarctic and Australian coasts have no nearby subduction zones.


Geological history

The Pacific Ocean was born 750 million years ago at the breakup of Rodinia, although it is generally called the Panthalassa until the breakup of Pangea, about 200 million years ago. The oldest Pacific Ocean floor is only around 180 Mega-annum, Ma old, with older crust subducted by now.


Seamount chains

The Pacific Ocean contains several long seamount chains, formed by Hotspot (geology), hotspot volcanism. These include the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain and the Louisville Ridge.


Economy

The exploitation of the Pacific's mineral wealth is hampered by the ocean's great depths. In shallow waters of the continental shelves off the coasts of Australia and New Zealand, petroleum and natural gas are extracted, and pearls are harvested along the coasts of Australia, Japan,
Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea ( tpi, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niugini; ho, Independen Stet bilong Papua Niu Gini), is a country in that comp ...

Papua New Guinea
, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Philippines, although in sharply declining volume in some cases.


Fishing

Fish are an important economic asset in the Pacific. The shallower shoreline waters of the continents and the more temperate islands yield herring, salmon, sardines, Australasian snapper, snapper, swordfish, and tuna, as well as shellfish. Overfishing has become a serious problem in some areas. For example, catches in the rich fishing grounds of the Sea of Okhotsk, Okhotsk Sea off the Russian coast have been reduced by at least half since the 1990s as a result of overfishing.


Nuclear waste

From 1946 to 1958,
Marshall Islands The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands ( mh, Aolepān Aorōkin Ṃajeḷ), is an independent near the in the , slightly west of the . Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of . The countr ...
served as the Pacific Proving Grounds for the United States and was the site of 67 nuclear tests on various atolls. Several nuclear weapons were lost in the Pacific Ocean, including one-megaton bomb lost during the 1965 Philippine Sea A-4 incident. In 2021, the Discharge of radioactive water of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, dumping of radioactive water of the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean over a course of 30 years was finally approved by the Japanese Cabinet. The Cabinet asserted the radioactive water would have been diluted to drinkable standard. Apart from dumping, Leakage of radioactive water of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, leakage of tritium into the Pacific was estimated to be between 20 and 40 trillion becquerel, Bqs from 2011 to 2013, according to the Fukushima plant.


Environmental issues

The quantity of small plastic fragments floating in the north-east Pacific Ocean increased a hundredfold between 1972 and 2012. The ever-growing Great Pacific garbage patch between California and Japan is three times the size of France. An estimated 80,000 metric tons of plastic inhabit the patch, totaling 1.8 trillion pieces. Marine pollution is a generic term for the harmful entry into the ocean of chemicals or particles. The main culprits are those using the rivers for disposing of their waste. The rivers then empty into the ocean, often also bringing chemicals used as fertilizers in agriculture. The excess of oxygen-depleting chemicals in the water leads to hypoxia (environmental), hypoxia and the creation of a dead zone (ecology), dead zone.Gerlach: Marine Pollution, Springer, Berlin (1975) Marine debris, also known as marine litter, is human-created waste that has ended up floating in a lake, sea, ocean, or waterway. Oceanic debris tends to accumulate at the center of gyres and coastlines, frequently washing aground where it is known as beach litter. In addition, the Pacific Ocean has served as the crash site of satellites, including Mars 96, Fobos-Grunt, and Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite.


Major ports and harbors


List of major ports

*
Acapulco Acapulco de Juárez (), commonly called Acapulco ( , also ), is a city and major seaport in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico Mexico ( es, México ; Nahuan languages: ), officially the United Mexican States (; EUM ), ...

Acapulco
*Auckland *Bangkok *Busan *Cebu City *Dalian *Guangzhou *Haiphong *Ho Chi Minh City *Hong Kong *Honolulu *Johor Bahru *Kaohsiung *Keelung *Long Beach, California, Long Beach *Los Angeles *
Manila Manila ( , ; fil, Maynila, ), officially the City of Manila ( fil, Lungsod ng Maynila, ), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are i ...

Manila
*Melbourne *Nagoya *Nakhodka *Oakland *Osaka *Panama City *Portland, Oregon, Portland *San Diego *San Francisco, California, San Francisco *Seattle *Shanghai *Singapore *Sydney *Tianjin *Tokyo *Vancouver *Vladivostok *Yokohama, Japan, Yokohama


List of seas, gulfs and bays by surface area

*
Philippine Sea The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) ...
: *
Coral Sea The Coral Sea () is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% ...

Coral Sea
: *
South China Sea The South China Sea is a of the . It is bounded in the north by the shores of (hence the name), in the west by the , in the east by the islands of and northwestern (mainly , and ), and in the south by , and the , encompassing an area of ...

South China Sea
: *
Tasman Sea The Tasman Sea ( Māori: ''Te Tai-o-Rēhua'', ) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Ocean The ocean (also ...

Tasman Sea
: *
Bering Sea The Bering Sea (, ; rus, Бе́рингово мо́ре, r=Béringovo móre) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean, including marginal seas, areas of water, various gulfs, bights, bays, and straits. Terminology * Oc ...
: *
Sea of Okhotsk The Sea of Okhotsk ( rus, Охо́тское мо́ре, Okhótskoye móre ; ja, オホーツク海, Ohōtsuku-kai) is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of S ...
: *
Gulf of Alaska A gulf is a large inlet from the ocean into the landmass, typically with a narrower opening than a bay A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean The ocean ...
: *
East China Sea The East China Sea is an arm of the Western Pacific Ocean, located directly offshore from East China (hence the name), covering an area of roughly . Its northern extension between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula Korea is a regi ...

East China Sea
: *
Sea of Japan The Sea of Japan is the marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% ...

Sea of Japan
: *
Solomon Sea The Solomon Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.New Ireland alon ...
: *
Arafura Sea The Arafura Sea (or Arafuru Sea) lies west of the Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to A ...
: *
Banda Sea The Banda Sea is a sea in the Maluku Islands The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas () (''Molukken'') are an archipelago in eastern Indonesia. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geogra ...
: *
Yellow Sea The Yellow Sea is a marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean located between mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitics, geopolit ...

Yellow Sea
: *
Gulf of Thailand The Gulf of Thailand, also known as the Gulf of Siam, is a shallow inlet in the southwestern South China Sea The South China Sea is a marginal sea of the Western Pacific Ocean. It is bounded in the north by the shores of South China (hence t ...

Gulf of Thailand
: *
Java Sea Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands The Greater Sunda Islands are four tropical islands situated within Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is the United Nations geoscheme for Asia#S ...
: *
Gulf of Carpentaria The Gulf of Carpentaria () is a large, shallow sea enclosed on three sides by northern Australia and bounded on the north by the eastern Arafura Sea (the body of water that lies between Australia and New Guinea). The northern boundary is ge ...
: *
Celebes Sea The Celebes Sea ( ms, Laut Sulawesi, id, Laut Sulawesi, fil, Dagat Selebes) of the western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the So ...
: *
Sulu Sea The Sulu Sea ( fil, Dagat Sulu; Tausug language, Tausug: ''Dagat sin Sūg''; Chavacano: ''Mar de Sulu''; Cebuano language, Cebuano: ''Dagat sa Sulu''; Hiligaynon language, Hiligaynon: ''Dagat sang Sulu''; Karay-a language, Karay-a: ''Dagat k ...
: *
Bismarck Sea The Bismarck Sea (german: Bismarcksee) lies in the southwestern Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on d ...
: *Flores Sea : *
Molucca Sea The Molucca Sea ( Indonesian: ''Laut Maluku'') is located in the western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depen ...
: *
Gulf of Anadyr The Gulf of Anadyr, or Anadyr Bay (russian: Анадырский залив), is a large bay on the Bering Sea The Bering Sea (, ; rus, Бе́рингово мо́ре, r=Béringovo móre) is a marginal sea of the Northern Pacific Ocean. It ...
: *
Gulf of California The Gulf of California ( es, :es:Golfo de California, Golfo de California), also known as the Sea of Cortés (''Mar de Cortés'') or Sea of Cortez, or less commonly as the Vermilion Sea (''Mar Bermejo''), is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean t ...

Gulf of California
: *
Gulf of Tonkin The Gulf of Tonkin ( vi, Vịnh Bắc Bộ, ; formerly known as or during the ) is a at the northwestern portion of the , located off the coasts of () and . It has a total surface area of . It is defined in the west and northwest by the ...

Gulf of Tonkin
: *
Halmahera Sea , native_name_lang = , image = Locatie Zee van Halmahera.PNG , caption = Location of the Halmahera Sea within Southeast Asia , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location ...
: *
Bohai Sea The Bohai Sea or Bo Sea, also known as Bohai Gulf, Bo Gulf or Pohai Bay (), is a marginal sea approximately in area on the east coast of mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland A ...

Bohai Sea
: *
Gulf of Papua The Gulf of Papua is located in the southern coast region of New Guinea. It has a total surface area of . Geography Some of New Guinea's largest rivers, such as the Fly River, Turama River, Kikori River, Purari River, and Wawoi River flow in ...
: * Koro Sea : *
Bali Sea , native_name_lang = , image = Locatie Balizee.PNG , caption = The location of the Bali Sea, shown in blue. , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location = , pushpin_ ...
: *
Savu Sea The Savu Sea (or the Sawu Sea) is a small sea within Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian Ocean, Indian and Paci ...
: *Bohol Sea *
Seto Inland Sea The , sometimes shortened to the Inland Sea, is the body of water separating Honshū , historically called , is the largest and most populous main island of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag ...

Seto Inland Sea
: *Sibuyan Sea *
Seram Sea , native_name_lang = , image = Locatie Ceramzee.PNG , caption = Location of the Ceram Sea within Southeast Asia. , image_bathymetry = , caption_bathymetry = , location = , pus ...
*Visayan Sea *Gulf of Panama * Manila Bay : *Tokyo Bay :


List of islands in the Pacific


See also

* Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation * List of rivers of the Americas by coastline#Pacific Ocean coast * Pacific Alliance * Pacific coast * Pacific Time Zone * Seven Seas * Trans-Pacific Partnership * War of the Pacific * Natural delimitation between the Pacific and South Atlantic oceans by the Scotia Arc


References


Further reading

* * * * * * * Jones, Eric, Lionel Frost, and Colin White. ''Coming Full Circle: An Economic History of the Pacific Rim'' (Westview Press, 1993) * * * * * Paine, Lincoln. ''The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World'' (2015). * * Samson, Jane. ''British imperial strategies in the Pacific, 1750–1900'' (Ashgate Publishing, 2003). * * *


Historiography

* Calder, Alex, et al. eds. '' Voyages and Beaches: Pacific Encounters, 1769–1840'' (U of Hawai‘i Press, 1999) * Davidson, James Wightman. "Problems of Pacific history." ''Journal of Pacific History'' 1#1 (1966): 5–21. * Dirlik, Arif. “The Asia-Pacific Idea: Reality and Representation in the Invention of a Regional Structure,” ''Journal of World History'' 3#1 (1992): 55–79. * Dixon, Chris, and David Drakakis-Smith. “The Pacific Asian Region: Myth or Reality?” ''Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography'' 77#@ (1995): 75+ * Dodge, Ernest S. ''New England and the South Seas'' (Harvard UP, 1965). * Flynn, Dennis O., Arturo Giráldez, and James Sobredo, eds. ''Studies in Pacific History: Economics, Politics, and Migration'' (Ashgate, 2002). * Gulliver, Katrina. "Finding the Pacific world." ''Journal of World History'' 22#1 (2011): 83–100
online
* Korhonen, Pekka. "The Pacific Age in World History," ''Journal of World History'' 7#1 (1996): 41–70. * Munro, Doug. ''The Ivory Tower and Beyond: Participant Historians of the Pacific'' (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009). * "Recent Literature in Discovery History." ''Terrae Incognitae'', annual feature in January issue since 1979; comprehensive listing of new books and articles. * Routledge, David. "Pacific history as seen from the Pacific Islands." ''Pacific Studies'' 8#2 (1985): 81
online
* Samson, Jane. "Pacific/Oceanic History" in * Stillman, Amy Ku‘uleialoha. “Pacific-ing Asian Pacific American History,” ''Journal of Asian American Studies'' 7#3 (2004): 241–270.


External links


EPIC Pacific Ocean Data Collection Viewable
on-line collection of observational data
NOAA In-situ Ocean Data Viewer
plot and download ocean observations
NOAA PMEL Argo profiling floats Realtime Pacific Ocean data

NOAA TAO
El Niño data Realtime Pacific Ocean El Niño buoy data
NOAA Ocean Surface Current Analyses
– Realtime (OSCAR) Near-realtime Pacific Ocean Surface Currents derived from satellite altimeter and scatterometer data {{Authority control Pacific Ocean, Oceans