The Pacific Realm:
Defining the Realm
The Pacific Realm includes the islands of the Pacific Ocean scattered in an area larger than all the worlds land areas combined. But the land area of the Pacific Islands is only equal to land area of Texas plus New Mexico. The region is also known as the Sea Hemisphere.
The fragmented Pacific Realm doesnt necessarily include Australia and New Zealand [wwrealsm]. Australia and New Zealand are more Europeanized, whereas the Pacfic Realm is defined by Polynesian influences.
The country of Papua New Guinea [papapcou] [papapua] with a population of 4.5 million contains over 3/5 of the Pacific realm's total population of 7 million. Indigenous Polynesian culture exhibits a consistency and uniformity throughout the realm despite its fragmentation. In Polynesia [paregs] (one of the three regions of the Pacific realm), local culture is strained by external influences. In Hawaii and New Zealand indigenous culture has been submerged by westernization.
The Pacific Realm's islands and cultures may be divided into volcanic high-island cultures and coral low-island cultures. The Pacific Realm is in politico-geographical transition as islands attain independence or redirect their political associations. Pacific Islands have dominion over large Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) which gives them direct control over vast areas of the oceans.
[The text above was written by Scott Girhard, San Antonio College from his online course GEOG 1301 World Geography. Used with permission.]
Also see: http://www.emulateme.com/geography/pacigeo.htm