Asia Pacific Ad Fest
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.6% of the earth's total surface area (or 29.9% of its land area) and with approximately 4 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population.
Asia is traditionally defined as part of the landmass of Eurasia - with the western portion of the latter occupied by Europe - located to the east of the Suez Canal, east of the Ural Mountains and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma-Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas. It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. Given its size and diversity, Asia - a toponym dating back to classical antiquity - is more a cultural concept incorporating a number of regions and peoples than a homogeneous physical entity.
The wealth of Asia differs very widely among and within its regions, due to its vast size and huge range of different cultures, environments, historical ties and government systems. In terms of nominal GDP, Japan has the largest economy on the continent and the second largest in the world. In purchasing power parity terms, however, China has the largest economy in Asia and the third largest in the world.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.
At 169.2 million square kilometres (65.3 million square miles) in area, this largest division of the World Ocean - and, in turn, the hydrosphere - covers about 46% of the Earth's water surface and about 30% of its total surface. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the Pacific and in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 metres (35,797 ft).
The Pacific Ocean was sighted by Europeans early in the 16th century, first by the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa who crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and named it Mar del Sur (South Sea). Its current name is however derived from the Luso-Latin macaronic Tepre Pacificum, "peaceful sea", bestowed upon it by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Those islands lying south of the tropic of Cancer are traditionally grouped into three divisions: Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.
Pacific islands are also sometimes collectively called Oceania (although Oceania is sometimes defined as also including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago).
* Melanesia means black islands. These include New Guinea (the largest Pacific island, which is divided into the sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian provinces of Maluku, Papua and West Papua), New Caledonia, Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands), Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.
* Micronesia means small islands. These include the Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Most of these lie north of the equator.
* Polynesia means many islands. These include New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, the Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Tokelau, Niue, French Polynesia, and Easter Island. It is the largest of the three zones.
The region's islands are classified into two groups, high islands and low islands. Volcanoes form high islands, which generally can support more people and have a more fertile soil. Low islands are reefs or atolls, and are relatively small and infertile. Melanesia, the most populous of the three regions, contains mainly high islands, while most of Micronesia and Polynesia are low islands.
In addition, there are many other islands located within the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean that are not considered part of Oceania. These islands include the Galápagos Islands of Ecuador; the Aleutian Islands in Alaska; the Russian islands of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands; Taiwan; the Philippines; the South China Sea Islands; most of the islands of Indonesia; and the island nation of Japan, which includes the Ryukyu Islands.