Oceania GeoQuiz Answers

Yesterday’s GeoNote introduced this Oceania GeoQuiz. This page shows the answers in bold, so if you would like to first take the quiz without seeing the answers, see yesterday’s post before scrolling down.




1. The area marked A:

a. is a major agricultural region, marked by large sugar and cotton plantations in the north and intensive sheep and cattle ranching in the south.

b. is an Australian territory rather than state (owing largely to its small population) that has a relatively high proportion of Aborigines in its population.

c. is an Australian state characterized, like the rest of the country, by low population density overall, but with high density in its capital city – which contains well over one million people.

d. is a large Aboriginal reserve; Australians of European or Asian descent are encouraged to visit, but they are not allowed to live there.

With only 230,000 people, the Northern Territory is not a state. But is population is expected to cross the half-million mark by mid century.

2. The country, with two main islands, marked B:

a. is the most economically successful country in the region, thanks to its mineral wealth and high tech industries.

b. is almost entirely English in its cultural and genetic background, with fewer than 5%  of its population derived from other parts of the world.

c. is primarily British and Irish in its cultural background, but has a substantial and growing indigenous (Maori) population, as well as significant populations derived from Asia and from other Pacific islands. 

d. is a largely rural society (unlike Australia), with few major cities.

According to the Wikipedia, “67.6 percent of the population [of New Zealand] identified ethnically as European and 14.6 percent as Māori. Other major ethnic groups include Asian (9.2 percent) and Pacific peoples (6.9 percent), while 11.1 percent identified themselves simply as a “New Zealander””

3. The island group marked C is:

a. an independent country, in Free Association with the United States, that contains large U.S. military installations, used mainly for missile testing.

b. a dependent territory of the United States; a strong independence movement here has threatened U.S. interests, leading to a withdrawal of military forces.

c. an independent country that maintains a highly traditional way of life; immigration is not allowed, and even tourism is discouraged.

d. a “Commonwealth” of the Unites States (like Puerto Rico): the people of the islands are US citizens and can freely migrate to the mainland, but they do not have U.S. voting rights.

The Marshall Islands, a former U.S. “Trust Territory,” is now independent, but “Free Association” status means that islanders can emigrate freely to the U.S.  Kwajalein Atoll, site of the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Defense Test Site, is the world’s largest target.

4. The area marked D is:

a. a self-governing, “sui generis” dependency of France, with major ethnic conflicts, that is scheduled to vote on independence within a  few years.

b. an independent country that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its main island and its smaller islands.

c. an overseas department of France, and hence as much a part of France as Hawaii is part of the United States.

d. an independent country that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its indigenous population and its population of Indian ancestry.

New Caledonia is a French dependency of ambiguous status. Conflicts between the indigenous Kanaks, the Caldoches (those of European descent), and Polynesian immigrants from the French islands of Wallis and Futuna can be heated.

5. The area marked E:

a. is one of the more populous and prosperous countries of the Pacific, owing to its combination of large, fertile, volcanic “high” islands and numerous atolls.

b. is an American dependency – and is the site of numerous American naval bases.

c. is an independent country with a small (roughly 100,000) population concentrated in its western atolls  — presenting it with a problem in patrolling its huge “exclusive economic zone” of oceanic territory.

d. maintains strict control over its ocean territory through the use of its powerful navy –- much to the distress of its neighboring countries.

Kiribati (pronounced “Kiribas”) is an independent country that covers a vast oceanic expanse. It was formerly a British colony.

6. The area marked F:

a. is an independent country that has experienced intense struggles between its main island and its outer archipelago, requiring Australian military occupation in 2004.

b. is more prosperous than most of its neighboring Oceanic countries owing to tourism and to its successful development of an off-shore banking industry.

c. is noted for its extreme linguistic diversity; its unifying language, Tok Pisin (“Pidgin English”) is based on English.

d. was a former French colony that maintains close ties to France, especially in terms of its economy (it is a major exporter of nickel).

Papua New Guinea is said to contain some 850 indigenous languages. Tok Pisin is an increasingly successful national language.

7. The large triangular area marked H at each apex:

a. is differentiated from the rest of the Pacific-island world by the fact that most of its people are of European or Asian descent, with indigenous populations everywhere forming a relatively small minority.

b. is called “Polynesia,” but this term has little meaning, as the so-called Polynesian peoples actually speak a number of very different languages and follow very different cultural traditions.

c. was uninhabited before the coming of Europeans, hence it has no truly indigenous peoples.

d. is called Polynesia; before the coming of the Europeans, similar languages and customs were found throughout this huge region.

Although Melanesia and Micronesia have little if any cultural unity, Polynesia is a coherent cultural unit. Polynesian languages and cultures are found outside of the triangle, however, on so-called Polynesian outliers found in Melanesia areas. 

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