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New Guinea

New Guinea
(Papua Island)
LocationNewGuinea.svg
Geography
Location Melanesia
Coordinates 5°30′S 141°00′E / 5.500°S 141.000°E / -5.500; 141.000Coordinates: 5°30′S 141°00′E / 5.500°S 141.000°E / -5.500; 141.000
Archipelago Malay archipelago
Area 785,753 km2 (303,381 sq mi)
Area rank 2nd
Highest elevation 4,884 m (16,024 ft)
Highest point Puncak Jaya
Administration
Provinces Papua
West Papua
Largest settlement Jayapura
Provinces Central
Simbu
Eastern Highlands
East Sepik
Enga
Gulf
Hela
Jiwaka
Madang
Morobe
Oro
Southern Highlands
Western
Western Highlands
West Sepik
Milne Bay
National Capital District
Largest settlement Port Moresby
Demographics
Population ~ 11,306,940 (2014)
Pop. density 14 /km2 (36 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Papuan and Austronesian

New Guinea (Tok Pisin: Niugini; Dutch: Nieuw-Guinea; Indonesian: Papua or, historically, Irian) is a large Island in the South West Pacific region.

It is the world's second-largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 785,753 km2, and the largest wholly or partly within the Southern Hemisphere.

The island is divided among two countries: Papua New Guinea to the east, and Indonesia to the west.

The island has been known by various names.

The name Papua was used to refer to parts of the island before contact with the West. Its etymology is unclear; one theory states that it is from Tidore, the language used by the Sultanate of Tidore, which controlled parts of the island's coastal region. The name came from papo (to unite) and ua (negation), which means "not united" or, "territory that geographically is far away (and thus not united)".

Ploeg reports that the word papua is often said to derive from the Malay word papua or pua-pua, meaning "frizzly-haired", referring to the highly curly hair of the inhabitants of these areas. Another possibility, put forward by Sollewijn Gelpke in 1993, is that it comes from the Biak phrase sup i papwa which means 'the land below [the sunset]' and refers to the islands west of the Bird's Head, as far as Halmahera. Whatever the origin of the name Papua, it came to be associated with this area, and more especially with Halmahera, which was known to the Portuguese by this name during the era of their colonization in this part of the world.

When the Portuguese and Spanish explorers arrived in the island via the Spice Islands, they also referred to the island as Papua. However, the name New Guinea would later be used by Westerners starting with the Spanish explorer Yñigo Ortiz de Retez in 1545, referring to the similarities of the indigenous people's appearance with the natives of the Guinea region of Africa. The Dutch, who arrived later under Jacob Le Maire and Willem Schouten, called it Schouten island, but later this name is used only to refer to islands to the north of the coast of Papua proper, the Schouten Islands or Biak Island. When the Dutch colonized it as part of Netherlands East Indies, they called it Nieuw Guinea .



  • Puncak Jaya, sometimes known by its former Dutch name Carstensz Pyramid, is a mist covered limestone mountain peak on the Indonesian side of the border. At 4,884 metres (16,024 ft), Puncak Jaya makes New Guinea the world's fourth highest landmass.
  • Puncak Mandala, located in Papua, is the second highest peak on the island at 4,760 metres (15,617 ft).
  • Puncak Trikora, also in Papua, is 4,750 metres (15,584 ft).
  • Mount Wilhelm is the highest peak on the PNG side of the border at 4,509 metres (14,793 ft). Its granite peak is the highest point of the Bismarck Range.
  • Mount Giluwe 4,368 metres (14,331 ft) is the second highest summit in PNG. It is also the highest volcanic peak in Oceania.
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Wikipedia

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