Topics: Polynesia - Wikipedia
Polynesia ( UK : / ˌ p ɒ l ɪ ˈ n iː z i ə / ; US : / ˌ p ɑː l ə ˈ n iː ʒ ə / , from Greek : πολύς polys "many" and Greek : νῆσος nēsos "island") is a subregion of Oceania , made up of more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians , who share many similar traits including language family , culture , and beliefs.  Historically, they had a strong tradition of sailing, using stars to navigate at night.
The term Polynesia was first used in 1756 by French writer Charles de Brosses , and originally applied to all the islands of the Pacific. In 1831, Jules Dumont d'Urville proposed a restriction on its use during a lecture to the Geographical Society of Paris. Historically, these islands have also been referred to as the South Sea Islands. 
Out of approximately 300,000 or 310,000 square kilometres (117,000 or 118,000 sq mi) of land, over 270,000 km 2 (103,000 sq mi) are within New Zealand ; the Hawaiian archipelago comprises about half the remainder. The Zealandia continent has approximately 3,600,000 km 2 (1,400,000 sq mi) of continental shelf. The oldest rocks in the region are found in New Zealand and are believed to be about 510 million years old. The oldest Polynesian rocks outside of Zealandia are to be found in the Hawaiian Emperor Seamount Chain and are 80 million years old.