Micronesia is a subregion of Oceania, comprising thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean. It is distinct from Melanesia to the south, and Polynesia to the east. The Philippines lie to the west, and Indonesia to the southwest. The name Micronesia derives from the Greek mikros , meaning small, and nesos , meaning island. The term was first proposed to distinguish the region in 1831 by Jules Dumont d'Urville. The following islands and groups of islands are considered part of Micronesia: Total Land Area: 1,229.95 square miles (3,185.6 km) The only empire known to have originated in Micronesia was based in Yap. Much of the area came under European domination quite early. In the early 17th century Spain colonized Guam, the Northern Marianas, and the Caroline Islands (what would later become the Federated States of Micronesia and Palau), creating the Spanish East Indies, which was governed from the Spanish Philippines.