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The world is the setting of the series.
Ohara's Tree of Knowledge, before its destruction, contained a geocentric based model of the world with seven satellites or planetoids (which includes their world's moon), one of which had a second body orbiting it. Their world also sits on a rough angle of about 24-25 degrees.
It is unknown how long the world has been around and how it was created. The dinosaurs in Little Garden and Montblanc Cricket mentioning millions of years when discussing Sky Island suggest that the world is millions of years old.
The oldest known recorded history is 5,000 years ago when the Tree of Knowledge was created.
Alabasta has a 4,000 year old history.
The Great Kingdom existed until 800 years ago, when 20 Kingdoms fought and overthrew it. The one hundred years leading up to that was known as the Void Century, as no records of the events are kept with the exception of the Poneglyphs. After the Void Century, the World Government was formed by these 20 Kings. 19 of their families, including the Donquixote Family, moved to Mary Geoise, while only the Nefertari Family stayed in their original kingdom, Alabasta. The World Government banned research on Poneglyphs and covered everything that happened in the Void Century.
500 years ago, Oars appeared and caused chaos in the world; he would later be killed by frostbite.
400 years ago, a man named Montblanc Noland visited Green Bit, Vira and later Jaya. He went home to Lvneel to report his findings to the people. Unknown to him while he was away, half of Jaya was knocked up to the sky. When he returned with the king of Lvneel and his royal guards, he finds everyone and Shandora gone. The enraged king believed Noland to be a liar without hearing his side of the story, and Noland was executed and branded a liar. This would haunt his family up to the present.
Sometime before 28 years ago, Gol D. Roger began his piracy career. 28 years ago, he began his final journey that lasted 3 years. Afterwards, he disbanded his crew and turned himself in. 24 years ago, he was executed in Loguetown and began the Great Age of Piracy by offering up his treasure, the One Piece.
Monkey D. Luffy set out to begin living a life of piracy. His crew became notorious across the world as they took down two Shichibukai and the secret government organization CP9, as well as destroying the judicial island Enies Lobby. However, they appeared to be exterminated by Bartholomew Kuma on Sabaody Archipelago, but were really split up and sent to different islands.
During this time, the pirate Marshall D. Teach, better known as Blackbeard, captured Portgas D. Ace in order to become a Shichibukai. The World Government decided to execute Ace in order to incite a war against Whitebeard, and this was talked about the world over. Before the execution, however, the World Government suffered a major blow when Luffy broke into Impel Down to save Ace and led 241 prisoners in a mass breakout, and had managed to do so with the help of the Shichibukai Boa Hancock. Blackbeard would then go and break out several more of the most dangerous prisoners.
This did not impede the planned execution of Ace, however, and the world became further shocked when they learned that Ace was the son of Gol D. Roger and Luffy was the son of Monkey D. Dragon. The Whitebeard Pirates arrived at Marineford and took on the Marines, but Ace and Whitebeard were eventually killed. However, Whitebeard announced to the entire world that the One Piece was real, and things only got worse for the World Government as Blackbeard arrived and took Whitebeard's power, announcing that this was now his age. Shanks then arrived and ended the war, as Luffy managed to escape with the help of the Heart Pirates. The strain from the Battle of Marineford was such that it convinced two renowned veterans of the Marines Fleet Admiral Sengoku, and Vice Admiral Monkey D. Garp, to retire from their duties, and convinced Smoker to transfer to G-5 to keep a closer eye on the New World.
Over the next two years, great changes began taking place. Whitebeard's revelation began a new age of piracy, and Blackbeard usurped his position as a Yonko. Sakazuki became the new Fleet Admiral of the Marines, and the Marines relocated their base to the New World. The Marines drafted in new recruits worldwide to fight the ongoing threat of piracy, notably two new admirals, Issho and Ryokugyu, while Kuzan had left the Marines and appeared to have sided with Blackbeard. The Straw Hat Pirates returned after training for two years, and they entered the New World.
In the New World, the Straw Hat Pirates formed an alliance with the Heart Pirates to take down the Yonko Kaido, and their notoriety only grew when they took down Donquixote Doflamingo of the Shichibukai and captured his subordinate, Caesar Clown; Doflamingo considered his defeat to be the tipping point that would set off a chain of battles for supremacy over the seas. Three Supernova crews, the Kid Pirates, On Air Pirates, and Hawkins Pirates also made headlines when they formed an alliance to take down Shanks. Similarly, the Firetank Pirates aligned themselves with Charlotte Linlin, and Capone Bege ruthlessly carried out her orders. Figures in the Underworld were emerging and beginning to stockpile deadly weapons, and the Revolutionary Army investigated these ominous happenings.
There is little cultural diversity seen out in the North, West, South and East Blues. However in the Grand Line, there are islands which have their own climates and natural occurrences, such that people on these islands will dress to match it. Some islands in the Grand Line have unique cultures, such as Water Seven, Dressrosa, Alabasta, Sabaody, Longring Longland, Jaya, Skypiea, and Wano.
The world of One Piece appears to have a universal spoken and written language which seems to be a combination of Japanese and English. There are even instances of words or pronunciations from both languages being used together in either forms of written text, such as with the names used for the ships of the Yonta Maria Grand Fleet. English seems to be the most predominant written text in most parts of the world, especially outside the Grand Line, however signs of both of the written forms of these languages co-existing can be seen in many parts of the world on either signs, clothing, documents etc..
Even high above in the Sky Islands and deep below in the Sea Floor the universal language exists. In Skypiea, the English text seen on the surface seems to be common among the residents of Angel Island, but the Birkans seen residing in Upper Yard are known to use Japanese characters instead, such as in their trials and main temple. In Fish-Man Island, the universal language is also used, with both English and Japanese words and text being used throughout the island. The island of Dressrosa notably uses a lot of real life Spanish terminology alongside the world's universal language. Sanji and a few other characters have been known to use non-English/Japanese words on rare occasions or in the names of their attacks, with Sanji commonly using French, though its origin is unknown as no one in the Baratie or Germa Kingdom uses words from said language. There also exists an ancient language written on the Poneglyphs by the ancient stonemasons of Wano Country that only the scholars of Ohara could translate.
- Further information: Religion
Various people and civilizations in the world follow a vast array of religions, and various allusions to gods, devils, and religion have been made through architecture and speech. Despite the lack of any explicit mention of real life religions, there are several references to Christianity and occasionally Buddhism, with many churches, crosses, cathedrals, shimenawas and people dressing up in a religious fashion appearing throughout the series, along with instances of mentioning God, the Devil and Buddha from time to time.
Many people have their own personal beliefs and philosophy about what is right and what is wrong, as well as their own gods to worship. There are regions with pagan religions such as ancient Jaya, where people worshiped snake deities and later ancestral spirits. In Skypiea, the people worship Vearth. In Elbaf, they have different gods. In Thriller Bark, when the Straw Hat Pirates found a floating barrel, Usopp believed it was an offering to a sea god that they must pray to before opening it. The World Nobles' names always begin with "Saint". These are but a few of the many examples seen in the series.
- Further information: World Government
With the fall of the Great Kingdom 800 years ago, 20 Kingdoms united to form the World Government. Most nations across the world are member nations of the World Government, although some nations are completely independent such as Wano. Mostly, it is up to each island to govern their daily affairs, although the Marines are stationed across the world to police the seas, and their authority extends to any member nation of the World Government should they be stationed on one. Usually, the World Government only gets involved when dealing with a person or event affecting multiple locations.
- Further information: Island Climatic Types
While the weather in the Blues is seen to be tame and normal, the weather in the Grand Line is unpredictable and the New World is even more erratic. Some islands are stuck in one climate, while there is an island in the Calm Belt that has 48 seasons and changes seasons every week.
The Blue SeaEdit
The Blue Sea, which makes up the entire world, consists of one large continent, one long chain of islands, and four seas that make up two larger oceans. The continent is called the Red Line, the big chain of islands is called the Grand Line and the four seas are called North Blue, South Blue, East Blue and West Blue. There is also a sea known as All Blue, where all the seas flow into, but the location of this sea is not yet known.
The Four BluesEdit
As explained above, North Blue, South Blue, East Blue and West Blue make up the four seas of the world. Within each Blue, sea travel works as it does in the real world. One can sail to any destination you want with a regular compass. However getting from one Blue to another is much more difficult. The reason is not only because the Red Line separates the two oceans, but also because the seas within one ocean are separated by a large sea route called the Grand Line as well as two Calm Belts.
Said to be a giant sea current which circumnavigates the world, it is the one sea where normal compasses fail. It is the destination of every pirate and the path that leads to unimaginable adventures. Most of the story is based in the Grand Line. The reason this sea is sought by a large number of pirates is that the greatest treasure "One Piece", left behind by the legendary pirate Gol D. Roger, is said to be on the final island of Grand Line ("Raftel"). The Grand Line is divided into two halves by the red line. The first half, known as "Paradise" to the residents of the second half of the Grand Line, is wildly unpredictable and dangerous, but pales in comparison to the second half. The next half, which is said to be much more difficult and dangerous than the first half, is the "New World". The Yonko unofficially rule the New World.
The Calm Belt is a sea area that surrounds each side of the Grand Line. No winds or sea currents can be found there, hence the name "Calm Belt". As a result, sailing through it is extremely difficult, especially because it is the nesting ground for the Sea Kings. However, Rayleigh swam from the Grand Line to Amazon Lily in the Calm Belt by himself after his ship was sunk in a storm.
The Red Line is the one and only continent in the One Piece world. It traverses the entire world from north to south. The Red Line separates the two oceans into four smaller seas. One of the oceans forms the two seas, East Blue and South Blue, and the other one forms the North Blue and the West Blue. The Red Line is used by those traversing the Grand Line to separate the first half of the Grand Line and the "New World", as well as the initial starting place of one's journey through the Grand Line; it also exists as the only way to enter the Grand Line besides traveling over the Calm Belt, a highly dangerous prospect. The Holy Land of Mary Geoise is located on the Red Line, at the part where the Grand Line meets the "New World".
The Sky Ocean is a place that is unknown to most people in the Blue Sea. The reason for that is that the Sky Ocean is entirely made of clouds, which from the Blue Sea does not look like an ocean. The Sky Ocean clouds, however, are no normal clouds. There are two kinds of clouds, Sea Clouds and Island Clouds. Sea Clouds are just like water, which means that it can be sailed on if the ship is not heavy enough to sink through it, whereas Island Clouds are dense enough to carry all kinds of things.
There are different ways to get to the Sky Ocean from the Blue Sea. The only way that has been shown so far is the unorthodox and dangerous way in which the sailors have to take a Knock Up Stream, though it has been said that there is a second, slightly less dangerous way, called High West. In the Sky Ocean there are two known seas, the White Sea and the White White Sea.