The Planet of the Pikmin bears an extremely strong resemblance to Earth. The planet has blue oceans, white clouds, an atmosphere abundant with oxygen, plant-life very similar to that of Earth and landmasses identical to Africa, South-Eastern Asia, Australia and Japan can be seen on the surface of the planet. The planet is considered my most to be Earth, as the chances of a planet bearing such strong resemblance to Earth not being Earth are very slim. However it is also generally considered that the Planet of the Pikmin is not Earth as we know it and the exact nature of this version of Earth is greatly debated. Despite the planet being covered in objects that would suggest signs of human presence (including objects with branding of human companies) and some locations existing which look like they may have been created by humans (e.g. Old bathrooms and childrens' play areas) there are no actual signs of living humans.
It is possible that Olimar, Louie and the President simply did not stumble across any humans or distinct human settlements while they were on the planet, but the fact that they encountered a large number of creatures humans have no record of, while encountering none of the species that are common on Earth makes it seem very unlikely that this is Earth in the same universe or time period we live in. It is possible that the Planet of the Pikmin is Earth after humans have become extinct or made an exodus from the planet, as this would explain the lack of human life coupled with the remnants of human civilization. There are many explanations for the lack of Earth species as we know them on Earth, yet the large amount of species humans have never encountered but the most obvious explanation is that the creatures on Earth today evolved into the ones we see on the Planet of the Pikmin. However, it takes millions of years for animals to evolve and the objects presumably left on the planet by humans are far to well-preserved to have been there for millions of years. Following this line of thought, the Planet of the Pikmin must be an alternate version of Earth, existing in a universe different from the one we inhabit.
Regions of the Planet of the Pikmin
Impact Site (Pikmin 1)- A relatively small area of the planet. This is where Olimar crash-landed in the original Pikmin.
Forest of Hope (Pikmin 1)/Awakening Wood (Pikmin 2)- This area is a wide plain with high walls and small areas of water. In Pikmin 2 it takes on much more of a spring-time theme and is home to the caves Hole of Beasts, White Flower Garden, Bulbax Kingdom and Snagret Hole.
Forest Navel (Pikmin 1)- A large area filled with many pools of water, as well as sandy beaches and fire geysers. This may be the same area as the Valey of Repose in Pikmin 2 but this is a debated idea.
Distant Spring (Pikmin 1)/Perplexing Pool (Pikmin 2)- A large wetland which is where most of Olimar's ship parts can be found in the original Pikmin. In Pikmin 2 the area has less gates and includes the caves Citadel of Spiders, Shower Room, Glutton's Kitchen and Submerged Castle.
Final Trial (Pikmin 1)- This area consists of 3 paths, each based around a different color of Pikmin, which all lead to a circular arena where the final boss, Emperor Bulbax, is fought.
Valley of Repose (Pikmin 2)- A small snow-covered area where the Hocotate Ship crash-lands. It is home to the caves Emergence Cave, Subterranean Complex and Frontier Cavern.
Wistful Wild (Pikmin 2)- A combination of the Impact Site and the Final Trial. This area has an autumn theme and is only unlocked once the Hocotate Freight debt is cleared. This area is home to the caves Cavern of Chaos, Hole of Heroes and Dream Den.
The Planet of the Pikmin was first discovered by Olimar when a meteorite hit his ship, the S.S. Dolphin, while he was on vacation and it crashed on the planet. With the oxygen of the planet being toxic to Olimar, he had to use his 30 days of air supply to collect the scattered parts of his ship and return home with the help of the Pikmin.
In Pikmin 2 it is discovered that the planet is plentiful with valuable treasures and Olimar and Louie return there in the Hocotate Ship, under the orders of the President, to collect the treasures (aided by the Pikmin) and clear the Hocotate debt of 10,000 pokos. However, upon leaving the planet Olimar realizes he left Louie behind and returns to the planet with the President to collect more treasures and recover Louie.
A stage based on the Planet of the Pikmin, called Distant Planet, appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The stage features a large central platform made of a leaf in the center, with 3 platforms of different sizes also made of leaves over the top of it and a slope on the left side of the stage. Features of the stage include pellets falling from the sky, pellet posies growing on the leaves, onions landing, a giant Bulborb who walks onto the right side of the stage and waits for characters to fall into its mouth and rain which pushes players off the slope on the stage.
- The files in Super Smash Bros. Brawl refer to the Distant Planet as Earth.