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Each new TV series and each new game seems to introduce new Pokemon, so many I've lost count.

Where do these new Pokemon come from? Are they newly discovered? Or are they 'regional'?

  • 47
    When I saw the question title, I expected a sort of "The Talk" about Pokemon xD – Eureka Nov 3 '12 at 15:08
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    When a mommy pokemon loves a daddy pokemon very much... – John O Nov 4 '12 at 3:25
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    I don't really want to play through Pokemon Black again to be sure, but I do remember one of the characters actually saying to the player that there's been an explosion of newly-discovered pokemon in recent years. If I am remembering right, then it's not just a region thing - there actually are new pokemon appearing in-universe. – Izkata Jul 14 '16 at 2:36
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    In response to your losing count, the current total, as of Dec 9th 2016, is 802 bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/… :-) – maguirenumber6 Dec 9 '16 at 13:14
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+500

Each "generation" of Pokemon takes place in a different "region", so the newly introduced Pokemon are indigenous to that region. Each region should be essentially considered as a continent.

Like our own animals, some Pokemon can be found in multiple regions/continents.

  • Kanto: Generation One: Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow. Based on the Kanto region of Japan and eastern Tokai: Pokemon 1-151
  • Johto: Generation Two: Gold, Silver, and Crystal. Based on the Kansai, eastern Shikoku and western Tōkai regions of Japan.: Pokemon 152-251
  • Hoenn: Generation Three: Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. Based on the Kyūshū region of Japan: Pokemon 252-386
  • Sinnoh: Generation Four: Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. Based on the Japanese island of Hokkaidō, the southern half of the Russian island of Sakhalin, and the island of Kunashir.: Pokemon 387-493
  • Unova: Generation Five: Black, White, Black 2 and White 2. Based on New York City: Pokemon 494-649
  • Kalos: Generation Six: Pokemon X, Y. Based on the northern half of Metropolitan France: Pokemon 650-721
  • Alola: Generation Seven: Pokemon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon. Based on the Hawaiian islands: Pokemon 722-809.

Bulbapedia has a terrific breakdown of towns and locations that match up with real-life areas.

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    +1 for the basis in reality. Geeked out a bit when I got to Japan and saw that there was, indeed, a real life "Kanto". – Terrance Shaw Nov 3 '12 at 21:33
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    I suppose my question would be: How do new evolutions come about? Especially with pre-evolutions. – Niet the Dark Absol May 16 '14 at 22:15
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    I generally don't think of Kanto, Tōkai, Kyūshū and Hokkaidō as being different continents. – user867 Jul 29 '15 at 1:27
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    @NiettheDarkAbsol When a game introduces a new evolution to a previously-existing Pokemon, the evolution is always keyed to a new mechanic. The "reason" Eevee couldn't become Glaceon in Kanto is because there was no Ice Rock there. Even the birth of pre-evolutions is contingent on the availability of specific items—uh, most of the time, anyway. – Ryan Veeder Sep 16 '15 at 4:01
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    @NiettheDarkAbsol Also, keep in mind that they are still mysterious creatures after thousands of years (for some reason) and new evolutions could also be due to simply not having been observed before in the same way that we discover new species on our own planet all the time. The fact that pokemon come from eggs wasn't even fact when the franchise started, it was still suspect and part of the story line. – Prof. Bear Mar 21 '16 at 13:02
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+500

Various areas

Pokémon each come from different areas, or regions. While some of them may indeed be new to Professor Oak (or whomever Ash is doing research for at the time), many are well-known to people of the regions to which they are native, but not to the protagonists of the anime.

The Professors generally imply this in their comments in the video games:

PROFESSOR JUNIPER: That’s right! This world is widely inhabited by mysterious creatures called Pokémon! Pokémon have mysterious powers. They come in many shapes and live in many different places.

Sometimes they even explicitly make references to differences in types of Pokémon between regions.

PROFESSOR SYCAMORE: It’s only a hypothesis, but I think the bond between Pokémon and Trainer is the key to this new Evolution. But what is this bond, exactly? And why are there examples of Mega Evolution only in the Kalos region? There’s still so much we don’t know…

Some Pokémon, however, are newly discovered. The article on Mythical Pokemon, for example, says that “some question their very existence.” As such, some may be considered newly discovered when the protagonists encounter them.

The regions are as follows:

  • Kanto

    This contains Pokémon 1 to 151, starting with Bulbasaur and ending with Mew.

  • Johto

    This contains Pokémon 152 to 251, starting with Chikorita and ending with Celebi.

  • Hoenn

    This contains Pokémon 252 to 386, starting with Treecko and ending with Deoxys.

  • Sinnoh

    This contains Pokémon 253 to 494, starting with Turtwig and ending with Arceus.

  • Unova

    This contains Pokémon 494 to 649, starting with Victini and ending with Genesect. Unusually, the first Pokémon in the Unova Pokédex is not the Grass starter, as is the case in all the other regions, but Victini, numbered #000 in the regional Pokédex rather than #001.

  • Kalos

    This contains Pokémon 650 to 721, starting with Chespin and ending with Volcanion.

    The Pokémon Diancie, Hoopa, and Volcanion were introduced after the release of the game.

    • Diancie first appeared in Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, released in 2014.
    • Hoopa first appeared in Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, released in 2015

    • Volcanion was revealed in CoroCoro Comic.

  • Alola

    This contains Pokémon 722 through 801, starting with Rowlet and ending with Magearna. This is the region in which Pokémon Sun and Moon are set. It is a collection of tropical islands, loosely based on Hawai’i.

    A list of the Pokémon from Sun and Moon can be found here. There are Legendaries such as Solgaleo and Lunala, as well as Starters such as Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio.

There are additional regions in the side games and anime. These contain only Pokémon found in one of the main regions.

  • Orre

    According to this interview, Orre was based on Phoenix, Arizona.

  • Fiore
  • Almia
  • Oblivia

  • Ransei

  • Orange Islands

5

The other answers are mostly correct, but the conciet in-universe is that more are discovered/cataloged. This is why new Pokemon show up in areas where they previously did not. So, while there are a great number that are new just because region differences, another set is there just weren't discovered before.

Reasons there are new pokemon :

  1. They were just newly discovered in a given region.
  2. It's a different region and different pokemon live in different regions.
  3. They are made. Porygon, Mewtwo, and few others fit this category.
  4. They are brought back to life. It's not that they were undiscovered, but that they were extinct, such as Aerodactyl, Omanite, Kabuto, and several others.

  5. Another possibility is that they are coming from Mews, who are the origin of all life on the planet, including humans (who are Pokemon), beside a few Pokemon that made the Mews ^.^ (there are 5 if I rememeber right)

  6. I don't want to classify this as any of the others, but could be classified as being made or just undiscovered. That is, there are Pokemon that are created from the spirits of humans and ghost pokemon posessing things such as Pokeballs, Swords, etc. such as possibly Voltorb, Honedge, and Ghastly.

3

The relative location of the Kanto, Johto, Hoenn and Sinnoh regions are shown in this artwork (from a Movie 10 booklet), while the Unova, Kalos, and Alola regions are said to be located far away. So, the majority of these regions are separated by great distances or water (which would make it hard for most Pokémon to migrate), except for two: Johto and Kanto.

Johto and Kanto are connected, separated only by Mt. Silver. It is easy to travel between them, as can be seen in the games. As a result, the second-gen games, which take place in both of these areas (Gold, Silver and Crystal) do say a lot about where the new Pokémon come from. Most of the new Pokémon are newly discovered:

GOLD! There you are! I needed to ask you a favor. I have an acquaintance called MR.POKEMON. He keeps finding weird things and raving about his discoveries. Anyway, I just got an e-mail from him saying that this time it's real. It is intriguing, but we're busy with our POKEMON research. Could you look into it for us?
I'll give you a POKEMON for a partner. They're all rare POKEMON that we just found. Go on. Pick one!

Yo, GOLD! I hear PROF.ELM discovered some new POKEMON.

PIKACHU is an evolved POKEMON. I was amazed by PROF.ELM's findings. He's so famous for his research on POKEMON evolution.

PROF.ELM claims EEVEE may evolve in new and unknown ways.

I am JASMINE, a GYM LEADER. I use the steel-type. ...Do you know about the steel-type? It a type that was only recently discovered.

I'm waiting to see SLOWPOKE's moment of evolution. Through observation, I made a new discovery. A SLOWPOKE with a KING'S ROCK often gets bitten by a SHELLDER.


Some of the new Pokémon are ancient Pokémon that were only recently rediscovered, like the Unown:

The strange POKEMON you saw in the RUINS? They appear to be very much like the drawings on the walls there. Hmm... That must mean there are many kinds of them...


Porygon2, on the other hand, is artificially made:

This manmade POKEMON evolved from the latest technology. It may have unprogrammed reactions.



As for the third generation, on the back of the Ruby/Sapphire box it essentially says all the Pokémon in the game are newly discovered:

  • Over 200 Pokémon appear with over 100 newly discovered species—you'll have to link up and trade with a friend who has Sapphire/Ruby Version to catch them all!

Note: Much of my answer is heavily based off this answer of mine on Aqade, and many of the quotes are from this convenient script.

  • While I do agree, this is basically inconsistent with a lot of anime stuff. – Adamant May 16 '17 at 21:10
  • @Adamant I have not seen much of the anime, so this answer is almost entirely based off the games (specifically GS&C). If you can list any anime episodes (or manga) that specifically mention this, I'd be happy to hear so I can check it out. – Laurel May 17 '17 at 3:23

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