50 Amazing Facts about Indonesia | Amazing Facts 4U
Land & Geography
- Indonesia is officially called the Republic of Indonesia. It has an area of approximately 1,919,440 square kilometers. There are approximately 250 million people living in Indonesia .
- It is the world’s fourth most populous nation after China, India and the USA.
- The capital and largest city of Indonesia is Jakarta, on the island of Java. Jakarta has a population of almost 14 million with 23 million living in Greater Jakarta.
- The country of Indonesia is ethnically diverse, with around 300 distinctive native ethnic groups each with their own customs, traditions. Bahasa Indonesia, the country’s offical language, is similar to Malay.
- Indonesia is part of the Malay Archipelago covering 5,150 km’s (3,200 miles) east to west, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Scattered over either side of the equator , the country has amazing more than 17,500 islands, of which about 6,000 are inhabited. The largest of these islands are Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo), Sulawesi, and the Indonesian part of New Guinea called Papua.
- The island of Java is home to 60% of the country’s population (around 140 million people) making it the world’s most populous island which amazingly covers only 7% of the entire territory of Indonesia..
- Indonesia shares land borders with Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and East Timor.
- Indonesia is part of the Pacific Rim “Ring of Fire”, the volcano group. Amazingly the country has some 400 volcanoes, about 150 of these are active which is around 75% of all currently active volcanoes on Earth. Every day, the country experiences three vibrations and at least one earthquake.
- Indonesia is in fact the largest maritime country in the world which is covered with water in area of 93,000 Square km and the length of the coast is about 81,000 km or almost 25% of long beaches in the world. Bali is home to stunning black sand volcanic beaches due to the active volcanoes that dot the island and the Indonesian Peninsula. The black sand absorbs heat, so its hard on the feet but it is amazing.
- The highest point in Indonesia is the peak of Puncak Jaya on the island of Papua sitting at 4,884 metres (16,024 ft) above sea level.
- Indonesia boasts of having the second highest level of Biodiversity after Brazil. Forests cover almost 60% of the nation. The longest snake having 10 meter length was found here in 1912.
- Indonesia is home to the Mudskipper fish which is amazingly the only type of fish in the world that can climb trees, walks, even hop, and live and breathe on land.
- The Rafflesia Arnoldi, otherwise called the Corps flower with a height of 5ft and a width of 4ft making it the largest flower blooms here and weighs around 7 kilos.
- The Komodo Island houses the ancient Komodo dragon the largest lizard in the World growing up to 3 meters long and weighing up to 165 kg. It is also the national animal of the country.
- Indonesia is home to Sumatran Tiger (smallest tiger subspecies) and the Javan rhinoceros, which are found nowhere else in the world.
- Indonesia has the largest number of 150 shark species in the world.
- Indonesia has the world’s smallest primate named the Tarsier Pygmy , also known as the Mountain Tarsier, whose length is only 10 cm. This amazing animal looks like a monkey and lives on trees found in Sulawesi.
- Indonesia has the smallest fish in the world named the Paedocypris progenetica, with a length of 7.9 mm more or less equal to mosquitoes which was found in a Sumatra muddy swamp.
- Indonesia has the world’s largest amount of orchid biodiversity. There are about 6000 species of orchids, ranging from the largest (Tiger Orchid to the smallest Taeniophyllum, which has no leaves. The collection also includes the Black Orchid, which is extremely rare and can only be found in Papua. Indonesia also has the largest mangrove forest in the world.
- The country has three time zones as it extends from Northern Sumatra) to West Papua Guinea. It is one of the countries that has not been fully explored or mapped.
- Marco Polo was the first European to reach Indonesia reaching Sumatra in 1293. He had traveled in search of spices which were valuable commodities in his country.
- The Dutch kept Indonesia colonized for almost 350 years. It was formerly known as the Dutch East Indies. During 1942 to 1945 it was occupied by Japan in WWII days. It was the first country to gain independence after WWII ended. Even after independence from Netherlands in 1945, the Dutch remained in control of the western part of New Guinea (now Papua). This territory was eventually passed to Indonesia under a United Nations agreement (1963).
- In 1975 East Timor gained independence from the Portuguese but was annexed by Indonesia in 1976. East Timor voted for independence in 1999 and later gained independence from Indonesia in 2002.
- Indonesia’s island of Bali with majority Hindu population did not come under the control of the Netherlands until 1906. During the Dutch capture of the island many thousands of Balinese were killed.
- Amazingly between 1811 and 1816 , Indonesia came under British rule but was returned to the Dutch.
- It is the first discovery place of oldest ancient man in the world, namely Pithecanthropus Erectus . They had lived there about 1.8 million years ago.
- The island of Bali, a center of Hindu culture, suffered a terrorist bomb blast in 2002 that killed more than 200 people mostly tourists. In 2005, the country was hit by the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, which killed more than 220,000 Indonesians.
Places / Architecture
- The Mount Tambora eruption of 1815 on the island of Sumbawa was and still is the largest observed volcanic eruption in recorded history. In 1883 the volcanic island of Krakatoa was destroyed by a volcanic eruption by one of the largest eruption ever. This caused a tidal wave that killed over thirty thousand people.
- Indonesia is in fact home to the world’s largest volcanic lake. Lake Toba is situated in Sumatra is the site of a massive super-volcanic eruption that is estimated to have occurred around 70,000 years ago. It marks the largest known explosive eruption on Earth in the last 25 million years. Lake covers an area of 1,707 square km and the water is 450m deep in places.
- The Biggest Buddhist monument in the world is a temple of Borobudur in Central Java with a height 42 meters (10 levels) which used to be one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was built over 40 years in the ancient Mataram kingdom (750-850 AD).
People Customs & Culture
- Indonesia is home to 12.7% of the world’s Muslim population making it the world’s largest Muslim country, with over 87% of the country’s population being Muslim.
- Indian traders brought Hinduism by the 7th century. Nowadays, more than 80% of population is Hindu in Bali. The area of Bali Island is 5780 Sq. km (153 km wide and 112 km from north to south).
- Amazing Fact is over 740 indigenous languages are spoken in Indonesia. Most Indonesians speak their indigenous language as their mother tongue and Bahasa Indonesia for school and careers, making most Indonesians bilingual. Bahasa Indonesia unlike other Asian languages uses Roman or Latin script making it easy for foreigners to follow.
- Roughly half of Indonesia’s population lives on less than $2 USD a day.
- Asian palm civet are small, cat sized mammals which are fed coffee berries. After they defecate, their feces is collected, berries washed and used to make kopi luwak , the most expensive coffee in the world.The action of the civet’s stomach enzymes gives the coffee an unrivaled richness of flavor without any of the usual bitterness. Kopi luwak costs around $1,000 per pound. In fact Coffee cup may cost $50.
- Amazing fact is that the Balinese usually have one of the following four names: Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut. They simply mean First born, Second born, Third born and Fourth born and it doesn’t matter if the child is a boy or a girl! If fifth child is born to a couple , it starts all over again.
- Balinese Hinduism is rich with ancient superstitions. Amazingly one that still endures is not letting a baby’s feet touch the ground for the first three months of the infant’s life. It’s done to prevent the devil entering the child and as a result, infants are continuously passed from relative to relative.
- Balinese celebrate New Year in very unusual way in a complete silence. During 24 hours anybody on the island doesn’t leave the house. All restaurants, offices, schools and shops are closed.
- One of the world’s unique funeral procession takes place in a Toraja, a small town in Sulawesi island. Funeral procession takes around 7 days and cost a fortune. Families usually save up their money for years to bury their loved ones.
Politics / Legal
- Indonesia recognizes only six religions – Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Confucianism and you must subscribe to one of these. Amazingly two individuals with different religions are not allowed to marry, unless one of them converts.
- Indonesia is in fact the first country and only one that ever came out of the United Nations (UN) on the date January 7, 1965. But they joined back into the United Nations in 1966.
- The currency of Indonesia is called the Rupiah.
- The economy of Indonesia centers around agriculture and oil, with approximately 90% of the population involved in agriculture.
- It is in fact the world’s largest producer of palm oil. With Malaysia, Indonesia controls almost 90% of world palm oil production. 40 % of palm oil is set aside for use as biofuel.
- Indonesia is a major producer of cloves and nutmeg and ranked first in the world in terms of production. Nutmeg is native to Indonesia’s Banda islands. It is no. 2 in production of natural rubber .
- Indonesia is the largest exporter of plywood, which makes up 80% of the supply to the world.
- Indonesia is the largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world (20% of world supply). It was in North Sumatra that Indonesia’s first commercial oil well was sunk in 1871 and over 60% of the country’s total petroleum and gas production comes from this island and the seas surrounding it.
- Indonesia’s west Papua island has the world’s biggest gold producing mine and also has the world’s third largest copper mine. Indonesia is also the second largest tin producer.
- Amazing Fact is Indonesia exports 3,000 tons of frogs’ legs to France each year.
- Indonesian badminton team is the most frequent 13 times winner of Thomas Cup, the test of supremacy in badminton. Badminton is most popular followed by football.
By Amazing Facts 4U Team