Indonesia is famous for its natural landscapes and inhabitants which are culturally and spiritually fascinating. This article will tell you 10 interesting, curious and downright bizarre facts about Indonesia. You will fall in love with this massive archipelago of diverse islands.
This is according to an earlier survey in 2002 by National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN). As climate change occurs and sea levels rise, many officials still debate the exact number. According to the CIA World Factbook, there are 17,508 islands in total. However, every one agrees that Indonesia’s unbelievable number of islands make up the earth’s largest archipelago. From palm-fringed tiny islets, to dense-jungle volcanoes reaching up from the frothy sea waters, you can always find surprises.
According to Conservation International, Indonesia is one of the 17 “megadiverse” countries in the whole world. Known as the Lost World of Aisa, Indonesia possesses a vast number of different species, and many found nowhere else. These increasingly rare, exotic and absolutely beautiful animals include Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Komodo Dragon, Orang-utans and Anoa (the smallest buffalo in the world). Although Indonesia only makes up 1% of the Earth’s land, but its rainforests are home to 10% of the entire world’s known plant species, 12% of all mammal species and 17% of all known bird species.
The Komodo Dragon is the largest species of lizard in the world. They are 3-meter long and can weigh up to 150lbs. With their toxic bites, huge stature and carnivorous diets, they can hunt and kill animals which are far bigger than them – even humans. However, this fierce and fearsome creature only exists on five islands of Indonesia – Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Padar.
Indonesia has very unique culture and long history. The 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are Borobudur Temple Compounds (Yogyakarta), Prambanan Temple Compounds (Yogyakarta), Komodo National Park (Flores), Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (Sumatra), Ujung Kulon National Park (Banten), Cultural Landscape of Bali Province: the Subak System as a Manifestation of the Tri Hita Karana Philosophy (Bali), Sangiran Early Man Site (Solo) and Lorentz National Park (Papua).
The Borobudur Temple, located in Central Java, is the world’s largest Buddhist Temple. Constructed during the 9th century, it has 1,460 relief panels on the walls, which is the biggest and most complete collection of Buddhist reliefs on earth. The shrine with its 504 Buddha statues is also a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. Starting at the base, following a footpath around the temple, and climbing through levels represent Buddhist cosmology: The world of desire, the world of forms, and the world of formlessness. A tip: you should never miss the amazing sunrise view in this world heritage site.
Indonesia has 139 volcanoes, just behind US and Russia. Among these volcanoes, a base trip to the summit of Mount Bromo appears to sit on the edge of the world. The landscapes are spectacular and the region is home to the fascinating Hindu Tengger community. Indonesia is also the home to the largest natural volcanic lake on earth – Lake Toba. It is located inside northern Sumatra, simply enormous and has been measured to be roughly 500 metres deep, 100 kilometres long and 30 kilometres wide.
The summit of Mount Jayawijaya – Puncak Jaya is the tallest island peak in Indonesia. This mountain is locate in the Papua Province, sits 4,884 metres above sea level. This is the only place you can see snow in Indonesia.
If you are a seaside lover, Indonesia would never disappoint you. With a staggering 54,716km, Indonesia’s coral-fringed, palm-tree edged coastline is the second longest coastline on earth, just behind Canada.
Rafflesia Arnoldii is recorded as the largest individual flower on earth. This orangey, red, parasitic, five-petalled flower can grow up to 3 feet and weigh a hefty ten kilograms. It mostly grows in rainforests in Sumatra, very tricky to be found and only lasts a short few days after months of the bud developing. As it smell like decaying flesh, people also call it “Corpse Flower”.
According to The biennial World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, Indonesia is the 5th best value of top 20 “price competitive” destinations. This means you can enjoy travelling to Indonesia with less budget and spend more time to discover more places!