From the breathtaking beaches and awe-inspiring mountains; to the rich wildlife and plethora of ancient sites; from the drool-worthy food to the vibrant local culture, there is so much to love about Indonesia. This magnificent Southeast Asia gem spread across the Indian and Pacific Ocean is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the region; and it’s not without reason. Whether you’re planning to visit or are just brushing up on your Indonesian trivia, here are some fascinating facts about Indonesia.
7 of the Most Interesting Facts About Indonesia
1. It’s the world’s most populous Islamic nation
Indonesia holds the title for the world’s most populous Islamic nation, a majority of whom are Sunnis. Despite the Muslim majority however, there is still quite a bit of diversity in the realms of religion. For example, Bali is predominately Hindu and many Indonesian islands identify as Christian from their days as a Dutch colony.
2. It’s the world’s largest island nation
Spanning over 735,358 square miles, Indonesia is the largest island country on the planet. In terms of land space, it’s the 14 largest nation, and when land and sea are taken into account, it jumps to seventh place.
3. Speaking of islands, there are a lot
Indonesia is home to thousands and thousands of islands. But how many exactly? Well, that’s a tricky question. The government claims there are 17,504; however according to the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, the number is 18,307; and an additional Indonesian study conducted over the course of three years, revealed only 13,466.
4. There are quite a few volcanoes
Indonesia is loaded with volcanoes. Around 127, to be exact; and those are just the active ones. With Indonesia being so populous, the volcanoes certainly cause issues from time to time with so many people living in eruption zones. Even more interestingly, Indonesia is also home to the world’s largest volcanic lake, Lake Toba located in North Sumatra.
5. Komodo dragons live in the wild
It’s no secret that Indonesia is home to some pretty incredible wildlife. Afterall, the nation is home to more than 300,000 species which accounts for more than 17% of the world’s wildlife. One of the most fascinating facts about Indonesian wildlife is that it’s the only place in the world where you can observe komodo dragons in the wild. Planning to visit? Be sure to check out Rinca Island and Komodo Island to view these amazing creatures in the wild.
6. It’s home to an incredible amount of orangutans
Speaking of Indonesia’s abundant wildlife, the gorgeous island nation has huge bragging rights when it comes to orangutans. In fact, more than three-quarters of the world’s orangutans live in the forests of Borneo. And that’s not even considering Sumatra which also boasts a massive orangutan habitat. Both Sumatra and Borneo are the only places in the world to see wild orangutans.
7. It is extremely linguistically diverse
While Indonesia’s official language is Bahasa Indonesia, there are more than 300 spoken native languages and even more dialects across the nation. In fact, in the province of Papua alone there are around 270 dialects. The vocabulary within the Bahasa Indonesia language is also extremely diverse with vocabulary borrowed or influenced from Sanskrit, Arabic, Portuguese, Dutch and Chinese.