28 Facts About Indonesia That Will Make You Want To Visit Right Away

Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia lying between the Pacific and Indian oceans. The archipelago is divided among 34 provinces with Jakarta being the capital city. It is a sovereign state and has an elected legislature. Indonesia has one of the unique cultures in the world. With multiple countries influencing during its colonial era, Indonesia has one of the most diverse cultures in the world. It has a vast collection of natural resources like tin, gold and oil. This vast archipelago has some of the most intriguing facts in store for you.

Here is a list of 28 interesting facts about Indonesia. 

1. The Largest Foul-Smelling Flower

Rafflesia Arnoldii, an indigenous flower to the islands of Sumatra, is the largest individual flower weighing up to 8kgs. It has a powerful unpleasant odour and is also known as the corpse flower, ensuring you will smell the flower long before you see it.

2. The Largest Archipelago

This is one of the facts about Indonesia that initially gave it worldwide recognition. The Indonesian archipelago is an assortment of over 17000 islands, out of which only a third is inhabited. You will be amazed to know that most of them are still not named. The islands of Indonesia stretch over a combined area of over 5000 km. 

3. Maximum Number Of Volcanoes

Situated on top of where two mammoth tectonic plates meet, Indonesia is a hotbed of seismic and tectonic activity, giving rise to one of Indonesia's most defining geological feature; volcanoes. Indonesia is home to about 400 smouldering volcanoes, of which 127 are active right now. 

4. Religions In Indonesia

This is one of those facts about Indonesia that surprise most people. Islam is the dominant religion in Indonesia. However, faith changes from island to island. Bali, for instance, is mostly populated with Hindus while some islands have Christians as the majority. 

5. Origin Of The Word ‘Indonesia’? 

It was used by the British people and is derived from the Greek word ‘Nesos’ meaning island and the Latin name ‘Indus’ which means land beside the Indus River.

6. Diversity Of Indonesian Languages

Bahasa Indonesia is the national language of Indonesia. There are over 700 different dialects of Bahasa Indonesia which can be heard in various islands of the country. The national language is similar to Bahasa Malay since it was adopted by national leaders from the Malay language.

7. Most Populated Island In Indonesia

Java is the most populous island in the world, with over 140 million people. Indonesia has the fourth-largest population in the world, with over 240 million people.

8. Coffee Beans Extracted From Civet Poo!

Hold your appetite for this peculiar fact about Indonesia. The country is home to a cat-like mammal known as Asian palm civet. Coffee berries are fed to these civets whose faeces is collected to extract the famous Kopi Luwak coffee beans. Interestingly, these are the most expensive coffee beans in the world.

9. World’s Largest Gold Mine In Indonesia

No wonder you can find affordable gold jewellery in Indonesia since the largest gold mine – The Grasberg Mine resides here. A massive workforce comprising of thousands of labourers work daily in the mines.

10. Meet the Near-Extinct Javan Rhinos

Ujung Kulon National Park is the natural habitat of the endangered Javan Rhinos. They love to remain in solitary and have smaller heads than their African counterparts. The saddest part is that only about 50 of them are left in the entire world. 

11. Indonesian Economy - One Of The Fastest Growing In The World

This magnificent fact about Indonesia states that it is in the G20 group of the world’s fastest-growing economies, but about half of Indonesia lives on 2 USD a day. It is the sixteenth largest country in terms of nominal GDP. The country’s economy mainly relies on its indigenous and foreign companies. 

12. Indonesia - Leading Frog Leg Exporter

Indonesia is the world’s leading exporters of frog legs which many European countries like France, Netherlands and Belgium being the major importers. The country exported more than 4000 tonnes of frog legs to the European Union in 2015.

13. Colour Changing Lake

This fact about Indonesia may seem like something from a fairytale. The Kelimutu volcano has an exciting phenomenon in store for you. If you climb up this volcano, you can see the water in the lakes changing their colours. It happens due to volcanic gases reacting with water in the lake.

14. The Most Explosive Mountain

Mount Tambora is the most volcanic mountain in Indonesia. The most massive eruption took place in 1815 and was heard 1930 km away from the Sumatra island. Sadly, it took the lives of about 70000 people.

15. Buddha All Over In Borobudur Temple

Borobudur temple has 504 Buddha statues with 2672 relief panels. The temple’s central dome is encircled with 72 Buddha stupas. Stupas are symbolic of Buddhism, and they are present in many other temples in Indonesia. 

16. File Your Teeth To Ward Off All Evil

An amusing fact about the people of Bali is that they file their teeth. The top six teeth are filed down to stop the six evil qualities – anger, confusion, desire, jealousy, greed and drunkenness. A strange fact about Indonesia, isn't it?

17. Just Stay Away From This Flower

Amorphophallus Titanium is the most odorous flower in the world. You can smell it from a mile away. It can grow up to two meters in height and has an unpleasant odour of rotten meat. It is also native to Sumatra island.

18. First FIFA Team from Southeast Asia

This fact about Indonesia is for football fans. The first team to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in South East Asia was from Indonesia. The team was named as Dutch East Indies, and they played in France in 1938. But this team had players only of Dutch ancestry.

19. First Developing Country to Operate Its Satellite.

Palapa is a series of communication satellites which was launched by the USA but operated by Indonesia in 1976. Indonesia became the first developing country to operate its indigenously made satellite system.

20. The Most Disruptive Volcanic Eruption in the History of Mankind

As you know the fieriest volcanoes reside in Indonesia, the 1883 eruption of the Krakatoa volcano is the deadliest volcanic eruption in recorded history. Most parts of the island and its neighbouring regions were destroyed. The seismic waves are believed to be experienced even a year after in 1884.

21. Meet the Largest Lizard in the World.

An exciting fact about Indonesia now is that dragons do exist here. Komodo dragon is one of the fascinating animals in Indonesia. It is the giant lizard in the world and can only be found in Indonesia. Be careful, though, as they are known to be maneaters.

22. Deadly Harvesting Festival

The Pasola is a harvesting festival in Sumba, Indonesia. This is one of the most extravagant celebrations because it involves throwing of wooden spears with blunt tips on the rival team members. Earlier, the suggestions were of metal and sharp enough to kill a human. It was a matter of pride to die during this festival.

23. Indonesia - Largest Palm Oil Producer.

Indonesia is the largest producer of palm oil. It overtook Malaysia as the largest palm oil producer in 2006, and it now produces 21 million tonnes of palm oil every year.

24. Largest Packet of Instant Noodles!

This fact about Indonesia is for all the ramen fans. An Indonesian company Indomie made the Guinness Book of World Record by making the ‘Largest Packet of Instant Noodles’. It had a whopping 665 kgs of noodles. The packet was made of the same materials as used in regular packages. Hence it was marked fit for human consumption.

25. Most Diverse Flora And Fauna

Papua Island belonging to the Indonesian island has the most diverse flora and fauna with over 200 animals, 2300 types of different orchids, and 600 breeding birds.

26. Java Man

The ‘Java Man’ fossil was found in the Dutch colonial era in 1889 by the Dutch physician Eugene Dubois. The fossil was scientifically named as Homo Erectus, and more such fossils were found in the same region.

27. Intelligent Road Construction Technique

Sosrobahu – a road construction technique developed by the Indonesian engineer Tjokorda Raka Sukawati is now adopted by many countries due to its efficiency and cost savings. Many major countries like China, France and Germany have adopted this technique.

28. Barack Obama & Indonesia

Former U.S. President Barack Obama spent a part of his childhood in Indonesia. He visited Yogyakarta on the Java island in 2017. There he lived with his anthropologist mother, Ann Dunham. She was a qualified researcher and is known for her works on village life.

Phew! Indonesia is such a fascinating country. So there you go, twenty-eight intriguing facts about Indonesia that'll surely enlighten your trip to these beautiful islands. 

This post was published by Shaif Ahmad

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