50 Interesting Facts About Indonesia

  1. Indonesia is an island country in Southeast Asia. However, it also controls the western part of New Guinea, an island in Oceania. Therefore, it is also known as a transcontinental country.
  2. Indonesia is the world’s largest island country, with around 17000 islands, including 6000 inhabited islands. It covers an area of more than 1.9 million km2.
  3. Java in Indonesia is the world’s most populous island. In 2010, its population was 136 million. (Source)
  4. Indonesia’s capital Jakarta is the world’s second most populous urban area after Tokyo-Yokohama in Japan. Its population is more than 33 million.
  5. Indonesia’s Grasberg Gold Mine is the world’s second-largest gold mine. It has gold reserves of 30.2 million ounces (Moz). (Source)
  6. There are 121 volcanoes in Indonesia, 3rd most in the world after the USA and Japan. However, this Southeast Asian country has the highest number of active volcanoes. (Source)
  7. The largest supervolcanic eruption in the last 25 million years occurred in Indonesia around 75,000 years ago. This eruption nearly wiped out the human race and formed Lake Toba, which is 100 km by 30 km across with a maximum depth of 505m. (Source)
  8. The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia is the loudest sound ever recorded. This sound at 310 dB was heard 3,000 miles away and caused 151 ft. high tsunami waves in the Indian Ocean. The sound above 150 dB can rupture eardrums. (Source)
  9. The eruption of Indonesia’s Mt. Tambora in 1815 is the largest volcanic eruption in the last millennium. The direct impact of this eruption killed more than 90,000 people. The 100 megatons of sulfur caused global haze and a decrease in temperature that killed millions around the globe. (Source)
  10. Three crater lakes of Mt. kelimutu in Indonesia change colors abruptly. Lakes in other parts of the world can change color due to certain bacteria. However, the frequency and variation of colors in these Indonesian lakes make them unique. (Source
    Crater lakes of Mt. Kelimutu
    Crater lakes of Mt. Kelimutu changes colors uniquely

  11. Indonesia has the highest mangrove cover in the world. The country has more than 42,000 km2 of mangrove biome, which is over 25% of the global mangrove forests. (Source)
  12. Indonesia has the largest area covered by tropical forests in Asia and the 3rd largest in the world after Brazil and DR Congo.
  13. Indonesia lost nearly 10m hectares of tropical primary forests between 2002 and 2020, the second highest after Brazil. The purpose behind deforestation is palm oil plantation. (Source)
  14. The world’s biggest flower is endemic to the rainforests of Indonesia. The Rafflesia arnoldii weighs 15 pounds and can grow 3 feet across. (Source)
  15. Indonesia covers nearly 18% of the total reef area, the highest in the world. The country hosts 75% of coral species. However, 82% of this coral reef area is at risk due to illegal blast fishing and coral export. (Source)
  16. Indonesia occupies a large part of the area known as the “coral triangle”. This region contains more than 2,000 species of coral fish, the highest in the world.
  17. Indonesia has the longest coastline in Asia and the 3rd longest in the world behind Canada and Norway. The length of this coastline is 54,720 km. (Source)
  18. Indonesia is the world’s 2nd most biodiverse country after Brazil. It contains over 16% birds, 14% fish, and 12% mammals on the planet.
  19. Indonesia has the second highest number of endangered species after Mexico. There are 583 endangered species in this Asian country. (Source)
  20. Asian and Melanesian people inhabit western and eastern parts of Indonesia, respectively. There are more than 300 ethnicities in this country. Javanese and Sundanese are the largest ethnic groups that inhabit the largest island, Java.
  21. Indonesian is the national language and the second language for most Indonesians. Nearly 700 languages are spoken in Indonesia.
  22. Indonesia is the world’s 4th most populous country behind China, India, and the USA. It is also the most populous Muslim-majority country.
  23. More than 87% of Indonesians are Muslim. Christianity is the country’s second-largest religion. Hinduism is the dominant religion in Bali, a province famous for tourism.
  24. The spread of Islam in Indonesia started in the 13th Century through Muslim traders. A large part of today’s Indonesia came under the influence of Islam by the 16th Century.
  25. Nahdaltul Ulama (NU) in Indonesia is the biggest Islamic organization in the world. It was founded in 1926 and currently has around 90 million members.
  26. Borobudur in Indonesia is the world’s largest Buddhist temple. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Source)
  27. The place of origin for the world’s most expensive coffee beans is Indonesia. Civet, a catlike animal, partially digests and excretes these coffee beans. This action reduces the acidity of the bean, which makes the coffee smoother. (Source)
  28. Indonesia exports more than 66% of frog legs in the world. This unusual food is considered a delicacy in France and Belgium. (Source)
  29. Transjakarta is the world’s longest BRT, with a length of 244 km. It is also the oldest such system in Southeast Asia after starting operations in 2004. (Source)
  30. In 1976, Indonesia became the first developing country to launch a satellite. It was also the 4th country (after the USSR, the USA, and Canada) to initiate a domestic communications satellite system. (Source
    View of the Indonesian Palapa B-2 satellite
    Indonesia is the first developing country to launch a satellite

  31. Indonesia is the only Southeast Asian country that manufactures aircraft. The country exports these aircraft to South Korea, Thailand, and Senegal.
  32. Sosrobahu is a road construction technique that allows the construction of flyovers over existing roads with minimum traffic disruptions. An Indonesian engineer invented this technique that has proved successful in several Asian countries.
  33. Indonesia is the world’s biggest exporter of palm oil, coconut oil, stearic acid, lignite, and ferroalloys. It is also the top importer of boiler plants, human hair, military weapons, steam turbines, and steam boilers. (Source)
  34. A human-like fossil was discovered in Java in the early 1890s. It was the first known fossil of a homo erectus and was named Java Man.
  35. The Dutch controlled a large portion of Indonesia in the 17th Century through the Dutch East India Company (VOC). However, they could colonize the entire of Indonesia in the early 20th Century. This area was known as the Dutch East Indies during the colonial period.
  36. Japan captured the Dutch East Indies from the Netherlands during WW2 in 1942. The Japanese occupation lasted till 1945.
  37. Indonesia proclaimed independence on August 17, 1945. After the Indonesian National Revolution, the Dutch recognized Indonesian independence in December 1949.
  38. Mohamed Suharto remained the president of Indonesia from 1968 to 1998. He earned between $15 and $35 million during his tenure through illegal means. As a result, he received the title of the world’s most corrupt leader of the past two decades by Transparency International in 2004. (Source)
  39. Indonesia captured East Timor in 1976 to prevent communism in its neighborhood. East Timor regained its independence in 2002.
  40. Most parts of Indonesia receive heavy rainfall throughout the year. The temperature is warm with little difference in day/night and seasonal temperatures.
  41. Puncak Jaya, located in the Indonesian province of Papua, is the highest island peak in the world. Its summit is 16,024 ft. (4,884m).
  42. Maoke Mountains of Papua is the only place in Indonesia that receives snowfall.
  43. The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami was one of the deadliest natural disasters. The epicenter of this 9.1 magnitude was near the northern part of Sumatra. It took the lives of more than 200,000 people, with the highest death toll in Indonesia.
  44. There are 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia, including 5 cultural and 4 natural sites. (Source)
  45. Indonesia was the first Asian team to participate in FIFA World Cup in 1938. The name of the country was Dutch East Indies before independence. (Source)
  46. Indonesia has so far secured eight gold medals in Olympic Games. All of these are in badminton.
  47. Komodo dragons are the largest and one of a few poisonous lizards. They are present only in Komodo and its nearby islands in Indonesia. They can achieve up to 10 ft. (3m) in length and attain 70 kg (150 lb) of weight.
  48. People in the Indonesian province of Bali name their children according to their birth order. This tradition is for both male and female children.
  49. Indonesia shares land borders with East Timor (Timor Island), Malaysia (Borneo), and Papua New Guinea (New Guinea). The country also shares maritime borders with Australia, Malaysia, East Timor, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, and Palau.
  50. The composer of Singapore’s national anthem, Zubir bin Said, was born in Indonesia. He moved to Singapore during his early 20s.

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