Indonesia is an enormous archipelago that boasts numerous fascinating and intriguing facts that will make you fall in love!
It is home to diverse natural landscapes and people who take pride in their culture, traditions, and spirituality.
In this post, we will look at 16 fascinating, strange, and unusual facts about Indonesia.
16 Most Bizarre Indonesia Facts
1. Indonesia Was the Site for One of the World’s Largest Modern Volcanic Eruptions
Despite having the world’s third most volcanoes (after Russia and the United States), Indonesia has been the site for one of the largest and loudest volcanic eruptions in recent history.
Krakatoa is a famous volcanic island located between Java and Sumatra. When this volcano erupted in 1883, it catalyzed two massive tsunamis, killing more than 36,000 people and destroying 165 coastal settlements.
The sound produced by the erupting volcano was claimed to be the loudest sound ever recorded. The explosion was heard from a distance of 4653 kilometres, covering 1/13 of the earth’s surface.
The explosion’s ash rained over Singapore and on ships as far as 6076 kilometres. The Sundra Straits were dark for around 20 hours the next day, with waves reaching 40 metres high and strange sunsets were observed in New York and at various other locations for three years which is almost unbelievable.
2. Indonesia Is Made Up of 17,504 Islands
According to current estimates, Indonesia’s landmass is comprised of 17,504 islands, albeit this may alter as the rising sea levels and climate change take their toll.
The Indonesian government has declared this as the official figure for now in accordance with the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs, despite the fact that many officials are still debating the actual amount.
Some experts have even argued that the number of islands cross the eighteen thousand mark.
Indonesia’s amazing number of islands make up the world’s largest archipelago, ranging from palm-fringed little islets to dense-jungle volcanoes rising from the frothy sea waters.
3. Indonesia Has an Extremely Diverse Lingual and Dialectal Collection
It is estimated that Indonesia is has more than seven hundred different spoken dialects and languages. This astonishing figure of dialects and languages is spoken all over Indonesia. Indonesia’s official language is Bahasa Indonesia.
The province of Papua in Indonesia alone is approximated to have around two hundred and seventy different spoken dialects which is a considerable number.
With a total population of two hundred and forty-two million, Indonesia is also the biggest Muslim country by population.
4. It’s Also Home to the Largest Volcanic Lake on Earth
Lake Toba is globally the largest natural volcanic lake, and it is located in northern Sumatra, Indonesia, inside a supervolcano.
The lake is massive, with a depth of 500 meters, a length of 100 kilometres, and a width of 30 kilometers.
Lake Toba is supposed to be the site of an enormous eruption that occurred roughly 70,000 years ago and killed the bulk of mankind alive at the time and is suspected to be the largest-known explosive eruption on earth.
5. Indonesia Holds the World’s Tallest Island-Summit
Puncak Jaya is the highest peak of Mount Jayawijaya in Indonesia’s Papua Province.
It stands at 4,884 meters high and has been deemed the tallest island summit in the entire world. It is also the only region in all of Indonesia where you have a chance of finding snow.
6. Indonesia Is Located at the Warmest Point On the Pacific Ring of Fire
With fault lines stretching from Chile to Southeast Asia and Japan, the Pacific Ring of Fire is the world’s greatest earthquake belt.
Indonesia is the hottest point on the Ring of Fire, with over a hundred live volcanoes, four minor earthquakes each day, and its location within the immensely active seismic area on the planet.
Many Indonesians are forced to live dangerously close to active volcanoes where rumblings occur regularly because of overpopulation leaving less space on the mainland.
7. Indonesia has the Largest Population of Young People
According to recent estimates, over 165 million people in Indonesia are below the age of thirty. Moreover, only 8% population of Indonesia is older than 60 years of age.
Despite an effective and strict family planning program was imposed on Indonesians in 1964, the population continues to grow at an alarming rate.
In fact, it is projected that very soon Indonesia’s population will surpass that of the United States.
8. Indonesia is Home to One of the Oldest Head-Hunter Islands
Pulau Samosir, a young island that is nearly equal to Singapore’s size, is located in the middle of Lake Toba.
Many adventurers nowadays journey to Pulau Samosir in efforts to gain knowledge about the ancient cannibalistic head-hunting Bataks who lived here, in addition to soaking in the relaxing, volcano-heated water of Lake Toba.
The Bataks of today, on the other hand, are polite, hospitable, and eager to give visitors a tour around the eerie but intriguing Batak ruins and educate them about their gruesome history.
9. It’s Also Got the Second-Longest Coastline in the World
The palm-tree-lined, coral-fringed coastline of Indonesia runs a total length of 54,716 kilometres and is second only to Canada as the world’s longest.
The reason for such a lengthy coastline can be associated to the vast number of islands in Indonesia which can amount to more than 17,000.
10. The World’s Most Massive and Foul-Smelling Flower Is in Indonesia
The Rafflessia Arnoldia, more appropriately named as the “corpse lily” because of the horrid odor it releases when it blooms, is the world’s largest flower.
These enormous flowers are usually found in Indonesia’s rainforests, are difficult to locate, and only endure a few days after months of bud development.
The five-petaled, red-orangey, parasitic blossom has no visible leaves or stem, can weigh up to a heavy 10 kilos, and can grow as tall as 3 feet. Dr. Oroardo Beccari, an Italian botanist and adventurer, found the bloom in the jungle of central Sumatra Island in 1878.
11. Indonesia Boasts to Be the Only Country That Has Wild Komodo Dragons
Komodo Dragon is regarded as the world’s largest lizard specie, and only five Indonesian islands — Gili Motang, Padar, Rinca, Flores, and, of course, Komodo – are home to this 3-metre-long, scaly, aggressive creature.
With their deadly fangs, massive height, and carnivorous habits, these animals are extremely fearsome. They prey upon and kill animals much larger than themselves, including people.
12. Indonesia has a Macabre and Bizarre History with Head-Hunting
Head-hunting is the gruesome activity of murdering someone by decapitating them and then preserving and exhibiting the head as if it was a trophy.
Headhunters in Indonesia have a prolonged history of having a scary reputation as vicious and cruel fighters.
Despite the fact that headhunting is no longer practiced in Indonesia, some families with head-hunting ancestors have saved their predecessors trophies.
13. Home to the Biggest Buddhist Temple in the World
Borobudur Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Central Java. It was built in the 9th century and is titled as the largest Buddhist temple in the world, with more than 1,400 relief panels on the walls, making it the world’s greatest and most comprehensive Buddhist relief collection.
The shrine is a Buddhist pilgrimage site with 504 Buddha sculptures dedicated to Lord Buddha.
The pilgrimage begins at the temple’s base, continues around the temple along a footpath, and ascends via levels which symbolize the Buddhist cosmology: Forms, desire, and formlessness.
14. Indonesia and Monaco Have the Exact Same Flag
The Indonesian flag, with a red stripe at the top and a white stripe at the bottom, does not appear to be the most inventive or meticulously planned in the world.
While the flag of Poland is reversed Red on the bottom and white on the top), the flags of Monaco and Indonesia are exactly identical, with the exception that Indonesia’s flag is somewhat wider.
15. Its Capital Is the Most Instagrammed in Asia
Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia is Asia’s most Instagrammed city while globally is ranked at eighth place in this regard.
Jakarta, a large metropolis with a population of over 9 million people, provides a lot of photographic content.
This claim is further reinforced by the fact that in 2017, Instagram disclosed that Jakarta is the most frequently geotagged city in Asia in its Stories format.
16. Indonesia Is Home to Over a Hundred Endangered Species
Indonesia – often regarded as the Lost World of Asia – is a safe haven for increasingly exotic, rare, and breathtaking animals that slowly being driven to the brink of extinction.
Some of these animal include the, Orangutans, Komodo Dragon, Sumatran Tiger, anoa, sea turtles, Tarsius Tarsier, Sumatran Rhinoceros, and the gorgeous Peafowl or Merak.
What’s even more astounding is the fact that while Indonesia only accounts for 1% of earth’s land, its rainforests harbor 12% of all existing mammal species, 10% of all known plant types, and 17% of all known species of birds.
10 Surprising Facts about Indonesia
In this six-minute video you’ll learn about the ten most fascinating facts about one of the most overlooked yet captivating spots in the world.
In light of the facts above , it can be said with certainty that there is much more to this fascinating Asian country that what the common perception entails. This nation is a unique mix of diverse cultures, habitats, traditions, wildlife, and landscapes. All in all, it is a place worth visiting.
Hi I’m Jay. I grew up in Seattle, Washington and live in Los Angeles, California. I have travelled to 23 countries so far and planning to go explore more countries soon! My Favorite trips so far have been to Israel, Japan, Rome, Iceland and Australia. I started this site to share my love of travel with everyone and build a community of like-minded, free thinking, free exploring people.