Located in southeast Asia, Indonesia is one of the world's most impressive countries. The country occupies an area of approximately 735,358 square miles, and due to its vast size, the nation is ranked the 15th largest nation globally when considering the total land area covered. When comparing the nations of the world on the total land and sea area they occupy, Indonesia ranks 7th. The nation also covers a vast amount of land from the easternmost point to the westernmost point as they are roughly 3181 miles apart. Its large size has earned Indonesia the rank of the largest nation within the Southeast Asian region.
There are many islands within Indonesia
The exact number of islands within Indonesia is a contentious issue as the World Factbook places the number at 17,508 while other reputable sources such as the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space place the number of islands within Indonesia's territory at 18,307. The Geospatial Information Agency stated that Indonesia has 13,466 islands which are by far the lowest number of islands that Indonesia is believed to possess. The government of Indonesia indicated that despite having a large number of islands, 6,000 have constant human settlement while nearly 8,850 have been named.
The nation is home to the largest lizard in the world
Currently, the largest lizard in the world is the Komodo dragon, and it has one of the most limited natural habitats in the world. The Komodo dragon's habitat is entirely located within the borders of Indonesia particularly within five islands. Indonesia is home to one of the world's most iconic national parks, the Komodo National Park which provides refuge to a large number of Komodo dragons as well as a host of other animals. The Indonesian government has put in place several measures to ensure that the vulnerable Komodo dragons are preserved from going extinct.
Indonesia is one of 17 countries to be ranked as megadiverse
Conservation international recognized the vast biodiversity found within 17 nations, including Indonesia, and declared them as megadiverse. Indonesia earned the title of megadiverse due to the large presence of endemic wildlife within its borders. Apart from the Komodo dragon some of the endemic animals of Indonesia include the Tapanuli Orangutan and the Mitred Leaf Monkey. One of the unique plants found in Indonesia include the Titan arum, renowned for the massive size of its flower. Human activity, particularly deforestation to create room for settlement and agriculture, poses a great risk to the endemic wildlife of Indonesia.
Indonesia's aviation industry is one of the most accident-plagued in the world
According to the UK Telegraph, Indonesia has been the site of not less than 45 air accidents that resulted in death. Some of the most tragic accidents include the crash of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 which occurred in 2014 and resulted in the death of 162 people as well as the Trigana Air Service accident that occurred in 2015 and led to 54 fatalities. One of the most significant impacts of a large number of Indonesian aviation accidents is that only seven out of 62 Indonesian airlines are permitted to fly within European Union airspace.
Indonesia has the largest number of volcanoes within Southeast Asia
At 139 volcanoes, Indonesia has the highest number of volcanoes than any of its neighbors within the Southeast Asian region as well as the third highest number in the world. Indonesia's volcanoes have had a devastating impact on the nation's history with the most well-known being Krakatoa. In 1883, the eruption of Krakatoa resulted in two tsunamis which caused at least 36,000 fatalities. Some of Indonesia's volcanoes attract vast numbers of tourists due to the spectacular landscape.
Indonesia is home to eight world heritage sites
Eight areas of great importance either historically or culturally have been designated by UNESCO as world heritage sites. One of the most notable world heritage sites within Indonesia is the Borobudur Temple Compounds situated in the central Java region of the country. The history of the site dates back to the 8th century when it was constructed as a Buddhist temple. Other well-known world heritage sites within Indonesia include Komodo National Park as well as Lorentz National Park.
Indonesia is the world's second shortest nation
The average height in Indonesia is considered to be around 4 feet 11.75 inches, which is the shortest in the world after only Bolivia. Despite the short stature of the nation's citizens, Indonesia is home to Puncak Jaya which apart from being the tallest mountain in Indonesia, at approximately 16,024 feet, is also the highest mountain located on an island.
Indonesia has an exceptionally long coastline
According to the World Factbook, the length of the Indonesian coastline is approximately 33,998 miles which is the world's third longest coastline. The great length of the Indonesian coastline is primarily due to a large number of islands within the country's territory. The country's long coastline is significant to its economy as it supports a vibrant fishing industry. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation in 2012, marine fish contributed a large portion of the fish caught in Indonesia. The long coastline also attracts vast numbers of tourists looking to enjoy Indonesia's beautiful beaches with one of the most famous being Derawan Beach.
Indonesia has one of the highest populations in the world
In 2016, the population of Indonesia was estimated to be 261,115,456 which was the 7th highest population in the world. The population of Indonesia grew significantly from 237,641,326 in 2010 and at the time Indonesia was ranked 4th in the world. In spite of Indonesia's large population, its population density is 357.4 people per square mile which is the 88th highest in the world. Indonesia's most populous city is the capital Jakarta which in 2014 had a population of roughly 10,075,310 individuals. Indonesia also has a more significant Muslim population than any other nation on earth at approximately 225,000,000 individuals. Islam has the largest number of followers in Indonesia as they make up approximately 87% of the citizens.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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