As the world’s largest archipelago nation, Indonesia has more than hundreds of islands to be visited; with over 17,000 islands, the nation certainly has a lot of things to be proud of. From the seemingly always busy Jakarta and Java to seeing the magnificent coral reefs on the Gili Islands, until the thrilling watch of the Komodo Dragons in Rinca, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia’s islands are more than diverse. Other than the diversity, the islands boast a number of interesting points. Here, we are diving into the seas of fun facts regarding the wondrous archipelago:
1. There are Islands in All of Indonesia’s Provinces
That’s right, Indonesia’s 34 provinces each houses a large number of islands; Aceh has approximately 600 islands around, Bengkulu has around 40, Maluku has more than 1,400 islands. Hence, provinces, small or large, all have their own ‘children’ around to keep them from being lonely, nice!
2. The Thousand Islands Are Not Actually a Thousand Islands
One of Indonesia’s renowned chain of islands, the Thousand Islands (or Kepulauan Seribu), are not constituted from about a thousand islands. Rather, the actual number is from 110 to the three hundreds. The varying numbers are due to the controversies surrounding the classification of ‘islands’ as there are a number of these ‘islands’ which are simply large mounds of sands.
3. The Province with the Largest Amount of Islands
Since every province has its own islands, which one houses the most? The answer is the Riau Islands (Kepulauan Riau, or Kepri for short). There are about 2,408 islands scattered around the province which is the closest to Singapore. The province with the second highest amount of islands is West Papua with 1,917 islands, followed by North Maluku’s 1,525 islands.
4. The Province with the Least Number of Islands
When there is the most, there is certainly the least. In this category, Jambi houses the least islands in Indonesia, with 19 islands in total. Central Kalimantan grabs the second place with 32 islands, and DI Yogyakarta is not far behind with 23 islands.
5. The Small Outermost Islands
Riau Islands have the smallest outer islands. Out of the 20 small islands on the edge of these provinces, only one island is populated, which is the Subi Island in the Natuna Regency.
6. The Most Coral Reefs
Coral Reefs are one of the ‘main courses’ for nature enthusiasts and sea lovers. The homes for the colonies of smaller animals always radiate a pleasant atmosphere around, and with its colorful nature, there is probably nothing more than attractive than a well-established coral reef site. The rainforests of the sea are extremely sensitive to water temperature, resulting in them now facing threats from climate changes and illegal fishing. However, as an Island also known for its underwater beauty, Indonesia has more than 1,000 coral reef sites, and the western part of Indonesia has the most coral reef sites, with over 500 marvels of the shallow waters. At the central and eastern part of Indonesia, there are over 300 coral reef sites, still an impressive number considering the threat they are facing today. A number of hotspots for tourists in discovering the elegant coral reefs are Bintan Island (Riau), Thousand Islands (Jakarta), and the Comodo Island (Flores).