Interesting facts about Madagascar

madagascar flag

The official name of Madagascar is the Republic of Madagascar.

Madagascar is an island country, off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean.

The population of Madagascar is about 23 million people.

Most of the population or better to say 52% maintain their indigenous religious beliefs, other 41% are Christian and 7% are Islam.

Madagascar has two official languages, first is French and second Malagasy.

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world.The only larger islands are Borneo, Greenland and New Guinea.

The unique ecology of Madagascar has led some scientists to refer to the country as the “eighth continent” of the world.

Madagascar has been an isolated island for around 70 million years, breaking away first Africa around 165 million years ago and then from India nearly 100 million years later. This isolation led that almost all of the plant and animal species found on the Island are unique to this island.Among its extinct animals were giant flightless birds and dwarf hippos.

The lemur is only found in the wild in Madagascar. Across Madagascar, lemurs are often revered and protected by cultural taboo. Many origin myths make some connection between lemurs and humans, usually through common ancestry.

Lemur family madagascar

Almost half of the world’s chameleons (about 60 different species) are found only in Madagascar. Known for their ability to change color, these reptiles vary their appearance in response to changes in temperature, light, and mood. By rotating each eye independently,chameleons can see to all sides without moving their heads.

colored chameleon madagascar

Tenrecs, which look similar to moles, shrews, and hedgehogs, were probably the first mammals to arrive on the island of Madagascar.When scared, they curl up in a ball and extend spiky hairs to protect themselves from predators.

lesser tenrec madagascar

Madagascar’s largest predator the fossa has a cat-like body and a dog-like nose, but it is neither a cat nor a dog. This endangered animal is actually a close cousin of the mongoose. About twice the size of a house cat, the fossa primarily hunts birds and lemurs. A long tail helps it balance in trees high above the ground.

fossa madagascar

There are several plant species that can be used as herbal remedies. For example, Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, and other cancers can be treated by the drugs vinblastine and vincristine, which are derived from the Madagascar periwinkle.

madagascar periwinkle

Madagascar has the 3rd largest coral reef system in the world, the Toliara coral reef, off the south-western coast.

coral-reef

Madagascar is one of the world’s main suppliers of vanilla and cloves, while coffee, lychees and shrimp are also important agriculturally. The country currently provides half of the world’s supply of sapphires and produces a number of other precious and semi- precious stones.

Foods eaten in Madagascar reflect the influence of Southeast Asian, African, Indian, Chinese and European migrants that have settled on the island. The cornerstone of the diet is rice – in fact, the word “to eat” in Malagasy is mihinam-bary, which means “to eat rice.”

Madagascar was a popular resting place for European pirates and traders between the late 1700s and early 1800s, and was rumored to be the site of the independent pirate nation of Libertalia, which may or may not have existed. According to the story pirates renounced their national identities and called themselves Liberi, making their own system of government and law. They waged war against states and lawmakers, releasing prisoners and freeing slaves.

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