Borneo is a place which occupies a large number of islands lying between the Pacific and India Oceans. It is primarily a part of three regions. Part of Borneo is situated in the Malaysia states of Sarawak and Sabah which are towards the north. Part of it is in the Kalimantan state of Indonesia which is towards the south. The remaining part is accounted by the tiny yet wealthy state of Brunei. There are a number of fun filled Borneo facts, which we have discussed in detail below, so that you can easily decide to plan your vacation here:
Top 10 Borneo Facts that may interest you
Borneo is one such destination which is shrouded into a wild kind of romance. It is the place you have read things about from time to time yet have been unable to actually witness it. It will be difficult to come across people who have actually been there considering the fact that much of Borneo is yet to be discovered. Whether you are a nature lover or an adventure seeker, Borneo is a place which can make your dreams come true.
It has got all kinds of things to do and things to see, whether you are interested in seeing the amazing orangutans or climbing the highest peak of Mount Kinabalu or exploring the world’s most astounding jungles. It will be an explorer’s dream destination. A trip here is highly recommended as you can find out some really interesting things. In the meantime, there is a couple of Borneo facts that will be of interest to you and will probably help you in getting to know a tad more about this miraculous destination.
1. Home to the Highest Peak
The highest peak of Southeast Asia can be located in Borneo, in the region of Sabah. It goes by the name of Mount Kinabalu and is known to have the highest ever point with a height of 4,095m. The famous Mount Kinabalu once used to be an active volcano and used to erupt from time to time, but it has now become a dominant one, almost dead. There is an excellent sight especially at dawn so if you want to witness the miraculous sunrise it is advisable to wake up early and a grab a sight.
2. World’s Third Largest Island
One of the most renowned Borneo facts is that it is the third largest island of the world with Greenland and New Guinea lying at first place, followed by Madagascar at second. With a land area of approximately 743,330 square kilometers, it becomes the third largest island of the world and the biggest island in the Asian continent. You will also be interested to know that it is twice the size of Germany.
3. Governed by Three Countries
Altogether, this particular island is a division amongst three Asian countries namely Indonesia towards the south, with Brunei and Malaysia towards the north. Majority of the land is a part of Indonesia, amounting to 73%. The northern side of the island belongs to the East Malaysian states, Sarawak and Sabah which account for 26% of Borneo’s land space. In addition, the central Malaysia territory of Labuan is also positioned on the tiny island just at the edge of Borneo.
4. Rafflesia Arnoldii Schwarznegger
Along with a wide species of plants, the largest flower in the world can be found in Borneo. It is known as Rafflesia Arnoldii and the flower is quite gigantic. Even though the smell is quite unappealing as it contains the smell of a corpse, but this flower is a must watch. While climbing the largest mountain peak, Mount Kinabalu, you will encounter the rotten stench of Rafflesia Arnoldi. The cool and moist air in combination with rich soil is what lets this rare flower grow here. In addition, it has been given the nickname of “corpse flower.” It is one of the unique Borneo facts of this island.
5. Brunei only Accounts for 1% of the Island
Brunei being a sovereign state accounts for only 1% of the island and is located at north coast. This clearly gives you an idea of how enormous the island is. Whereas only 1% of the Sultanate of Brunei is occupied by Borneo, the remaining 99% is accounted by other Malaysian and Indonesian states. Brunei is a tiny yet a wealthy state.
6. The Primeval Rainforest
You will be interested to know that Borneo houses a rainforest that dates far back from today and it is one of the most ancient forests of the world. The rainforest is almost 130 million years old and contains some of the most endangered species of the world like the Asian pygmy elephants, the Sumatran rhinos, the Bornean orangutans and the clouded leopards. Not only Borneo is known for its absolute faunas, it also contains some truly astounding species of plants and flowers, almost 15,000 of them.
Related Article: Top 10 Interesting Borneo Rainforest Facts
7. The Locals are Known as Dayaks
One of the most unbelievable Borneo facts is that this expansive island is home to almost 16 million people and there over 200 ethnicity that are currently residing here. Most of the tribes are undiscovered, but you will be interested to know that the natives of Borneo are known as Dayaks. The word native actually covers all the ethnicity that are present as of today, and they have been given the name of Dayaks. Each of these ethnicity have their own laws, customs, traditions, dialect and respective cultures.
8. Once Used to be Accountable for a Major Percentage of the Rainforest
Back in the 1975’s Borneo was occupied by almost 73.7% of the rainforest but recently due to forest fires and deforestations the rainforest coverage has reduced to almost 50.4% of it. This data has been noted in the year of 2005. The rainforest is the habitat of many endangered species and a lot is being done to preserve it.
9. Highest Species of Mammals, Birds and Amphibians
In the heart of Borneo you will be amazed you find some of the most exquisite species of birds and mammals, reptiles and amphibians, fishes and plants, you simply name it. The beautiful Borneo Island houses approximately 210 species of mammals out of which 44 are endemic in nature. Apart from that you can find a truly awe-inspiring range of birds and countless breeds of fishes and amphibians. Some of these wildlife creatures are not found in any other part of the world so you must definitely not miss out a chance to encounter these unique creatures. Borneo Bay Cat & Borneo Pygmy Elephants are some of the rare species found in Borneo.
10. Home to the only Remaining Orangutans
The last 60 years have seen a downfall in the population of Borneo Orangutans by more than 50%, whereas the last 75 years have seen a downfall of Sumatran Orangutans by more than 80%. As of today, there are only 6,000 orangutans in Sumatra and 57,000 in Borneo. The Orangutans are probably the most dominant creatures you will ever see around Borneo, and they are the largest mammals that are enabled to climb trees.
Threats to Borneo
Apart from the pleasant things, there are some Borneo facts that are really threatening. It is quite sad to present you with the fact that Borneo still remains quite undiscovered even though it has opened up immensely to its visitors for a quite a few decades now. The roads are less travelled, but there an amazing number of species that are being discovered through and through from time. It is very saddening that the high number of endangered species keeps luring a lot of loggers and poachers and with very little measures being taken to guard the roads, access becomes quite easy.
Miners and farmers too are no less than a threat and have been accountable for demolishing almost 50 percent of Indonesian Borneo’s rainforests in a period of just 15 years. Their presence is a threat to the existence of human friendly creatures like the orangutans, as well as the way of life that has been continuing for many centuries now.
Sabah and Sarawak, the two states of Malaysia are quite fully equipped for visitors and consist a rich history of wildlife sanctuaries, nature parks, world class diving resorts and the amazing mountain treks. But if you truly wish to get adrift in this remote island then you must head down to the Indonesian Kalimantan where the jungles directed by rivers. Probably the best thing about it is that its landscapes are still unpolluted by tourism, and since it houses most of the remaining Orangutans of Borneo, your visit here could help secure their future a bit longer.
Related Article: Top 10 things to do in Borneo