March 29, 2012 by staff
Sumatra, Indonesia, Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia (two larger islands, Borneo and New Guinea, are shared between Indonesia and other countries) and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538. Its biggest city is Medan with a population of 2,109,330.
Settler colonies began arriving in Sumatra around 500 BC, and several significant kingdoms flourished there. I Ching, a Chinese Buddhist monk, studied Sanskrit and spent four years of his life working in Palembang. The explorer Marco Polo visited Sumatra in 1292.
Sumatra has a huge range of plant and animal species but has lost almost 50% of its tropical rainforest in the last 35 years, and many species are Critically Endangered such as Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhino and Sumatran Orangutan.
87% of Sumatrans are thought to be Muslim. The island is home to 22% of Indonesia’s population.
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