10 Fun Facts About Borneo Island Indonesia (Largest Island in Asia)

Borneo Island is a given name by the Netherlands colonialists, referring to a land occupied by the Dayaks. Then, a question may come to mind: Is Borneo and Kalimantan are the same Island? Well, basically it is slightly different, though many people nowadays may not know if these two names have a slight difference. As Indonesians, it is most common to call it Kalimantan rather than Borneo. However, you can still find some people call it Borneo anyways.

When you say Borneo, it is referring to the entire land, including Serawak and Sabah which are now parts of Brunei and Malaysia. When the Nederland colonialists first named the Island, they basically referred to that. Meanwhile, the name of Kalimantan is kind of a modern name to call areas in Borneo which are part of Indonesia territory.

Are you surprised by the fact? Well, hold on! There is a lot of fun facts about Borneo Island that you may have no idea about.

I have picked 10 of them. Here they are!


1. The 3rd largest island in the world

Borneo Island is the 3rd largest island in the world, after Greenland and Papua New Guinea. As the 3rd largest island in the world, Borneo has a lesser population compared to the other islands in Indonesia.

2. The oldest tropical rainforest in the world

oldest tropical rainforest in the worldAs a tropical island, Borneo has the oldest tropical rainforest in the world. The tropical rainforest in Borneo is about 130 years old. It is spread almost all around the area of the island. In this tropical rainforest, live hundreds of different types of flora and fauna.

3. A home to endangered animals

endangered animal home kalimantanBorneo is also a home to many endangered animals, including primates; Bekantan, Orang Utan, Borneo elephants, Borneo rhinoceros, deer, tapir, hedgehogs, and many more. These endangered animals live in sanctuaries or live freely in their natural habitats.

4. “Thousands of rivers” is its nickname

borneo thousands of riversBorneo has a nickname “thousands of rivers” because anywhere you go, it is most likely you will find rivers surround the area. No wonder many people call it with the nickname. In Borneo, you can see large and long rivers, such as Mahakam, Barito, Kahayan, Melawi, Mentaya, Arut, and many more.

5. The largest crocodile sanctuary in Indonesia

largest crocodile sanctuary indonesiaThere is a crocodile sanctuary found in Borneo, in Teritip Village, Balikpapan to be exact. In this sanctuary, you can find any kind of crocodiles in Indonesia, such as the endangered freshwater crocodiles and Supit crocodiles. They live in a 5-hectare land.

6. You can see Dayak females with long ear lobes

long ear lobes dayak femaleIn some areas in Borneo Island, you will find Dayak females with long earlobes. This practice is a tradition they always keep from one generation to another. The longer earlobes you have, the higher the social status you have. They usually weigh their earlobes with circle-shaped earrings.

7. No earthquakes

Compared to the other islands in Indonesia, Borneo is the safest, in term of earthquakes. There are no active volcanoes found around the entire island. Therefore, if you want to avoid earthquakes, it is the safest place to live.

8. Freshwater dolphins in Mahakam River

mahakam river freshwater dolphinIn the longest river in Indonesia, Mahakam River, you can find freshwater dolphins. These freshwater dolphins can be seen usually at 6 – 8 A.M or 4 – 6 P.M. It is the best moments to see the freshwater dolphins since they usually will swim to the surface at these range of times.

9. The 2nd broadest mosque in Southeast Asia

broadest mosque in southeast asiaBeing located 2 km near Mahakam Bridge, Masjid Islamic Center of Samarinda is inspired by Nabawi mosque in Medina and a mosque in Turkey. The mosque is dominated with orange and a bit similar to the mosque you often see in the Middle Eastern Countries.

10. The biggest jellyfish found in Kakaban Lake

biggest jellyfish kakaban lakeIf you want to see the biggest jellyfish in the world, visit Danau Kakaban that is located in East Borneo. These endangered jellyfish in Kakaban Lake do not sting. Also found in the Lake, there are four different types of jellyfish, including the Bulan Jellyfish, Totol Jellyfish, Kotak Jellyfish, and “Terbalik” Jellyfish.



Those are the 10 fun facts about Borneo Island you may not know. Among these facts, which one do you find the most surprising facts?

Read also: 13 Interesting Facts About Indonesia