Madagascar: Top 10 facts about the only place where lemurs can be found in the wild
Today is Independence Day in Madagascar, celebrating the island’s independence from France on June 26, 1960.
By WILLIAM HARTSTON
Mon, Jun 26, 2017
- Until about 85 million years ago, Madagascar was part of India. It then split off and thanks to continental drift is now 3,472 miles from India.
- It is now only 285 miles from Africa. In 2014, two South African swimmers swam that distance to Mozambique from Madagascar in 24 days.
- Apart from sharks and jellyfish, their biggest problem was landing on a French military base island where they were detained for seven hours.
- The last monarch of Madagascar was Queen Ranavalona III who ruled from 1883-1897.
- Madagascar is the only place where lemurs can be found in the wild.
- These include the indri whose sound has been described as “a cross between a police siren and the song of a humpback whale”.
Around 70-80 per cent of the plants and animals found in Madagascar cannot be found anywhere else
The country produces three-quarters of the world’s vanilla
- The language of Madagascar is Malagasy. The letter G scores 10 points in Malagasy Scrabble.
- In the Madagascan ceremony of famadihana, people dance around skeletons of dead ancestors.
- Around 70-80 per cent of the plants and animals in Madagascar cannot be found anywhere else.
- Madagascar produces three-quarters of the world’s vanilla and half the world’s sapphires.