The country of Madagascar is located in the Indian Ocean off the east coast of the African continent. Some quick facts about Madagascar include:
- Roughly the size of Texas, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world after Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo.
- Unlike the nearby volcanic island of Mauritius, Madagascar is a continental island. Scientists believe it broke away from the African continent over 130 million years ago, but was only discovered by humans 2,000 years ago.
- 80% of the animals found on the island are endemic to Madagascar, meaning they are ONLY found on Madagascar. Some of these unique animals included 70 species of lemurs and 3,000 species of butterflies.
- Madagascar the world’s largest producer of vanilla. Go check your kitchen cupboard! If you have vanilla or vanilla extract it’s likely from Madagascar.
- French and Malagasy are the country’s official languages. Malagasy refers to both the language and the people of Madagascar.
- The capital of Madagascar is Antananarivo, but everyone calls it “Tana!”
Text by Lori Sussle.