For being the fourth largest island in the world, there seems to be very little talk of this exhilarating country, and still so much to uncover. Located off the coast of Africa, Madagascar has been the inspiration for many many documentaries and films and the case could be made that it is one of the most fascinating places on earth.
Maybe you’ve seen the movie Madagascar? Well it’s just like that. Just kidding! It is so much more than that. Read on to learn a very small snippet of a very bulstrous and mysterious place.
Most of the Wildlife There Is Only Found In Madagascar
Because Madagascar has been isolated for so long (let’s say 70 million years give or take) it developed a very unique ecosystem. The island first broke away from Africa somewhere around the 165 million year mark and then drifted from India some 100 million years later.
The unique fauna and flora that the island developed led to a 90% rate of unique wildlife that is only in Madagascar. Its extinct mammals were giant flightless birds and dwarf hippos.
Before Colonization, Madagascar Was Ruled By a Woman
This is not something that you read about everyday. In most cultures, women have had to fight tooth and nail to get the same privileges and rights as their male counterparts. But not in Madagascar. Queen Ranavalona the Third was the last sovereign of the Kingdom of Madagascar before the French came to power.
She ruled from 1883 to 1897 before she was removed by French forces. Her namesake was after a powerful queen that came before her, Queen Ranavalona the First, who ruled from 1828 to 1861.
Madagascar Drew In a Lot of Piracy
Madagascar was one of the most popular resting places for European pirates and traders between the years of late 1700s and early 1800s. There were also rumors of Madagascar being an independent pirate nation of Libertalia, which may or not have existed.
As the story goes, the pirates renounced their national identities and referred to themselves as Liberi, thereby creating their own law and system of government. They also apparently waged wars against other states and lawmakers.
The Cuisine Reflects Its Cultural and Biodiversity
The food in Madagascar is a proper reflection of the influences of nations that have settled on the island. This list includes Southeast Asian countries, African, Indian, Chinese, and European migrants who settled there. The staple of Madagascar is rice. In fact the phrase “to eat” also means “to eat rice.”
Modern Malagsy cuisine includes garlic, onion, tomatoes, ginger, curry, coconut milk, cloves, vanilla, and turmeric for common flavors of the nation. Zebu, a type of African cattle, is a common meat. An interesting fact is that Madagascar is among the world’s main suppliers of vanilla, cloves, as well as ylang ylang.