1. The Island of New Guinea
The Island of New Guinea is an island located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, and is named after the African country of the same name. It is the world's second-largest island, and is divided between two countries: Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. Papua New Guinea is the eastern half of the island, and is home to over 8 million people, making it the most populous country in the region. It is a culturally diverse nation, with over 800 languages spoken, and is home to some of the world's most unique wildlife, including the world's largest butterfly, the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing.
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2. Papua New Guinea and Indonesia Share the Island of New Guinea
Papua New Guinea and Indonesia share the island of New Guinea, one of the largest islands in the world. Spanning an area of 785,753 square miles, the island is home to a diverse range of cultures, languages, and wildlife. It is divided between the two countries, with Papua New Guinea occupying the eastern half and Indonesia occupying the western half. The island is home to some of the world's most unique and diverse ecosystems, including tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, and coral reefs. It is also home to a variety of endemic species, including the world's largest butterfly, the Queen Alexandra's Birdwing.
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3. 850 Indigenous Languages in Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is a culturally diverse nation, with a population of just over 7 million people. However, this population speaks an incredible 850 different indigenous languages, making it one of the most linguistically diverse countries in the world. This is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the nation, and the importance of preserving and celebrating the many languages spoken in Papua New Guinea.
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4. A Unique Destination for Travelers
Papua New Guinea is a unique destination, as it is one of the few places on earth that lies close to the equator and yet experiences snowfall in its higher altitudes. This is due to the country's mountainous terrain, which reaches up to 4,509 meters above sea level in its highest peak, Mount Wilhelm. The snowfall is a rare phenomenon in the tropics, making Papua New Guinea a truly special destination for travelers.
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5. Papua New Guinea's Hooded Pitohui is the only known poisonous bird
Papua New Guinea is home to the world's only known poisonous bird, the Hooded Pitohui (Pitohui dichrous). This species of bird is easily identifiable by its bright orange and black plumage, and is known to contain a neurotoxin in its skin and feathers. This neurotoxin is similar to the one found in the poison dart frog, and is believed to be a defense mechanism against predators. The Hooded Pitohui is found in the lowland and hill forests of Papua New Guinea, and is an important part of the country's unique biodiversity.
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6. Celebrating in PNG: Traditional Ceremonies
In Papua New Guinea, traditional ceremonies are a source of great celebration and joy. Hundreds of guests are invited to partake in the festivities, where they are showered with gifts of valuable items and pigs. These ceremonies are a way for the people of Papua New Guinea to come together and celebrate their culture and heritage, and to honor the guests who have been invited to join in the festivities.
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7. A Place of Cannibalism and Headhunting
Until the 1950's, Papua New Guinea was a place of rampant cannibalism and headhunting. This practice was so widespread that it was considered a normal part of life for many of the indigenous tribes. It was not uncommon for tribes to engage in ritualistic cannibalism and headhunting as a way of honoring their dead, or to gain power and prestige. This practice was eventually outlawed in the 1950's, but it still remains a part of the culture and history of Papua New Guinea.
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8. Papua New Guinea's Kina Currency Still in Use
Until 1933, Papua New Guinea used sea-shells as its national currency, a practice that had been in place for centuries. However, in 1933, the country made the switch to the Kina, which is still used today. The Kina is divided into 100 Toea, and is the official currency of Papua New Guinea. It is also used in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, an autonomous region of Papua New Guinea.
9. Agriculture Endures in PNG: Ancient Kuk Site Revealed
The "kuk" is an ancient agricultural site located in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, which has been drained for over 10,000 years. This land has a long history of agricultural production, with evidence of farming dating back to around 6,500 years ago. This ancient site is a testament to the ingenuity of the people of Papua New Guinea, who have been able to sustainably cultivate the land for thousands of years.
10. Queen Elizabeth II still the Head of State of Papua New Guinea
To this day, the United Kingdom's monarch remains the Head of State of Papua New Guinea, a country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. This is a legacy of the country's colonial past, when it was a British protectorate from 1888 to 1975. The current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is the sixth British monarch to serve as Head of State of Papua New Guinea. The Queen is represented in the country by a Governor-General, who is appointed on her behalf.
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