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15 Random Facts About Malaysia To Impress Your Friends With In Your Next Teh Tarik Session

Did you know that we are home to the longest insect in the world?

Cover image via Johnny Jet

1. Malaysia's 40,934 miles (65,877 km) highway is longer than the earth's circumference of just 24,901 miles (40,075 km)

Malaysia is known to have one of the most beautiful stretch of highways in the world and constantly undergo expansion and changes.

2. 21-year-old Malaysian, Captain James Anthony Tan is the youngest pilot to fly solo around the world

In 2013, he flew a 30-year-old Cessna 210 Eagle aircraft to 21 countries, completing 40, 000 km (22,000 miles) in just 50 days.

Captain James Anthony Tan

Image via Johnny Jet
Image via 1RTW2013

3. Malaysia's national flag, the Jalur Gemilang was designed by a 29-year-old local architect named Mohamad Hamzah, in 1963

The Malaysian flag consists of 14 red and white alternating stripes that represents the 14 states in the country along with a crescent and 14-point star, Bintang Persekutuan.

The yellow crescent represents Islam, the official religion of the country, while the star symbolises the unity among the states here.

The flag design was approved by King George VI on 19 May 1950 and was first raised at Istana Selangor on 26 May 1950.

Architect Mohamad Hamzah is the designer of the Malaysian flag

Image via Malaysian Digest

The Malaysian national flag, "Jalur Gemilang"

Image via Kuala Ketil

4. Who would have thought that the Persiaran Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in Putrajaya is the world's largest roundabout with a diameter of 3.5 km

An aerial view of the world's largest roundabout in Putrajaya

Image via mcarlosp1 blogspot

5. Newborn babies and young children in olden day Iban communities are affectionately referred to as ulat (worm) till they are given an official name

It was common in many cultures of the past to give the newborn child a nickname or a temporary name till the family decides on the official name.

As for the Iban community in East Malaysia, it is said that they usually refer to their babies as ulat before naming the child according to the traditions and customs of the Iban people.

A group of people from the Iban tribe at their longhouse in Lemanak River, Sarawak

Image via Audley

6. Genting's First World Hotel is the largest hotel in the world with 7,351 rooms

This 3-Star hotel located in one of Malaysia's most popular hill stations, Genting Highlands, won the Guinness World Records for the largest hotel in the world in 2015.

First World Hotel, Genting Highlands

Image via Genting Highlands

7. Did you know that Sarawak Chamber, located at Gunung Mulu National Park is the world's largest cave chamber?

First discovered by three British cavers in January 1981 during the Mulu '80 Expedition, the cave chamber is the world's largest by a surface area of 1.66 million square feet (154,500 square meters).

It is commonly said that the 1-mile-/1.6km-long passage of the cave, could house five rows of eight Boeing 747 jetliners parked nose to tail.

Sarawak Chamber, Gunung Mulu National Park

Image via Lisa Rogers /Pinterest

8. Penang Free School is the oldest English school in South East Asia

Started on 21 October 1816 by Reverend Robert Sparke Hutchings, 2016 will be this ancient school's 200th anniversary.

Penang Free School

Image via Penang State Museum

9. Alocasia Macrorrhiza, the world's largest, undivided leaf is from Tawau, Sabah

The leaf is more than 3.02 metres long and 1.92 metres wide.

Alocasia Macrorrhiza

Image via Oh Fact
Image via BioLib

10. In 2000, the world's first arm and hand transplant was conducted in Selayang Hospital, on a one-month-old baby girl

On 18 May 2000, a team of doctors at the Selayang Hospital, led by Dr. V. Pathmanathan, performed the world's first arm and hand transplant on a one-month-old baby, Chong Lih Ying.

The physicians used the limb of Lih Ying's identical twin sister that died moments after birth due to a severe brain damage, for the hand transplant.

Chong Lih Ying after the successful transplant surgery

Image via Utusan Malaysia

11. The Kuala Kangsar district officer's official residence, houses the last surviving rubber tree brought by H.N. Ridley from London’s Kew Gardens back in 1877

Rubber was first brought to Malaysia by botanist H.N Ridley in 1877. He was one of the pioneers and mastermind behind the establishment of the successful rubber industry in Malaysia.

The oldest rubber tree in Malaysia

Image via Thrifty Traveler
Image via Malaysia Bestt
Image via Malaysia Best

12. 17-year-old Kok Shoo Yin was Malaysia's first non-bumiputra to hold the Malaysian citizenship certificate

When drafting the constitution, the forefathers of the nation agreed that the Chinese and Indian migrant communities in Malaysia would receive the Malaysian citizenship.

According to Asean Today, this young man received his citizenship papers on 14 November 1957, just months after the nation's independence day.

13. The world's largest insect is Chan's megastick, a stick bug which can measure up to 56.6cm, was first found in Sabah

This stick bug was discovered by naturalist and Sabahan Datuk Chan Chew Lun in Ulu Moyog in Penampang district, Sabah in 1989.

Chan's megastick is officially named as Phobaticus chani after its founder.

14. Malaysia is the only country in the world to have won the war against Communism

The war erupted after a group called The Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA) decided to fight against the English colonials, with some naming it the Anti-British National Liberation War.

The British authorities gathered soldiers from all its Commonwealth countries to fight the war against the Communists which started on 16 June 1948 and lasted till 12 July 1960, a total of 12 years, 3 weeks and 5 days.

Soldiers of 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), in the jungle north of Baling, near the Thai border, Malaya, 1960

Image via Australian War Memorial

15. Gomantong Cave in Sabah has the highest infestation of cockroaches in the world

Located near the Kinabatangan area, Gamantong is one of the biggest cave systems in the world and is part of the Gomantong Forest Reserve.

The cockroaches thrive thanks to the dingy, wet surroundings of the cave and the bat droppings.

Brace yourself and check out the swarming cockroaches at Gamantong here:

Malaysia is a diversely populated country, filled with undiscovered treasures and talents. Check out these mesmerising photos taken by award-winning Malaysian photographers:

Meanwhile, these local scientists have been hard at work, transforming the scientific world with their life-changing discoveries:

Did you know that Indrani Kopal, a young Malaysian filmmaker, won an award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival for her documentary film?