This one-time pirate stronghold is off the coast of Africa, but to call a Malagasy, an African is a great offense. The people are of Indonesian descent, and the language and culture are much more Asian than African. Madagascar is known as the eighth continent or the Great Red Island. It is the world’s fourth-largest island. Over 90% of the animals and plants found in Madagascar are found nowhere else in the world. Up to 50% of the world’s vanilla comes from Madagascar. However, the United Nations considers this island one of the least developed countries. Over half of the population of Madagascar is under the age of 25! The London Missionary Society introduced Christianity to Madagascar and transcribed the Malagasy language into a functional alphabet. Capital: Antananarivo Population: 27,534,354 Languages: French (official), Malagasy (official) Lowest Point: Indian Ocean — 0 ft. above sea level Highest Point: Maromokotro — 9,435 ft. above sea level Religion: Christian, indigenous, Muslim
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