13 Unbelievable Wonders Of Papua New Guinea


Do you want to explore the undiscovered nation with 600 islands? A country that is one of the most colorful and diverse in all forms.

Call it the Independent State Of Papua New Guinea or Papua New Guinea, a fascinating land of secrets and mysteries still waiting to have encroached. With hundreds of rare species of flora and fauna to see around, the experience in this country will leave you in astonishment.

If your soul seeks adventure, I have curated a few fun facts to ignite your calling.

1. Papua New Guinea Boasts Of The Third Largest Rainforest On Earth

The island of New Guinea has the third largest rainforest, shared by Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian Provinces of Papua and West Papua.

It is home to 5% of the world’s wildlife and plant species. Some peculiar genera of animals have their abode in the second-largest island’s woods.

You will find tree kangaroos, crowned pigeons, the largest lizards, and butterflies. The rainforest also houses the world’s most dangerous bird, Cassowary, which leaps and attacks anyone who threatens it.

2. Bougainville Is An Autonomous Region Under Papua New Guinea

When Papua New Guinea attained its independence from Australia in 1975, Bougainville Island refrained from becoming free. Following that, a conflict erupted between PNG and Bougainville over the copper mines, which was resolved with a peace treaty in 2001.

Map of the Mandated Territory of New Guinea, Papua and Bougainville 1942-45 showing sites of various battles and strategic locations ©Wikimedia

Now Bougainville, in the Solomon Islands region, is self-governed but part of Papua New Guinea.

3. Shells Used As Currency In Papua New Guinea

Kina is the national currency of Papua New Guinea. But do you know kina are shells used as a mode of exchange?

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Prior to the introduction of mainstream currency, people used the pearl white oyster shell. In remote areas of PNG, Papuans still use shells as legal tender.

This is shell money, used in some islands of Papua New Guinea. ©Wikimedia

I was amazed to know this in the world where we discuss cryptocurrency.

4. Can A Bird Be Poisonous? The Hooded Pitohui Is One Such Birdie

Don’t go by the appearance of the beautiful orange and black bird. It contains a poison that can kill you if you come into contact with it.

Hooded Pitohui, Pitohui dichrous ©Wikimedia

The hooded Pitohui native to PNG has one of the most potent toxins making it the most deadly and poisonous bird in the world.

5. Papua New Guinea Has More Than 800 languages

PNG is a diverse country with hundreds of tribal communities that speak different languages, making it a linguistically diverse nation.

The nation has heterogeneous ethnic groups speaking more than 800 languages. English, Tok Pisin, and Hiri Motu are the official languages among hundreds of indigenous languages.

6. PNG Is Home To The Largest Butterfly Specie

This Oceania country will keep mesmerizing you with its rich biodiversity and unique of its kind.

 Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing ©Pixabay

Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing is one such butterfly with a wing span of up to 31 cm, the largest butterfly in the world. Originating in the forests of Papua New Guinea, this butterfly specie is now endangered.

7. A Country Near the Equator that Sees Snow!

Papua New Guinea is located below the equator and experiences a tropical climate. But the warm, humid country also receives snowfalls you will absolutely love.

Mount Wilhelm, the largest mountain in PNG, experiences snowfall that attracts a lot of vacationers to enjoy the scenic beauty. You can plan a visit too!

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8. Mystic Traditions Of Different Tribes Will Dumbstruck You!

The Anga tribe is known to practice mummification of the dead by smoking, which is displayed in the village.

The Goroka tribe disguises themselves like skeletons to dance at the Goroka tribal festivals.

Papua New Guinea
Goroka tribal dancers ©Wikimedia

The Huli and the Asaro tribal with painted bodies are popular among tourists for the mud men war dance traditionally done to scare enemies.

These spooky customaries in Papua New Guinea are definitely something never heard of before.

9. Bird Lovers, PNG Has Treat For You!

You will get a chance to see eccentric and colorful species of passerine on the islands of Papua New Guinea. There are more than 30 species of Paradisaeidae birds, like the Blue Bird Of Paradise and Ribbon-Tailed Astrapia, with peculiar appearances that will just put you in awe of their beauty.

If you want to meet some of the world’s most exotic feather friends, PNG is the destination.

10. Papua New Guinea Is Situated On The Ring Of Fire

PNG is above a complete tectonic mess, which makes the nation susceptible to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Papua New Guinea is home to many volcanoes, out of which 21 are active.

Rabaul airport in PNG was built on the foot of a volcano whose eruption destroyed it. The most recent eruption occurred in 2021 at Mount Manam.

11. You Will Find Men With Crocodile Skin

Yes, you read that right! Crocodiles are sacred, and people believe their ancestry is from them.

Man with crocodile scars.

It is an excruciating ritual of the Chambri tribe to cut young men’s skin, creating a texture that of crocodile skin. When the cuts heal, their dorsum appears to have scales, similar to the giant reptile.

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12. A country Blessed With Mineral Deposits

Papua New Guinea has rich natural resources such as copper and gold deposits. The nation’s GDP is highly dependent on exports of these minerals.

The mining industry was discovered in the 1960s, and since then, many mines around the country have been operating, the largest being the Ok Tedi mine at the Fly river.

13. The Life Under The Sea Should Not Be Missed

If the woodlands, animal kingdom, and fascinating tribal culture have captivated you enough, there is more to PNG.

The huge coral, fish species, and deep water make it an ideal spot for water adventures worldwide. When you visit this island country, explore the charming marine life by diving and snorkeling around Milne bay, Rabaul bay, and Kimbe bay, to name a few.


Since discovering how much fun and learning are to be had traveling, Alex has made it a point to tour his home country and continent while still in his heydays. His ultimate desire is to travel farther afield to see the wonders of Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. When he isn’t traveling, he takes his time to write about various places to share his experiences with other global citizens.

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