Indonesia Has So Many Islands You Can Now Name One After Yourself

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What do you get for the person who has everything? How about the namesake of a Southeast Asian island? The Indonesian government took a tally of their islands and as of this week, the official total count has jumped from 13,446 to 14,572. CIA numbers estimate that the archipelago is actually made up of more than 17,500 islands total.


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Yes, that’s a lot of islands. And as it turns out, 6,000 of these islands are uninhabited, and a good portion of them don’t even have a name. That’s where you (or a bunch of affluent investors and narcissists) come in.

According to Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, the government is going to try to profit from these remote and nondescript scraps of land in the ocean by allowing foreigners or entities to manage them and even give them the right to name them. Out of the 6,000 uninhabited islands in the archipelago, nearly 4,000 have the potential to become tourist destinations — so one day you could be hosting travelers on an island bearing the name of your choice.

There is one catch: just because you get to name the island doesn’t mean that the island is yours. The Indonesian government is not selling the land, but simply selling the rights to name it. This means that you could pay to name the island anything you like, but the island and everything on it still belong to Indonesia.

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