Musamus, Ant Palace, Merauke Tourist Attraction
Holiday Ayo - Along the road in South Papua, there are mounds of earth that attract attention, called "Musamus" by Merauke residents.
This is an ant nest with a unique shape similar to a cave statue or stalagmite, varying in height up to two meters.
The color of these mounds varies between reddish brown and brownish yellow. When approached, the surface texture of the ant or termite nest is grooved and hollow.
Not only a place to live, the existing cavity also functions as ventilation which can keep the temperature stable so that it is protected from extreme temperature changes, even from forest fires.
The colony turned out to have built its palace strong and sturdy. About 70 kilometers from the center of Merauke Regency, in the Kurik District area, various Musamus with varying heights can be found.
Maybe even more than a thousand if counted from outside the tourist area or near residential areas in cow fields. ‘1,000 Musamus Salor Indah Tour' presents a stretch of green grass filled with Musamus.
In fact, its height can reach 3 meters. Visitors are free to approach, but are warned not to touch Musamus. Afraid of ruining the tiny animal's masterpiece.
The manager of the 1,000 Musamus Tourism Awareness Group, Darmadi, said that this tourist spot was founded around 2019.
At that time, the local community, the majority of whom were transmigrants, had a group of researchers visit. Apart from researching Musamus, they also counted the number of Musamus in the area, which was around 1,000.
So the idea emerged to develop the area as a tourist spot and introduce it via social media.
“This musamus has been around for years, some are even 3 meters high. Some are up to 20 years old. They continue to grow until they are this big. They only exist in Merauke," said Darmad.
In Kurik District, Merauke, Papua, you can find many Musamus with varying heights, making them a tourist attraction.
Musamus in Salor, he said, is indeed more interesting. Apart from its large numbers, it is also supported by a beautiful natural landscape.
The cattle pastures, mixed with the typical arid soil of Eastern Indonesia, make the tourist appearance in various parts like the African Savanna.