Between the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, lies a long stretch of territorial waters offering some of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world.
The Bajau people, often called sea nomads, have become one with the waters and lived off of the natural resources for generations.
This society of ocean wanderers lives in small boats and has never settled in just one location. Bajau tribe is native to the Sulu Islands in the southern Philippines.
Such a nomadic lifestyle allows them to explore the water territories of the neighboring countries, including Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia, without the constraints of paperwork. Some sail across the Indian Ocean to Madagaskar.
Bajau people only go ashore to sell their catch and purchase things they cannot find in the water.
Although their younger generations gradually abandon the nomadic lifestyle in favor of better education and settlement on dry land, the primitive culture remains strong overall.
They mostly appear in the northern part of Borneo, including the water of Moluccas and Celebes.
Studies claim the Bajau are anatomically different from everyone else, thanks to their bigger-than-average spleen.
10 /10 Sea Gypsies
Unlike the vast majority of people around the world, the Bajau do not have permanent settlements on land.
They live a nomadic life on their boats, moving from one location to another. The Bajau are often called the “sea gypsies” for that reason.
However, most of them primarily circle the waters of the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia; some groups are often spotted in Eastern Indonesia, specifically the northern regions of Borneo.
They catch fish for food or to trade the commodity for other products.
9 /10 No Citizenship
Due to their nomadic lifestyle across the water territories of multiple countries, the Bajau are not recognized as citizens by any nation in the world.
They are native to the Sulu archipelago of the Philippines, but the government has never considered them Filipinos.
Both Indonesia and Malaysia do not identify them as part of their populations, and Brunei also applies the same policy.
They keep wandering across different water territories. Even when they travel near any mainland, most stay in their boats.