Maldives is an archipelago of islands quite unlike any other. There are about 1,109 islands in the country, which is why it is known as a spectacular place for diving and beaches. The marine life is alive and well, and thriving at that. It has been hardly touched by illegal fishers, which is why its reefs are in such pristine condition. Maldives is a haven for all of those who heard the call of the ocean. The people in Maldives are quite diverse; as with any island nation, there is so much influence from many different types of cultures and people. You will find a little bit of everything, like hints of Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia.
Important and Interesting Facts About Maldives
- Maldives is the lowest country in the world. Its ground level is averaged at 1.5 meters (4 feet 11 inches), and its highest point, a certain spot in Villingili Island that stands at 2.3 meters (7 feet 7 inches), is the lowest on the planet.
- Ninety-nine percent of Maldives is water.
- Not only is Maldives the smallest country in Asia, it is also the smallest Muslim country in the world.
- It’s one of the world’s most dispersed countries – the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, is made up from over 1000 coral islands, which are grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls. The atolls are made of coral reefs and sandbars, and these warm waters are home to a number of different eco systems. The Maldives is recognized for its amazing coral reefs which house so many different species of fish, making it a desirable diving location.
- The Maldives is the flattest country in the world – did you know that the Maldives is the flattest country on the entire planet? There are no mountains or hills and the maximum elevation is only 2.4 metres. For anyone who is looking for a fell walk or some mountain climbing activities, these islands sadly can’t offer that!
- One of the best tourists’ attractions of Maldives is the Sultan Park, which is now a public park, built in 16th century, on the southern side of the demolished royal palace grounds in Male. It is a witness to the glory of Slutanate’s era.
- Paradise Island Resort is a five star resort situated on Paradise Island locally known as Lankanfinolhu, Maldives. It is property of Villa Shipping and Trading Company. It was opened in November 1994 and is located in North Male’ Atoll, which is 9.6km from Malé International Airport. Paradise Island is 932 meters long and 201 meters wide with total area 201.508 square meters.
- Gan is the southernmost island of Addu Atoll (previously also known as Seenu Atoll), as well as the southernmost island of the Maldives. It is relatively large by Maldive standards. Gan has now a hotel catering for tourists and is connected by causeways to the neighboring islands of Feydu, Maradu and Hithadhoo.
- Maradhoo’s landscape mainly features palm trees and tropical shrubs as in other islands in Addu Atoll. The island consists of small roads, close lanes, large number of closely built houses, only a few have a second floor. Green vegetation surrounds most of the housing compounds, especially coconut palm and banana trees, and are regarded as part domestic agriculture.
- Villingili is the only resort island of Seenu Atoll, Maldives. The island is also notable for having the highest natural elevation in the Maldives, an unnamed location of about 2.4 meters / 8 feet above sea level. This is the world’s lowest national high point.
Cool, Fun, and Funny Facts About Maldives
- The word atoll is derived from the Divehi word atholhu, which means a ring-like coral island surrounding a lagoon. It is the only English word derived from Divehi.
- Go whale watching in the Maldives, though, and you’re guaranteed to see anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 individual whales and dolphins. At any given time of the year, there are 10 to 12 different species of whales and dolphins that call the coral reefs of the Maldives home.
- A single school of dolphins can contain more than 200 individuals, and the Maldives is also one of the most well-known places in the world for catching a glimpse of the world’s largest fish, the Whale Shark. These massive fish range in size from 5.5 to 10 meters (18 to 32 feet), and can be seen cruising the clear, blue waters of the Maldives, filtering plankton from the sea water as they swim.
- For the year 2008, Maldives was ranked as the Best Country Brand for Beach and Best Country Brand for Rest and Relaxation. It also ranked number two in the Best Country Brand for Natural Beauty and 3rd in the Best Country Brand for Resort and Lodging Options in the same year.
- Sharks of Maldives are very famous worldwide and attract thousands of divers to Maldives every year. Maldives itself is considered a heaven for divers. There are many types of sharks found in Maldives.
- Only 200 of the Maldives’ 1,192 islets are inhabited.
- More than 2,000 species of fish have been identified in the waters surrounding the Maldives. Approximately 300 species are reef fish, including seven species not previously identified elsewhere in the world’s seas.
- One of the Maldives’ biggest exports was coir, the fiber of the dried coconut husk that was spun and twisted into ropes. Thanks to its strength and resistance to saltwater, the rope was exported to places as far away as the Middle East. They also exported cowry shells and dried tuna fish.
- Collar Blenny is a species found only in coral reefs in Maldives, in the western Indian Ocean. It can reach a maximum length of 4 centimeters. Blennies feed primarily off of plants, including benthic algae and weeds, and are commercial aquarium fish.
- The Maldives is creating the largest marine reserve in the world. At the Rio+20 Summit, the nation announced it would create the world’s biggest marine reserve to preserve its fisheries and biodiversity. If this happens, it will become the first country to become a marine reserve. What this means is that they will only allow sustainable and eco-friendly fishing. They plan to accomplish this goal by the year 2017.
Historical and Cultural Facts About Maldives
- As a Muslim country, Maldives calls for casual but modest clothing. In fact, the shorts/pants and T-shirt combination is the accepted swimwear in the inhabited islands. Bikinis are worn only in island resorts.
- While many countries in the world take their weekend break on Saturday and Sunday, Maldives – like other Muslim countries – has its weekend on Friday and Saturday.
- Underwater Cabinet Meetings. In order to draw attention to their concerns, President Mohamed Nasheed moved the October 2009 cabinet meeting to the bottom of the ocean. The president and 13 other government officials strapped on scuba gear and sat at desks that had been sunk to the bottom of the sea in an attempt to raise awareness about the dangers facing the island chains.
- Because of the country’s strict Islamic beliefs, tourists are expected to obey and respect Muslim traditions while on the islands. Alcohol is prohibited everywhere except resort hotels, and the beverages cannot be taken off resort property.
- According to Historians, Maldives has been populated as early as the 4th century BC. It is speculated that the early migrants were from Arabia, eastern Africa and the Indian subcontinent among other places. Today, the Maldivians are a mixed race.
- Food choices and eating habits of the residents of Maldives were restricted as most of their sandy soil is uncultivable. The staple diet consists of fish and rice and the national dishes are fried fish, fish curry and fish soup.
- In the Maldives, meat and chicken are meant only for special occasions. Arecanut with betel leaf, cloves and lime is consumed after dinner. The locals have their own homemade brew, Raa which is a sweet and delicious toddy tapped from the trunk of the palm tree.
- The traditional music and dance form is bodu beru, meaning a big drum. A group of four to six drummers and dancers begin with a slow African style rhythm, casually swaying and swinging their arms. As the tempo increases, they synchronize the speed of their movements to increase with the tempo and end up in a rhythmic frenzy of dancing and drumming.
- Eid-ul-Al-ha-aa falls on the 10th day on Zul Hijja in the Islamic Calendar. This is the Maldives’ longest holiday festival. It lasts from 5 to 7 days. In this festival of the Maldives, people try to do good deeds for others. They do this in remembrance of when the prophet Abraham sacrificed his son to God.
- The Undholi is a traditional swing in Maldives. It is usually a large wooden bench or even netting. It’s a great way to beat the heat and just stare at the natural beauty right in front of you. It’s romantic as there is always room for 2 on an Undholi. They also make a static version of this called a ‘Joli’.