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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Headline for 5 Curious Facts About the Maldives - Did You Know?
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Curious Facts About the Maldives - Did You Know?

The Maldives nation is known for their pristine beaches and spectacular marine life, but there are some real interesting facts about Maldives that many don't know. Here are 5 of its most interesting.


World's First Underwater Cabinet Meeting

In 2009, the parliament of Maldives went under the waves and became the very first country in the world to have an underwater cabinet meeting. This was done in an attempt to highlight the disastrous effects of climate change, especially in the Maldives the lowest-lying nation on Earth. The underwater cabinet meeting was spearheaded by Mohamed Nasheed, the president at the time, who voiced his concern by saying that the beautiful archipelago would be swallowed by the rising sea levels if no action is taken to reduce carbon emissions.

President Nasheed and 13 of his parliament members went six metres below the sea-level to show what it would be like if climate change was not stopped. Then by using hand signals and white boards, they signed a document which called all countries to cut back their emissions. Part of it read ''We must unite in a world war effort to halt further temperature rises. Climate change is happening and it threatens the rights and security of everyone on Earth'.


Alcohol Is Banned

Maldives is a country that practices strict Islamic beliefs and tourists are also expected to respect and obey them. Thus, alcohol is forbidden everywhere in the country except at luxury Maldives hotels like those by Anantara Hotels, Resort & Spa. Pork is also banned but they are still served at establishments like the above.


Adulterers Are Flogged in Public!

Again this is because of the strict Islamic laws practiced in the country. Anybody who is found guilty of conducting an extra-marital love affair will be subject to a public flogging. Unfortunately, according to the statistics, a majority of those who are punished turn out to be women as most men can just walk free after denying the crime. There was a horrific incident where it was reported that an 18-year-old pregnant woman was whipped 100 times! Thankfully, Amnesty International has gotten involved in this.


A Coconut Almost 'Rigs An Election'

In September 2013, it was reported that a coconut was detained by the local police after it was found to be "loitering" and "acting suspiciously" during the time of the presidential elections. This allegedly delinquent coconut was said to be found outside of a polling season waiting to rig the election with its "black magic". However, a white magician had come and examined the coconut and declared that is was 'innocent' and that had ended the nutty affair!


Founded by An Exiled Prince

According to the Koimala Siri Mahaabarana Mahaa Radun legend, Maldives was founded by the son of the King of Kalinga in India, after he displeased his royal father. He was banished from the country and landed in the Malé atoll which was formerly named as 'Maa-le'.

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