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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for 5 interesting facts about Mauritius – Bet you didn't know these things!
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 interesting facts about Mauritius – Bet you didn't know these things!

Ile' Maurice or more commonly known as Mauritius is located near South Africa, on the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Here are some interesting facts about this tiny island!

1

Dodo

Remember the Dodo bird from Ice Age? They were named as the national bird of Mauritius – and even though they're extinct, they are still known as the national animal. Dodo birds were only known to exist on the island of Mauritius and have similar characteristics to the Asian pigeon. The alarming rate of this bird's extinction is the reason the popular phrase "as dead as a dodo" originated from. The Dodo was said to have been about 1 metre tall, weighing approximately 20Kgs. The Dodo was known to be a flightless bird – the movie, Madagascar even joked that it might have been the reason it led to its eventual and untimely extinction. Due to its plump size and short stubby yellow legs, they were often an easy prey for predators.

2

Paradise

Thanks to its beautiful scenic landscapes which comprise of azure waters, palm fringed white sandy beaches, the island of Mauritius is a breathtaking beauty and a popular tourist destination. People from across the world, head to the island to bask under the warm sun's glow, chug down a few bottles of rum and live the island life. In Mauritius luxury resorts are not uncommon to find, with properties such as InterContinental Mauritius Resort Balaclava Fort, springing up along the beautiful coastal line, while providing the perfect island getaway to their guests. Guests can choose to snorkel or dive along the beautiful coral reefs around the island and discover the wide range of marine life that thrives within the turquoise waters.

3

Sugar cane

Besides its breathtakingly beautiful and nothing short of stunning beaches of Mauritius, 80% of the land is covered with delicious fields of sugar cane. Sugarcane is one of the largest contributions to the country's revenue. Over the last 3 centuries, Mauritius has specialised in manufacturing a large variety of sugar types that were derived from sugar cane. Another major export is tea.

4

Seven coloured Earth

This popular tourist attraction is a natural phenomenon, whereby the sand is a variety of 7 colours; red, brown, green, purple, violet and yellow. One of the most fascinating things about the sand is that even if you mix them up, they will eventually settle in to their own layers. The ideal time to visit the Coloured Earth of Chamarel is at sunrise. The colours are said to have been formed due to the weathering of the basalt – which forms as the foundation of the area along with the formation of secondary iron oxides and hydroxides. The effects of deforestation and sheet erosion also play a vital part in how these sands get their unique colours.

5

The colours of the flag

The Mauritian flag is depicted by red, blue, yellow and green. These four colours are said to represent the history of Mauritius and its future. The red is said to represent the painful past of the island with regards to the bloodshed during the colonisation and slavery. The blue signifies the azure, sparkling Indian Ocean while the yellow is said to represent sunshine and the optimism of the local people, which also is said to stand for the country's bright future. The green; which is the last block in the flag represents the island's lush vegetation.