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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Types of corals in Maldives – The beauties of the underwater world
Joanna James Joanna James
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Types of corals in Maldives – The beauties of the underwater world

Maldives has a paradise under its waters and corals make-up 90% of it. Here are some of the corals you might see when you go snorkelling.


Hard Corals

Most of the luxury resorts in Maldives the likes of Adaaran Prestige Water Villas are built near a pillar of coral reefs. This barricade is formed by hard corals. Tiny creatures called Polyps make these hard corals. When they grow, a layer of Calcium carbonate is formed underneath. This layer becomes hard and finally turns into rock. There are colonies of hard corals and the colonies make the coral reef. There are many types of hard corals based on their shapes and sizes.


Massive corals

These corals are shaped like a ball and have a very smooth surface. They are usually brown or cream in colour. The coral grows very slowly but after about a hundred years they grow out to be massive. There are many types of massive corals as well. The brain coral is one such type. The polyps are grown in a way that it looks like a brain. Another type of massive coral is a Porites Coral. They look like the head of a cauliflower.


Branching corals

Branching corals, as the name suggests, have many branches growing on them. Sometimes there are secondary branches as well. There are pinkish branch corals as well as greenish branch corals. There are some coral colonies that grow more than 2 metres. Acropora and staghorn corals are the two of the fastest growing branch coral types in the world. The branch corals are extremely sensitive. The temperature of the water might cause the coral to bleach and die. Stylophora corals are a type of branch corals that look like fingers. They grow like bushes and the branches like fingers pop out.


Flowerpot corals

These corals are called so because they look like flowers once they open up. Most hard corals extend polyps inwards, but this type of corals extend outwards. The flowerpot corals are usually green, brown and yellow. These might sound delicate and fragile because of its name. but, in truth, they are a very aggressive type of coral. If you touch them, their elongated polyps can damage your tissues. Because of this, you won't find any other species living close to the flower pot corals.


Blue corals

Although they are called Blue corals, they are usually green in colour. The blue coral gets its name because of the blue skeleton which cannot be seen because of the polyps. They build colonies that look like columns. These corals can absorb the blue minerals in the sea, making their skeletons blue.


Mushroom corals

Mushroom corals can be called as loners. They do not live as a colony but as a single creature. They look like mushrooms, but they come in a lot of different shapes such as circular, elongated, flat and puffed up.
Any Maldives water villa will give you the opportunity to see all these corals, some without even having to snorkel! Most branch corals can be seen through the crystal-clear waters of Maldives. Happy coral watching!