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Updated by Joanna James on Jan 12, 2020
Headline for Things you didn't know about Maldives – Interesting facts and captivating legends
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Things you didn't know about Maldives – Interesting facts and captivating legends

Salubrious winds and turquoise hues surround the enchanting island nation of Maldives. Here are some unusual facts about this vibrant and almost magical holiday destination.

1

It is made up of coral islands

There are 1190 coral islands spread across 26 atolls in the Maldives. Some of the most beautiful islands belong to Maldives Island resorts. An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef that enfolds a lagoon, either partially or entirely. Atolls in the Maldives belong to the Chagos-Laccadive Plateau which is a volcanic ridge. These unique geographic features make the archipelago one of the most picturesque marine areas in the world. Unfortunately, global warming is threatening the wondrous life forms amongst the corals. Some resorts such as Naladhu Private Island Maldives manage coral adoption programmes to conserve these fragile yet invaluable organisms.

2

The exiled Prince's story

Legend has it, that an exiled Indian Prince established his Adeetta Dynasty (also called solar dynasty) in the island to first establish a formal government in the island nation. Before his time, a community of peace-loving people who worshipped the sun and water had inhabited the island. Sri Soorudasaruna Adeettiya was the exiled prince from Kalinga India who first established the kingdom. He sailed to the Maldives when his estranged and outraged father sent him sailing to the archipelago. The solar dynasty ended when a queen from the dynasty married a prince from Kalinga's lunar dynasty.

3

The lowest and the flattest country in the globe

The average ground level of any island in the Maldives is about 1.5 meters (4 feet and 11 inches). The highest point is a mere 2.3 meters which incidentally is the lowest on the entire planet. This is one of the main reasons why the nation has to live in fear of sinking into the bottom of the ocean depths one day.

4

Maldivian government once held a cabinet meeting underwater

Climate change is a major threat to the Maldives with a number of islands being cleared in the wake of rising water levels. In 2009, former president of Maldives held an underwater cabinet meeting to raise awareness about rapidly rising climate change threats. The President and 13 of his officials geared up and held a cabinet meeting underwater.

5

You can only find alcohol at resorts

There is a nationwide prohibition on alcohol in the Maldives. You can of course find and drink alcohol at private resorts. But when you tour the rest of the country, everyone has to abide by the ban. You can only drink alcohol at resort premises. Taking alcohol to any other area is a punishable offence. Moreover, it being a Muslim country, importing alcohol and pork is illegal in the Maldives. Even on private beaches, nudity and sunbathing without a bikini top is not allowed in keeping with cultural practices.

6

Weekends are different

While most of the world eagerly awaits Saturday and Sunday to enjoy their weekend, Maldivians wait for Friday and Saturday. The weekend begins on Friday which is the holy day of the week for Muslims. Maldivians go back to work on Sunday.