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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 24, 2021
Headline for 05 Fascinating Facts on the Maldives You May Not Know – A Captivating Island Nation
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05 Fascinating Facts on the Maldives You May Not Know – A Captivating Island Nation

A true tropical paradise, the Maldives has gained fame the world over and you already may know about its sublime beaches and thrilling water sports. Here are some not as well-known facts about it which you are bound to find interesting and some of which are worth knowing before you visit.


Symbols of the Flag

The Maldives flag may look simple enough, a vertical white crescent moon within a green rectangle that is bordered by red, but each of these elements symbolises something important. Knowing what they each stand for, will help give you a better understanding of the country as well. The crescent moon in the middle represents the nation's Islamic faith and the green around it symbolises peace and prosperity; the red outer border stands for the sacrifice and bloodshed of those who fought for the nation's independence.


Numerous Islands

You may have heard it mentioned that this destination is an island nation, but what you may not know is that it's made up of more than one island; in fact, the country has around 1,200 islands which can give a whole new meaning to the phrase island hopping! Despite there being so many islands, most of them are uninhabited. The great thing is that in the Maldives, luxury resorts are each located on private islands which offer more seclusion; they are also places where certain local laws don't apply like the ban on consuming alcohol and wearing bikinis.


Over 1,000 Fish Species

Yes, that's right, the Indian Ocean water surrounding the country is home to more than 1,000 fish species making snorkelling and diving two of the best things to do here. Resorts the likes of The Residence Maldives Falhumaafushi by Cenizaro offer guests access to thriving house reefs within easy reach of the shore as well as guided snorkelling safaris further afield. Additionally, you can go on scuba diving excursions to witness more colourful coral and marine life. Be it reef fish, various types of sharks (including whale sharks), turtles, manta rays or dolphins, there is much to encounter.


Buildings Made From Coral

Today, when brick, steel and stone are used to make houses and other structures, it may sound strange to read that at one time, the people of the Maldives used coral as a building material! Of course, this was at a time when coral reefs were not under threat as they are now, which is why this practice no longer takes place. That said, you can still see some of the traditional structures that were built from coral on certain islands including Male where you will find the Old Friday Mosque, a striking coral stone building.


Rare Coralline Beaches

The picture-postcard-like white sand beaches of the Maldives are of coralline origin. This is in fact, quite rare since a vast majority of beaches on the planet are made of quartz. Apart from being white instead of the usual yellow, this kind of sand also does not heat-up as fast as quartz-based sand meaning you can enjoy more barefoot bliss on the shore for longer. Of course, best of all is the chance to just lie on the sand, soak up the sun, sip your favourite cocktail and celebrate another day in paradise!