Coral Reefs of the Maldives – Nature’s gifts

The Maldives isn’t only known for its amazing scenery and gorgeous beaches it’s also well known for its coral reefs! Here’s a little more information on these reefs.

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Gzzz, Bathala (Maldives) 5, CC BY-SA 4.0

Geography

There’re officially 1190 islands with some form of vegetation on them, out of which 991 are uninhabited and 199 habited. The islands are divided into 26 geographic atolls. Unofficially, there are 1120 islands, however, the real number varies every year as some of them tend to get washed away and new ones form.

Formation

It was proposed by Charles Darwin that the atolls of the Maldives developed as a result of the mountain ranged subsiding into the sea, or as the sea levels rose. Coral reefs are formed by tiny organisms called polyps, which secrete hard limestone skeleton which provides the framework for the reef. The shape and type of reef developments depend to a great extent on the depth of the ocean floor, the ocean currents and the geographical history of the area.

Origins

The names of the atolls, islands and coral reefs of the Maldives all have a mixture of spellings. Many of the islands have adopted new names since the arrival of tourism in the Maldives. As several Maldives luxury resorts, the likes of The Residence Maldives by Cenizaro, have come up, the names of the islands have been simplified over time to make it easier for the tourists.

 

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