Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Geography & Location

The Maldives lies in two rows of atolls in the Indian Ocean, just across the equator. The country is made up of 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural ring-like atolls, spread over 90,000 square kilometers. These atoll structures are formed upon a sharp ridge rising from the ocean, thereby creating their secluded uniqueness. Each atoll in the Maldives is made of a coral reef encircling a lagoon, with deep channels dividing the reef ring. A string of islands take their places among this atoll ring; each island has its own reef encircling the island lagoon. The reefs of the islands, alive with countless underwater creatures and vibrant corals, protect the islands from wind and the ocean waves. This unique structure of reefs and channels makes navigation almost impossible for anybody without sufficient local knowledge of the waters.

Ninety-nine percent of the Maldives is sea. The people of the islands are widely dispersed across the atolls, with about 200 inhabited islands. Around 90 islands are developed as tourist resorts and the rest are uninhabited or used for agriculture and other livelihood purposes.