Many people are captivated by the natural beauty and remoteness of the Maldives. Surrounded by open, aquamarine water as far as the eye can see with the exception of pure white sands, beach huts, and lavish resorts, it's no wonder why this destination is on the bucket list for island lovers. There are some things to know about this dream destination that travelers should know before booking a trip, though - along with some little-known facts that many have never even heard before.
From being the lowest country in the world to having specific beverage laws, here's what to know about the 1,200 islands that make up one of the world's most romantic destinations.
If Water Levels Rise, The Maldives Could Be In Serious Trouble
The Maldives has earned the title of having the lowest country in the world in terms of sea level, which is both fascinating and troubling at the same time.
Anyone who has been to the Maldives is well aware of the fact that many of its islands are just barely sticking above sea level, which means that it won't take more than a few inches of excess water to cover many of them. In recent years, the concern surrounding climate change has grown, as the Maldives could be significantly impacted by rising water levels.
The Sand Found On The Islands Is Rarer Than You Think
This is because it's not made out of quartz like the sand most of us expect to find on beaches. That's also why the sand in the Maldives is somewhat magical - as the hot sun beats down on these islands since the sand isn't made of pulverized quartz, it never heats up to the scorching temperature many of us anticipate while walking along the beach. So, what is this gorgeous sand made up of?
Two things: pulverized coral and coral pieces that have been excreted by parrotfish as any sand they don't want to eat comes out in the form of fine powder. Amazingly, each fish is responsible for roughly one ton of sand each year.
Adult Beverages Are Prohibited Everywhere Except These Locations
While a getaway in the Maldives might seem like the average island vacation, the same rules and laws don't apply. While adult beverages can be consumed at resorts or a hotel bar, they're not permitted anywhere else on the island.
This means that, unlike many islands with open beaches, you're not permitted to sip drinks while sunbathing outside of your resort or, specifically, the hotel bar.
The Islands Don't Follow A Typical Weekend Schedule
Another unusual thing in the Maldives is that these islands don't follow the typical Saturday and Sunday weekend schedule that much of the world follows. Rather, the workweek begins on Sunday with Friday being a day of rest.
This also means that those who visit can anticipate government-run business and some public transportation to be closed until Sunday when it's technically 'Monday' for the islands.
Some Of Its Islands Change And Disappear From Season To Season
Climate change aside, many of the islands in the Maldives are home to sandbars that grow, change, and may even disappear during monsoon season or a particularly dry season.
As the water temperatures rise and fall, new sandbars are even created during some years to replace those which were washed away during the prior. As such, the geography of the islands is constantly changing as smaller islands resurface or become washed over.
You'll Find Plenty (Millions) Of These Shells Along The Beach
Cowry shells aren't just for Animal Crossing - they're also abundant in the Maldives! These shells are so prevalent on the islands that it's estimated there are millions divided among each beach.
While they're just neat and pretty to look at nowadays, during the Medival Ages, they were once used as a form of currency that made them incredibly valuable. Today, they're not nearly as valuable but they are featured on the Maldivian coins.
Some Dhani Boat Captains Still Navigate Without Technology
Incredibly enough, technology still doesn't necessarily have a place in the Maldives and especially not when it comes to nautical navigation. There are some boat cabins and crews who sail dhoni boats who rely on nature and experience to navigate the many coral reefs that surround the islands.
Their nautical decisions are guided by the boats themselves, their instincts, and the first and most natural form of navigation: the stars above. Some dhoni captains are so experienced that they're able to read the surface of the water on moonlit nights in order to determine when and where to steer their boats.