The Maldives are a country famous for its white sand beaches and crystal clear turquoise water, but there are things about the country that are not so known and it is interesting to discover before travelling.

1.Bioluminescence effect

Everybody knows that the sea in the Maldives is a stunning turquoise colour, but not everybody knows that the sea turns out to be an electric-blue ocean. There is a natural phenomenon called bioluminescence, that happens when microscopic organisms react with oxygen in the water and produce light.

The bacteria glow, it is more difficult to see it in the shoreline but if you move the water you can appreciate it, it is easier to see it in the open sea by the wake of this stirring up the oxygen in the water which makes it glow in a blue tone.

2.Lost wedding rings in the beach

Maldives is the typical honeymoon destination, newlyweds choose the Maldives to relax and love each other in the first days of their marriage. However, beach, sand and water all day comes with some inconvenience and those who are not careful might loose a hundred or thousand dollars ring in the sand. As incredible as it sounds it is true, and they even explained to us that the resort were we stayed in Kuredu had to buy a metal detector to swipe the beach looking for lost rings. The guests who lost them were the happiest when they were recovered.

3.Muslim country

Maldives has the paradise tag on it with no doubt, but as weird as it might sound it is a strict muslim country under the sharia law. In the resorts is another story, alcohol is sold and people go around the island shoeless and wearing your bikini or swim suit. But in local islands the life is very different, you need to swim with knees and shoulders covered, no alcohol is permitted neither sold as well as cigarettes.

4.Amazing snorkelling

Sea turtle snorkelling in Vilamendhoo Maldives

Sea turtle snorkelling in Vilamendhoo Maldives

The Maldives is probably the best country in the world for snorkelling and diving, it has a wide variety of animals, mantas, rays, whale sharks, coral reef sharks, parrot fishes, snappers, tunas, sea turtles etc.. The amazing thing is that only snorkelling you can see all of those animals a few metres away from the shore and move around with your fins and mask.

5.It is not only a luxury destination only

Despite what most people think it is not only a luxury destination, there are mid-range and budget options to choose from in the Maldives. If you are the resort kind and would like to enjoy hotel facilities and guided excursions, you can find rooms from 200 dollars with the all inclusive package and budget options in the Maldives in local islands from 100 dollars.

6.Underwater: wine cellar, restaurant and spa

Anantara Kihavah Villa is an underwater restaurant that has received the prestigious three-star accolade from World of Fine Wines Magazine. The Conrad Hilton hotel in the Maldives is famous for its underwater restaurant called Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, and it was the first underwater restaurant and wine cellar to be built in the country.

To the underwater madness, a spa was the cherry of the cake and Lime Spa by Aquum offers an incredible experience, receive your spa treatment in their underwater cabins while you enjoy the submarine view with fishes and corals all around you.

Underwater restaurant maldives

Underwater restaurant maldives

7.Fluorescent protein of coral

Corals contain a green protein that make them fluorescent if illuminated with blue or ultraviolet light, they give back light of longer wavelengths, such as reds or greens. We experienced fluorescent snorkelling having blue lights and wearing yellow filters in our masks to experience this party of fluorescent colour while snorkelling at night. The fluorescent snorkelling it is a recent practice before this technique was only used by biologists to determine the state of the coral in a reef.

8.Almost all population is literate

Something that surprised me when doing research about the Maldives is that 98% of the country population is literate. Most children are educated in privately owned schools, which are run by Islamic teachers. There are also government and community schools, we actually visited one in the local island of Naifaru and all children were wearing a uniform and spoke basic English.

9.Divorce is high in the Maldives

Divorce is high in the Maldives, at least is a curious thing being an islamic country – strangely enough, the Maldives has the highest divorce rate in the world. The current rate of divorce is 10.97 divorces per 1,000 marriages. One of the reasons for this could be that a marriage can be easily terminated, no need for legal actions simply by the verbal pronouncement of the husband. Another reason might be that couples get married fast and without knowing very well each other so it makes sense that the happily ever after is broken at some point.

10.Is the flattest country in the world

Did you know that the Maldives is the flattest country on the entire planet? There are no mountains or hills and the maximum elevation is only 2.4 metres. For anyone who is looking for mountain climbing activities, these islands sadly can't offer that! But there is much more to do in the Maldives, check out my essential guide to visit  Maldives.