The Maldives is a fascinating place for many people, but you probably didn’t know these things about its 1,200 islands.

Many people are captivated by the natural beauty and remoteness of the Maldives. Surrounded by endless aquamarine water, save for pure white sands, beach huts and lavish resorts, it’s no wonder this destination is on the bucket list for vacationers. in love with the islands. There are some things to know about this dream destination that travelers should know before booking a trip, as well as little known facts that many have never heard before.

Related: Bora Bora Vs. The Maldives: Which Is Better?

Whether it’s the lowest country in the world or specific beverage legislation, here’s what you need 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 have earned the title of having the lowest country in the world in terms of sea level, which is both fascinating and disturbing.

an aerial view of a maldives island
via Shutterstock

Anyone who has been to the Maldives is well aware that many of its islands barely rise above sea level, which means it won’t take more than a few inches of excess water to cover a lot. In recent years, concerns about climate change have increased as the Maldives could be significantly affected by rising sea levels.

The sand found on the islands is rarer than you might think

This is because it is not made of quartz like the sand that most of us expect to find on beaches. This is also why the sand in the Maldives is somewhat magical – as the scorching sun hits over these islands since the sand is not made of pulverized quartz, it never heats up to the scorching temperature that many of us anticipate in walking along the beach. So what is this magnificent sand composed of?

maldives beach
via Shutterstock

Two things: pulverized coral and pieces of coral that have been excreted by parrot fish because the sand they don’t want to eat comes in a fine powder form. Surprisingly, each fish is responsible for about a ton of sand each year.

Adult drinks are prohibited everywhere except in these locations

While a Maldives getaway might seem like an average island vacation, the same rules and laws don’t apply. While adult drinks can be consumed at resorts or at a hotel bar, they are not permitted anywhere else on the island.

Maldives resort
via Shutterstock

This means that unlike many islands with open beaches, you are not allowed to sip drinks while sunbathing outside your resort or, more specifically, the hotel bar.

The islands do not follow a typical weekend schedule

Another unusual thing about the Maldives is that these islands do not follow the typical Saturday and Sunday weekend schedule that much of the world follows. On the contrary, the working week begins on Sunday, Friday being a day of rest.

a city in the maldives
via Sun_Shine /

It also means that those who visit can expect government-run businesses and some public transport to be closed until Sunday, when it is technically ‘Monday’ for the islands.

Some of its islands change and disappear from season to season

Climate change aside, many islands in the Maldives are home to sandbanks that grow, change, and may even disappear during the monsoon or a particularly dry season.

a woman standing on a sandbank in the maldives
via Shutterstock

As water temperatures rise and fall, new sandbanks are even created for a few years to replace those that were washed away in the previous one. As such, the geography of the islands is constantly changing as smaller islands resurface or are submerged.

You will find many (millions) of these seashells along the beach

Cowries are not just for Animal crossing – they are also abundant in the Maldives! These seashells are so prevalent on the islands that it is estimated that there are millions of them spread over every beach.

a cowrie on the beach
via Shutterstock

Although they are simply neat and pretty to look at nowadays, in medieval times they were once used as a form of currency which made them incredibly valuable. Today they don’t have as much value, but they are featured on Maldivian coins.

Some Dhani boat captains are still sailing without technology

Incredibly, technology still does not necessarily have a place in the Maldives and especially not in nautical navigation. There are boat cabins and crews who sail on dhoni boats that draw on nature and experience to navigate the many coral reefs that surround the islands.

a dhoni boat in the maldives
via Shutterstock

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 are able to read the surface of the water on full moon nights in order to determine when and where to steer their boats.

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