13 Unique Facts Behind the Maldives

Beach huts in the Maldives

Has the Instagram picture-perfect love destination caught your attention too? Are you planning a vacation in the blissful white sand beaches of Maldives?

If yes, let me tell you more about this archipelago of the Indian Ocean.

From scuba diving and snorkeling to exploring coralline beaches and marine life, this island nation has something for every traveler, not just for couples in love.

Read these fun facts to explore more about the beautiful Maldives.

1. Experience Bioluminescence On The Maldives Island

It’s not only the glowing sky that will catch your attention, but also the gleaming waves. When the sky gets dark, the phytoplanktons glow like stars under the sea when they move.

Maldives 4
© Doug Perrine

It’s a rare phenomenon, but if you are lucky enough, you might see the “cold light” radiated by these microorganisms.

2. Maldives Has World’s First Underwater Hotel

What will your perfect escape look like? How about an underwater paradise where you can sleep with turtles, fish, or sharks?

Maldives 3
© Justin Nicholas

As unreal as it sounds, it is possible to experience a luxurious stay at a hotel under the Indian Ocean amidst sea creatures. Muraka, meaning coral in the native Dhivehi language, offers exquisite service with a range of dedicated staff for the most divine stay.

Not to mention, this is a pricey affair!

3. Popular Holiday Destination For Lovers Has The Highest Divorce Rates In The World

The Maldives is among the most sought-after holiday destinations for newlyweds or other beach-loving couples. However, I was surprised to learn that the island with the most romantic settings also has one of the highest divorce rates in the world.

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The Maldives has surpassed the United States and Belarus with 10.97 divorces per 1000 citizens.

4. Dive Into The Ocean In Maldives To Meet The World’s Biggest Fish-Whale Shark

The whale shark is likely to be found in abundance throughout the year in some conserved atolls in the Maldives. So whether you dive or swim to explore the coral islands, these big and calm fish will appear, swimming alongside you.

This giant creature that grows up to 12 meters long has a small mouth that feeds on small fish or plankton. So you need not worry and can dive in for the majestic experience.

5. Cowry Shells Were Used As Currency

Historically, Maldivians used cowry shells to trade with other nations in the Indian Ocean. Back then, these corals were legal tender and could be found in abundance on their shores.

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Cowrie Shell

If you are tempted to bring back corals as a reminiscence of your Maldives vacation, refrain from doing it! It is illegal.

6. World’s First Underwater Cabinet Meeting Held In Maldives

Something as strange as an underwater cabinet meeting happened in the Maldives in 2009. President Mohammed Nasheed, along with his cabinet ministers, dove into the sea to bring international attention to the alarming situation of rising sea levels.

Maldives never fails to turn heads and made an interesting plea to notice global warming effects on Maldives.

7. This Muslim Country Was Once A Buddhist Inhabited Island

The Maldives is the smallest country in Asia and the smallest Muslim country in the world. But did you know the first settlers in the country were Buddhist followers from India and Sri Lanka?

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It was in 1153 AD that the last Buddhist king of the Maldives converted to Islam.

8. The Flattest Country In The World Can Disappear In Near Future

The Maldives is a low-lying and flattest nation on earth, with its highest point being 2.3 meters above sea level. As projected by experts, if the sea level keeps rising due to climate change, this island nation will likely submerge completely in the future.

9. You Can Be A Maldivian Citizen Only If You Are A Muslim

The Maldives do not accept any other religion apart from Islam, and citizenship is only permitted to Muslims. You are also prohibited from practicing your faith in public places and on local islands as a tourist.

You will be punished if caught distributing other religious materials in the Maldives!

10. Coconut Tree Wood Is Used To Build Dhonis

Dhoni is a traditional boat inspired by the Arabic sailing vessels used in ancient times to sail across the Indian Ocean. Known for their sturdiness, Dhonis were used for trading in ancient times.

Today, Maldivians use it for traveling on the sea.

11. Explore Sea Culture In the Architecture Of The Mosques

You will be mesmerized by the serenity of the coral-stone mosque, Male Hukuru Miskiy, in the Maldives. It is the island country’s oldest and most ornate mosque, and it represents the sea’s heritage.

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Friday Mosque, Malé, Maldives

The nation has several other mosques, namely the Ihavandhoo Friday Mosque and the Meedhoo Friday Mosque, made of coral stone.

12. Maldives – Home To Hundreds Of Private Island Resorts To Experience A Grand Beach Getaway

You can have an island all to yourself for the most magnificent experience on your holiday in the Maldives. Yes, that is possible, as this tropical paradise has many private islands turned resorts.

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You can choose to book your stay in the grand luxurious hotels in popular locations such as Baa Atoll or South Ari Atoll.

13. Do Not Bring Alcohol To Maldives – It’s Banned!

You might want to carry your expensive bottle of alcohol on your vacation in the Maldives. This island nation does not promote alcohol consumption, and bringing it with you is prohibited.

But lighten up, as you can still get a drink at private resorts during your stay!


Since discovering how much fun and learning are to be had traveling, Alex has made it a point to tour his home country and continent while still in his heydays. His ultimate desire is to travel farther afield to see the wonders of Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. When he isn’t traveling, he takes his time to write about various places to share his experiences with other global citizens.

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