Is the Maldives sinking or how much time do I have to travel to the Maldives before this island nation will disappear are just two of the questions you are probably asking before planning your future trips here.
Actually when Maldives will sink nobody can predict exactly but one thing is sure: the ocean level is rising and for sure some of the islands from the archipelago will be completely submerged in a few years.
But before telling you what the experts say about the moment when the Maldives sinking, let me tell you a few words about this beautiful country and the coral atolls in the area.
Maldives is quite a unique country as it is formed from 1.192 islands grouped under 26 atolls and has a total population of about 670.000 inhabitants.
Not all the Maldivian islands are inhabited and some of the islands are owned by resorts, the world-famous island resorts with water villas and private pools, overlooking the coral reef full of colorful fishes and exotic marine creatures.
There are not many island states all over the world but Maldives is one of these and it definitely is among the most beautiful, luxurious, and exotic places I have ever seen.
About 30 years ago nobody heard about these islands, but starting with 1972 the government strategy changed and they realized that tourism might bring them more money and fame than fishing or agriculture.
So, the authorities changed their policy and started to heavily promote Maldives as a paradise on earth, a place where you can reconnect with nature and be one step closer to the ocean.
And here we are, after 30-40 years when Maldives is among the most popular exotic destinations in the world, a paradise for beach lovers, honeymooners, and for water sports fans.
Is the Maldives sinking?
And the next question that appears in your mind is “are the Maldives islands sinking”?
Well, based on what experts say, it looks like by the end of the 21st century Maldives, together with Fiji, Palau, Riposolomon islands and others 2 will be submerged.
The main reason is the global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions which are out of control in many places on Earth.
Local authorities and international scientists do their best to find a way to protect these pieces of paradise, but some of the islands and atolls might be a little too late.
The impact of climate change is too significant to be ignored and unfortunately, we do almost nothing to decrease the pollution and to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions so that the oceans stop increasing their level.
So, this is why most of the experts say that Maldives disappear by the end of the 21st century.
How are the islands of Maldives formed
Now that you know if is Maldives really sinking, let’s discover together how this beautiful archipelago was formed.
The Maldivian archipelago appeared many centuries ago, during prehistoric times when a prehistoric volcano from the Indian Ocean went extinct.
So, the islands you see today spread in the Maldivian archipelago are nothing else but the peaks of the extinct volcano.
Over time, the volcano got submerged and the ocean floor subsided with the extinct volcano and so the corals began to grow and populate the area forming the protective reef that surrounds today the archipelago.
As time passes, the reef grows and becomes a barrier of reef that forms many beautiful lagoons inside, the perfect home for many marine creatures.
Because of the surrounded barrier of the reef, the islands are not accessible with cruise boats and the only way to get to these islands is by seaplane or speedboat.
These so-called barriers of reef have also a protective role as it protects the islands against tsunamis and other heavy weather conditions that might affect the life of the people that live here.
The existence of these coral reefs is the main reason why the islands haven’t been hit by severe weather phenomena.
In the Maldives there are only heavy storms, not tsunamis or typhoons and in the last years, even if the sea level increased by 5 cm, no severe threats had been addressed to the islands.
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Relax on the white sandy beaches
Famous for its breathtaking sceneries and turquoise waters, the islands of Maldives have the most beautiful beaches in the whole world.
From your beautiful beach villa, you step directly into the beach, a white sandy beach hidden between lush vegetation that ends directly into the sea.
The temperatures are constant all year round, between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius, so each moment of the day is perfect for a bath and then for laying on a sunchair on your own private white beach.
Swim with sharks
I know it sounds really scary but Maldivian sharks are friendly and don’t attack tourists.
The most common sharks you will see in Maldives are the reef sharks and the good thing is that you don’t need to go deep into the ocean to see them.
We saw them from the deck of our water villa and trust me, it was a moment that I will remember for the rest of my life.
Even if I knew that the reef sharks are not dangerous and I am on the deck and swimming below me, the feeling was incredible.
First I panicked and then I was super excited; on the following day we were extremely lucky and we saw one in the water.
We were snorkeling and suddenly a beautiful reef shark appeared from nowhere and passed a few meters away from us.
If sharks are the passion of your life, you can book a boat tour and go to more remote reefs where sharks gather and you can swim with them.
The feeling is unique and for sure you will remember this experience for many years; you will probably feel fear, anxiety, and gratefulness to be able to swim with these creatures.
Now that you know if is the Maldives sinking, you understand that you have to visit this island in the near future.
Once you go there, a wide range of water activities are available at the resort where you will stay.
Canoeing, kayaking, surfing, diving, snorkeling are just some of the water activities you have to try while in Maldives.
Generally, the prices for these watersports’ activities are quite accessible and some resorts offer one hour per day free of charge for non-motorized water sports like kayaking and canoeing.
You can go snorkeling with a guided tour or you can go on your own on the reefs that surround the island where you are staying.
The island where we were, on Kudafushi resort, is surrounded by coral reef and each day we snorkel in the morning and then in the afternoon free of charge.
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We saw an octopus, a Morena eel, an eagle ray, and an impressive number of fishes without paying any money.
When we took a snorkeling trip, we saw turtles and more colorful fishes, so definitely Maldives is one of the best places on Earth for watersports.
Try the local cuisine
Maldivean culture as well as its cuisine is very diverse and each nation that passed by a long time influenced the local cuisine.
Interesting influences from Indian, Sri Lankan, and even Arab and African cuisine can be found in Maldivian food.
On your trip to Maldives you definitely have to try their cuisine and especially the following preps:
- Bis keemiya that resembles me of Asian spring rolls
- Boshi mashuni or banana flower salad which is something between a salad and a salsa
- Garudhiya which is a fish soup
- Huni roshi the African famous chapati bread
- Saagu bondibai which is a delicious sago pudding
Stay in a water villa
Overwater villas are emblematic for the Maldivian islands and you definitely have to stay at least one night in such a unique villa.
Most of the island resorts have such villas with air conditioning, some of them come with a private pool, while others are simple villas overlooking the coral reef that surrounds the island.
You have your own private deck with sun chairs and a stair that descends directly into the ocean where you can admire the colorful fishes that live in the coral reef that surrounds the island.
From the deck of our water villa, we saw reef sharks and eagle rays and it was one of the coolest things we have ever experienced.
These villas come with pluses and minuses (if you are not a water lover) but you definitely have to stay here for a night to experience this Maldivian top attraction.
Our favorite one is the overwater villa from Soneva Jani Maldives that has an outstanding retractable roof and you can see the stars and the moon from your bedroom.
The best of these villas come not just with a private pool but also with an outdoor shower, which I have to tell you is the ultimate bathing experience I have ever had.
Bioluminescence is living organisms that emit light which is produced by the energy that is released from all kinds of chemical reactions that are produced inside these organisms.
The light that is produced by these microorganisms is their way to protect themselves against predators.
When the waves move the currents activate these lights so a natural light show displays in front of your eyes.
The beach, the ocean, and everything that is touched by these little creatures blinks under the clear sky.
This magnificent show is visible during certain periods of the month in Maldives and the best place to see it is in Raa Atoll.
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10. First aid kit
Dive into the beautiful coral reefs
Maldives is among the most beautiful places in the world where you can dive and get close to a wide range of marine creatures.
Diving in Maldives is a must-do experience and in the tour price, you have included the diving equipment so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Most of the resorts from Maldives organize scuba diving and snorkeling tours, and they know the best spots where you can see an impressive number of marine creatures.
Global warming affected the corals that surround the islands from the Maldivian archipelago, but there are still plenty of beautiful places where you can dive to admire the beauty of the ocean.
The answer given by experts to the question “Is the Maldives sinking” is yes, and they believe that by the end of the 21st century many islands and atolls from Maldives will disappear underwater.
Maldives is indeed one of the most beautiful destinations in the world and you definitely have to go and explore what these islands have to offer.
In recent years, the area around Male international airport has offered a wide range of guesthouses, so you don’t have to spend a fortune to explore this beautiful place.
Are the Maldives actually sinking?
The sea level is constantly changing but based on the experts in the last few years it has increased by about 5 centimeters.
The island resorts are in a constant battle with nature, and they do everything they can to protect their islands and the beautiful beaches that surround them.
Unfortunately, global warming causes not just an increase in the level of the sea but also in the sea temperature and this causes the death of many corals that surround and protect the Maldivian archipelago and this makes from Maldives a vulnerable country.
The strong marine currents and the violent natural phenomena cause coastal erosion so the Maldivian people are constantly fighting for each piece of white sand and use modern technology used all over the world for coastal protection.
They even consider building an artificial island around the capital Male, a small island where the airport and the residents should be moved if the Male island will sink because of rising seas.
How long does the Maldives have left?
Experts say that by 2100 the Maldives islands will be underwater, but the truth is that nobody knows for sure.
What is certain is that the water level is increasing, but the local authorities try their best to protect these islands and the beautiful coral reefs that surround them.
Are the Maldives in danger?
Based on the last report issued by NASA and U.S. Geological Survey, about 80% of the Maldivian islands will be underwater by 2050 and so they will become inhabitable because the sea level rises from one year to another.
Even the President of the Republic of Maldives once said that “Our islands are slowly being inundated by the sea, one by one”.
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.
You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.
Don't forget travel insurance
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.
We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.
Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.
We always rent our car from Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.
Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.
We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.
Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.
Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.