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.
The Maldives is a special country because it is made up of 1,192 islands.
These islands are grouped together in 26 different areas, and there are about 670,000 people who live there.
Some of the Maldivian islands are not lived on by people. Some of the islands are owned by resorts.
These resorts are famous for their water villas and private pools that overlook a coral reef full of colorful fishes.
There are not many island countries in the world, but Maldives is one of them.
It is definitely one of the most beautiful and luxurious places I have ever seen.
Around 30 years ago, people did not know about these islands.
But starting with 1972, the government decided that tourism might be a better way to make money than fishing.
So, the government changed their policy and started to tell people that Maldives is a paradise on earth.
They advertise Maldives as a place where you can be close to nature and the ocean.
And now, after 30-40 years, Maldives is one of the most popular places people want to visit.
It is a paradise for people who love the beach, for honeymooners, and for people who like water sports.
Is the Maldives sinking?
And the next question that appears in your mind is “are the Maldives islands sinking”?
At the end of the 21st century, Maldives, Fiji, Palau, Riposolomon islands and others will be submerged.
The main reason the climate is changing is because of global warming. This is caused by things called greenhouse gas emissions.
These are out of control in many places on Earth.
Local authorities and international scientists work hard to find ways to protect these beautiful places.
Unfortunately, for some of the islands and atolls might already be too late.
Climate change is a big problem. We need to do something to stop it. We have to pollute less and put fewer greenhouse gases into the air.
If we don’t, the oceans will keep rising.
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.
The volcano slowly became covered by water and sunk lower into the ocean.
The corals began to grow and populate the area, forming the protective reef that surrounds the archipelago today.
Over time, the reef grows taller and becomes a barrier. This forms many lagoons inside the reef.
These lagoons are perfect homes for many marine creatures.
The reef surrounds the islands, making them inaccessible to cruise boats.
The only way to get to these islands is by seaplane or speedboat.
These things called “barriers of reef” also help protect the islands from tsunamis and other bad weather.
This protects the people who 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. There are no tsunamis or typhoons.
In the last years, even though the sea level increased by 5 cm, no severe threats have been addressed to the islands.
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Relax on the white sandy beaches
The islands of Maldives have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
They are famous for their stunning scenery and bright blue waters.
From your beach villa, you can go right onto the beach. The sand is white and there are lots of plants around.
The beach leads right into the sea.
The temperatures in this place are always the same, between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius.
This is a good place to take a bath and then lay on the beach. The beach has white sand.
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 reef sharks.
You don’t need to go deep into the ocean to see them, which is good.
I saw them from the deck of my water villa and it was a moment that I will remember forever.
Even though the reef sharks are not dangerous, it was still amazing to see it swimming below me from the deck.
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 you love sharks, you can go on a boat tour to see them.
You will go to places where there are a lot of sharks. You can even swim with them if you want to.
The feeling is unlike anything else and you will definitely remember the experience for years to come.
You might feel scared, nervous, and grateful all at the same time 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 not too expensive.
Most resorts offer one hour per day free of charge for non-motorized water sports like kayaking and canoeing.
You can go snorkeling with a tour guide or you can go on your own to see the reefs around 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.
We saw turtles and lots of colorful fish when we went snorkeling in Maldives.
This makes it one of the best places on Earth for watersports.
Try the local cuisine
The Maldives has a very diverse culture, and this is reflected in its cuisine.
Over the years, many different nations have 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.
These are the new essentials you have to pack for your trip
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.