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The Maldivian archipelago
The Maldives, a chain of 19 groups of islands, lie southwest from India and Sri Lanka in the Indian ocean. About 2000 Coral islands form the 26 atolls, for approximately 200 of them are inhabited.
The Maldives are a tectonically unique feature. Like beautiful, mysterious jewels they raise from the deep blue of the Indian ocean and form this dream for snorklers, divers and beach lovers.
The Coral Reef
The Maldives are islands, built from corals. Without these corals there would be no islands. These islands from limestone, formed by a living organism, were formed of millions polyps in thousands of years. These polyps are so small that you are not able to see them. The coral reef is beside the tropical rain forest the most complex ecological system of the earth. More than 100,000 kinds of animal live here. The corals are the central component of this biotope.
In the Maldives archipelago there are most atolls of our earth, whereby the Huvadhoo atoll is in the south with an expansion of 2.240 km2 the largest of the world. The internal lagoon of this Atolls is 70 km long, 53 km broad and 86 m wide. The government of the Maldives recognized that the protection of this unique nature miracle has highest priority.
One looks for mountains or rivers in vain on the Maldives, the islands lies scarcely 2 meters over the sea level. The Maldives are situated at the equator. The climate is tropical and without considerable seasonal differences.
Most of the larger islands have a sumptuous, tropical vegetation, while the smaller islands however consist often only sand and coral banks. All islands are surrounded by reefs and enclosed by a lagoon.
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