Where is Maldives located? It’s a question on many peoples’ minds since it’s such a remote and mysterious island nation. The Republic of Maldives comprises some 1190 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls and spread out in the north-south direction, covering an area of 90,000 square kilometres in the Indian Ocean. The islands of Maldives are often considered one of the most dispersed countries in the world.
To start with where is Maldives located, you must know that it lies between the latitudes 1°S and 8°N and longitudes 72° and 74°E. It is located on the Indian Ocean towards the south of Lakshwadeep Islands of India. It lies towards the west of Sri Lanka and extends some 823 kilometres. Since, the island is located very close to the equator, the country experiences a hot and humid climate.
The formation of atolls and islands are really interesting for geologists. The atolls are made of sand bars and living coral reefs located on top of a submarine ridge of 960 kilometres running north to south surfacing in the form of random tiny islands. Towards the south end of this coral ridge, there are two open ways, for navigation of ships from the Indian Ocean side. The government of the Maldives has divided these atolls into twenty-one administrative divisions. Gan Island of the Hahdhummathi or Laamu Atoll is the largest island of the Maldives.
The coral reef is made of coral remains as well as live corals. This reef is kind of natural barrier against sea and almost all islands have their own reef, which acts as protective barrier. The reef protects the islands from any kind of natural disasters like high waves and storms coming from the Indian Ocean.
The high level of salt in the soil near beaches restricts the vegetation to flowering plants, shrubs and small hedges while the interior of the island can have banyan and mangroves. Coconut palms grow almost everywhere and it is considered the national tree. Vegetation in the Maldives may be fairly limited but marine life is abundant, with some species that form very important commercial resource of the country. Tuna fisheries are abundant and are an important part of the economy. Other ingredients of the diverse sea life include Eagle ray, Manta rays and Stingrays. The Maldives water is the right place to spot whale sharks too.