Maldives, officially the Republic of Maldives, is a small archipelagic state in the Indian subcontinent of Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean.
It lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 700 kilometres from the Asian continent’s mainland.
World’s biggest fish has its official sanctuaries in Maldives with 3 places along the archipelago.
The Maldives are one of the few places on Earth where Whale sharks can be encountered all year round.
Flattest country in the world
The Maldives is, without a doubt, the flattest country in the world, with an average altitude of 1.8 metres from the sea level.
The closest competitor to this claim is Qatar, with an average elevation of 28 metres, 26.2 metres more.
The Maldives is truly flat. Actually, the highest point in the entire country is 2.3 metres, which is at a point in Villingili Island.
In Maldives, alcohol is prohibited except in hotels and resorts.
Being an Islamic country, the country has strict regulations on importing and using products such as alcohol and pork.
One is free to drink the beer and wine provided at the resort or hotel bars, but it is strictly forbidden anywhere else.
Smallest Muslim country
Maldives is not only the smallest country in Asia but it also the world’s smallest Muslim country that is popular for its religious intolerance.
Written in the year 1997, The Maldives Constitution states that that its citizens must be Muslim, particularly and clearly forbidding following of any other religion.
Instead of Saturday and Sunday, weekends in the Maldives include Friday and Saturday, with the work week beginning on Sundays.
Fridays are considered the day of rest, which means public transportation and other government-run conveniences tend to be suspended until Saturdays.
In the 1800s, shells were used as a type of international trading currency, and the Maldives was full of them.
However, it had to be a specific type: the cowry shell.
Light, distinctive and impossible to forge, these shells had all the perfect traits for making money.
Endemic to the Indian Ocean, they were readily available in the Maldives and an entire shell-money trade sprang up around the islands.
The Maldives holds the Guinness World Record for the highest divorce rates in the world.
According to the UN, 10.97 in 1000 inhabitants get divorced in the Maldives every year.
Research also estimates that the average Maldivian woman has divorced three times by the time she reaches the age of 30.
Underwater cabinet meeting
In 2009, President Mohammed Nasheed and 13 other government officials donned SCUBA gear and sank 20 feet under water to sign a document calling on other countries to cut their carbon dioxide emissions.
This was to illustrate that as the lowest and flattest nation in the world, the Maldives would be tremendously affected by a rising sea level.
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