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Want to see a place so beautiful it defies reality? The Maldives, a small island chain in the middle of the Indian Ocean, is so spectacular that it will forever elevate your standards for what qualifies as 'beautiful.' Here's a little taste of the paradise that awaits you.

1. The Bluest Water You'll Ever See

You haven't seen blue water until you've seen the warm, azure shallows that hug the Maldives. It's crystal clear and calm as can be. The only waves come from ferries and other watercraft; otherwise, you might just believe you were in a massive swimming pool.

Not only will you be able to swim in the waters for hours on end without tiring of it, you'll capture some brilliant photos that will resemble computer wallpapers because they're so surreal.

Shallow water, Maldives

2. It Might Not Be Around Forever

Why do all the good things in life have to come to end? Perhaps that's a deeper question for another time, but sadly, experts don't think the Maldives will be around forever either.

The islands sit only two meters above sea level on average, and since scientists predict elevating sea levels due to climate change and melting polar caps, the Maldives might be completely submerged beneath the water within 30 years.

That means this entirely otherworldly, gorgeous archipelago might cease to exist. That fact alone makes the Maldives a must-see destination and sooner rather than later!

3. The Reefs Are Changing

Part of the appeal in visiting the Maldives is the underwater wildlife and the massive coral reefs. But, unfortunately, that might be yet another treasure with an expiry date.

Recent years have not been kind to the reefs, with much of them being affected by coral bleaching, a devastating process caused by pollution and rising global temperatures. Basically, it causes the the reefs go from bright, vibrant natural wonders to bland, colorless shells of what they used to be. It is sometimes reversible, but the onset of bleaching indicates that the coral is in the process of starving to death.

As you can imagine, this has a terrible impact on the rest of the marine ecosystem.

Shipwreck in shaloow water
Vaavuu Atoll, Maldives./Unsplash / Ishan @seefromthesky

4. Bora Bora Isn't The Only Place With These Amazing Hotels

When you think of staying in an overwater bungalow, Bora Bora will likely come to mind. There's no possible way to be negative about Bora Bora, but what we will say is that the Maldives gives it a real run for its money.

With some of the nicest overwater resorts you'll ever see, the Maldives takes living with nature to another level.

The Taj Exotica Resort and Spa in the Maldives takes heavenly villages made with wood finishes and palm-thatched roofs, and combines them with incomparable views of the Indian Ocean. The bathrooms even have glass walls so that you can gaze into the sea while you pretty yourself or take care of your daily ablutions.

Taj Exotica Resort And Spa
Taj Exotica Resort And Spa. Flickr / Wicker Paradise

5. Stars In The Ocean

It's difficult to list all of the magnificent sights and natural wonders you'll see on a trip to the Maldives, but one of the most captivating are the bioluminescent phytoplankton that you'll see in the waters at Vaadhoo Island. They emit a dazzling otherworldly blue glow that makes it look like you're seeing a sky full of stars in the ocean.

This is one of the rarest phenomena that you'll witness in your entire life, and it's yet another thing that makes the Maldives truly one-of-a-kind.

Phytoplankton light up the beach,  Vaadhoo Island.
Phytoplankton light up the beach, Vaadhoo Island. Source.

6. Home To Some Of The Best Diving In The World

It's literally in the name, so you have to know that diving is a huge attraction in the Maldives.

One of the best spots is Maaya Thila, an outlying shallow reef that gives adventurous folk the opportunity to swim with whale sharks, behemoths that can grow to be 46 feet long and weigh up to 15 tons.

Maaya Thila also has hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, and even white tips, and has been called one of the best diving spots in the world.

7. The Jetties

You'll know you've arrived in heaven on earth when the seaplane arrives at your "jettie" (pronounced jet-ee) one of the long wooden walkways that extend into the ocean and act as the drop point for passengers about to start their vacations.

The jetties serve as the gateway between the ocean and the land, and that's really what the Maldives are: a perfect blending of land and sea.

Jetty over the ocean
Jetty over the ocean./Flickr / Mac Qin

8. Fresh Fruit Like You've Never Had Before

You might think you know what fresh fruit is, but you don't truly know until you've sampled some of the wares from a roadside market in Malé. It's the capital city of the Maldives, and it offers some of the most colorful, flavorful fruits that you'll ever get your hands on.

The bright colors alone will immediately show you the difference between plain old fruit and Maldives fruit.

9. Sheer Number Of Islands

About 1,200 islands make up the Maldives, yet only around 200 of them are inhabited. You'll experience a lot of variety between the islands.

Maafushi, one of the largest islands, is famous for its shopping street, where you can stock up on artisanal items. Many of the islets are known for something distinct: Kandolhu is known for its fantastic restaurants, Biyadhoo for its fine diving.

Spend some time in the Maldives and comes home a changed person. Luxuriate in beauty, and peace, and the never-ending blue of the Indian Ocean!

Hotel floating on the water, Maldives
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