The Atolls

The islands of the Maldives are spread over 26 atolls. Here, most of the islands and most of the tourist islands series (up to a few exceptions) annularly around the large lagoon of each atoll, like the pearls of a pearl necklace. These atolls always have a more or less annular structure which can be observed best from a great height. The ring-shaped atolls of the Maldives are the largest of the Earth and they are considered to support the the theory of atoll formation in geology.

The Genesis

Considered as the originating theory of the atolls it is assumed that in ancient times islands with volcanoes sank slowly down the ocean and settled the reef corals on top of the circular volcanic cone. The growth of corals could almost keep up with the sinking of the islands, and a huge coral reef began to incur. After the complete disappearance of the island of the atoll ring stayed as the only remaining and is still visible today. At boreholes a in 1842 expressed theory by C. Darwin could be confirmed, but so far not in the Maldives.

Formation of the Reefs

Here is more likely suspected that a larger land mass, the so-called Maldivian back, also sank into the sea and could develop a growth of corals here. The round shape explained theories whose truthfulness, however, more on speculation than based on facts. Fact is that the growth of a complete coral reef, no matter what shape it is, takes an enormously long time, the oldest detectable reef needed for this almost 50 million years.

Kandus – Reef Openings

So that an island or an atoll can ever be reached by boat, this ring around the island or even the big atoll ring needs to have a breakthrough somewhere. The previously already mentioned kandus or reef openings are usually already made ​​by nature, but often they had to be enlarged or artificially created. In order to to find this passage even in bad weather or for those who are unfamiliar with this area, they were provided with markings on sometimes very original way. If a boat has passed this mark secure and calm water has been reached.