The Lowest Lying Country in The World

Interesting facts about the smallest country in the largest continent.

  • More commonly known as Maldives or Maldive Islands, the Republic of Maldives is an island country made up of 26 atolls covering a territory with 1,192 islets scattered across the equator in the Indian Ocean. Only 198 islands are inhabited by its 300,000 population.

  • In terms of both population and area, Maldives is the smallest country in Asia and the world’s smallest predominantly Muslim nation.

  • With an average ground level of 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is the lowest lying country in the world. It is also the country with the lowest highest point, at 2 m (7ft), situated in an unnamed spot in the Addu Atoll of Villingili Island.

image credit

image credit


photo by Shahee Ilyas

  • Global warming is believed to threaten the existence of Maldives. In fact, President Mohamed Nasheed announced in November 2008 the country’s plans to look into buying new lands in India, Sri Lanka and Australia, due to his concerns about the possibility of the islands being submerged underwater resulting from the rising of sea levels. If the UN climate change prediction about the 58 cm increase in sea levels by 2100 will come true, many of the islands will be wiped out.

  • A tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake  not only left many people homeless, but also caused irreversible damage to the environment, and altered the shapes and sizes of the islands resulting in a need to redraw the country’s map.

  • To help fight climate change, Maldives aims to be the first country in the world to become carbon-neutral as the president pledges that the country will be using renewable energy sources within a decade by switching to solar and wind power.

Bathala underwater by Rob Inh00d.

Bathala underwater by Rob Inh00d.
photos by Rob Inhood via Flickr

Snap of Snapper! by james_wicks.
photo by james wicks via Flickr

  • A 52 mm (6 in) layer of humus forms the top layer of soil on the islands. Underneath the humus are two feet of sandstone, followed by sand and then fresh water. Near the beach, flora is limited to a few plants due to the high levels of salt in the soil. More plants can be found in the interior of the island including mangrove and banyan.

  • Making up for the islands’ vegetation deficiency is the amazing wealth of coral reefs and marine life in the surrounding waters.

  • Since 1972, tourism has been the country’s biggest foreign currency earner and the single largest contributor to the GDP.

  • Submerged five meters somewhere below the waters of Maldives sits the world’s first all-glass undersea restaurant –Ithaa Underwater Restaurant.

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12 Responses to “The Lowest Lying Country in The World”
  1. Hazel Crowther Says...

    On August 3, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Very nice and lovely pictures.

  2. deep blue Says...

    On August 3, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Well written article. At least the Philippines isn’t that ill fated after all but if sea level’s rising would indeed progress 7,107 islands may have some islets to be sacrificed.

  3. lindalulu Says...

    On August 3, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    Nice article with some great photos!

  4. papaleng Says...

    On August 3, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    a pretty good article with great photos!

  5. willie wondka Says...

    On August 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    love those pictures, pretending i was there in the hot sun, paddling in the blue water.I wouldnt want to live there if they get seas as high as buildings come there way though.

  6. Monica Sarkar Says...

    On August 5, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Maldives is by far one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. Well written article.

  7. Anne McNew Says...

    On August 9, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    wow! excellent.

  8. CutestPrincess Says...

    On August 10, 2009 at 5:58 pm

    excellent article with attractive photos…

  9. maldives dive travel Says...

    On August 14, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    These pictures really captured the beauty and tranquility of the Maldives. Beautiful white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and fabulous dive sites.

  10. NickFord Says...

    On September 2, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Very nice photos

  11. Joshua Miguel Says...

    On September 2, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    very interesting place. i will include this place in my wish list. tnx

  12. Debbie Hezlewood Says...

    On April 13, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Wow, makes me want to visit the country even more. I don’t suppose you have any idea where that first picture is… that’s where I want to go for my ideal summer vacation!!

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