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New 7 Wonders of Nature Nominees

 

 

 

New 7 Natural Wonders of the World

New Seven Wonders of Nature-One of 28 nominees. Winners will be announced in 2011.

 

Maldives
Indian Ocean
New Seven Wonders of Nature
Maldives are an independent island nation consisting of a chain of about 1,200 small coral islands and sandbanks (some 200 of which are inhabited), grouped in clusters, or atolls, in the Indian Ocean. The islands extend more than 510 miles (820 km) from north to south and 80 miles (130 km) from east to west.[2]
Maldives Slideshow
Addu Atoll is the southernmost atoll of the Maldives.[1]

 

The Maldives or Maldive Islands, officially the Republic of Maldives, is an island country consisting of a group of atolls stretching south of India's Lakshadweep islands between Minicoy Island and the Chagos Archipelago, and about seven hundred kilometres (435 mi) south-west of Sri Lanka in the Laccadive Sea of Indian Ocean. The twenty-six atolls of Maldives encompass a territory featuring 1,192 islets, of which two hundred islands are inhabited.

The original inhabitants were Buddhist, probably since Ashoka's period,[citation needed] in the 3rd century BC. Islam was introduced in 1153. The Maldives then came under the influence of the Portuguese (1558) and the Dutch (1654) seaborne empires. In 1887 it became a British protectorate. In 1965, the Maldives obtained independence from Britain (originally under the name "Maldive Islands"), and in 1968 the Sultanate was replaced by a Republic.

The Maldives is the smallest Asian country in terms of both population and area; it is the smallest predominantly Muslim nation in the world. With an average ground level of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) above sea level, it is also the country with the lowest highest point in the world, at 2.3 metres (7 ft 7 in).

The Maldives holds the record for being the lowest country in the world, with a maximum natural ground level of only 2.3 m (7½ ft) with the average being only 1.5 m above sea level, though in areas where construction exists this has been increased to several metres. Over the last century, sea levels have risen about 20 centimetres (8 in);[citation needed] further rises of the ocean could threaten the existence of Maldives. However, around 1970 the sea level there dropped 20-30 cm. In November 2008, President Mohamed Nasheed announced plans to look into purchasing new land in India, Sri Lanka, and Australia, due to his concerns about global warming and the possibility of much of the islands being inundated with water from rising sea levels. Current estimates place sea level rise at 59 cm by the year 2100. The purchase of land will be made from a fund generated by tourism. The President has explained his intentions, saying "We do not want to leave the Maldives, but we also do not want to be climate refugees living in tents for decades".

A tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake caused serious damage to the socioeconomic infrastructure which left many people homeless, and irreversible damage to the environment. After the disaster, cartographers are planning to redraw the maps of the islands due to alterations caused by the tsunami.

Wikinews has related news: Maldives to become the world's first carbon-neutral country
On 22 April 2008, then Maldives President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom pleaded for a cut in global greenhouse gas emissions, warning that rising sea levels could submerge the island nation of Maldives. In 2009, subsequent president Mohamed Nasheed pledged to make the Maldives carbon-neutral within a decade by moving to solar and wind power.
The reef is composed of coral debris and living coral. This acts as a natural barrier against the sea, forming lagoons. Other islands, set at a distance and parallel to the reef, have their own protective fringe of reef. An opening in the surrounding coral barrier allows access to the calmer lagoon waters.

The barrier reefs of the islands protect them from the storms and high waves of the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean has a great effect on the climate of the country by acting as a heat buffer, absorbing, storing, and slowly releasing the tropical heat. The heat is further mitigated by cool sea breezes.

A layer of humus 152-millimetre (6.0 in) -thick forms the top layer of soil on the islands. Below the humus layer are two feet of sandstone, followed by sand and then fresh water. Due to high levels of salt in the soil near the beach, vegetation is limited there to a few plants such as shrubs, flowering plants, and small hedges. In the interior of the island, more vegetation such as mangrove and banyan grow. Coconut palms, the national tree, are able to grow almost everywhere on the islands and are integral to the lifestyle of the natives.

The limited vegetation is supplemented by the abundance of coral reefs and marine life.[3]

Meeru Island

 

JNOATHOME
June 14, 2009

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28 finalists-7 winners will be announced in 2011

 

 

References
 
1. Flickr-Maldives-Creative Commons Attribution License-retrieved 7/26/2009
2. "Maldives." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.
3.  Wikipedia-Maldives retrieved 7/26/2009
 
Wikipedia  text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

 

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