Plant and animal world

Plant and animal world

Travelers have always admired bright colors and diversity of plants on Maldivian islands. The queen of local flora is a coconut palm. It can be found all around on islands and it generously provide everyone with soft fruit and sweet milk. There can also be found breadfruit, pandani and banyan trees with roots pending to the ground, evergreen mangroves, bamboo, decorative kinds of eucalyptus and blossoming bushes along the sea line.

Resort islands exhale rose fragrance. The country abounds with roses, for this flower is a national symbol of Maldivian Republic equally to a coconut palm. Here one can meet sunny buds of althaea, along with pink plumerias, exhaling soft sweet scents. Streets of the capital are decorated with hibiscus and orchids. Abundance of fruit awake appetite. Here you can treat yourself with papaya, mango, pineapples, lime, water melon – everything you can imagine!

Seagulls and sea swallows took fancy in Maldives long ago, their tweets can often be heard in the morning times. Coral reefs are inhabited with snipes and herons, there also nestles one of the most beautiful birds,sea firigatebird. Local people have a lot of affection to small noisy pink parrots and bright-colored song-birds; gallinules could be met everywhere.

At nighttime seacoast gets invaded with amphibian crabs and also uca crabs with scarlet and light-blue pincers, while their orange brothers dig holes at tree footing. Overwhelming views are hidden underwater. Marvelous lagoons, unseen fish and corals gained millions of divers’ hearts. Maldives riches can not be compared but to Philippines, though this place has a special relief, filled with weed bed and caves, crowded with plenty of motley fish.

Corals are very fragile and diverse, yet you’d better avoid contact with them, for you can get seriously burnt. Some corals look like deer corns, they expand to entire platforms and become a shelter for tiny fish; others have a shape of a half-round hat, scattered with floating “daisies”, that is polyps. Blue corals are totally safe, and ginger-colored ones cause painful burns. At night they come to life, and open into thousands of “bird feathers”, opening to a curious eye a completely different world, full of secrets and mysteries.

Yet, even burning protection doesn’t keep corals safe from greedy starfish with poetic name of “a crown of thorns”. Growing up to 50 cm in diameter, this star is capable to swallow a brush of corals. In the depth of ocean waters one can meet a great number of amazing creatures: cake urchin, and sea cucumber, or so-called “trepang”, that Japanese prefer for their soup. Ocean bed jewelery is yellow and red sea lilly crinoidea, its arms remind of feathers.

Maldivian waters are inhabited by more than 1000 kinds of fish, and you are going to meet half of them during your diving. You will meet for sure a humphead wrasse and sharks, and with a bit of luck, you’ll see an amazing blanket fish. Try and restrain temptation to feed see inhabitants, because those sweet teeth often die from such a care, and moray eels become dangerously aggressive and voracious. It is fun to see puffer fish blow when you drag its tail. But remember – those tricks shorten its life.

Impressive turtles also get scared when meeting people, they quit shore for deep ocean waters and die from lack of oxygen in fear to swim to the surface and make a swallow of air.

Once you plunge, you become a witness of underwater ballet, where the main role is played by monochromatic striped fish sweetlips, they can be met at depth of 2 to 40 meters. Near rock shelters and levels of reef shores there dwell leopard moray eels, and astonishing trick-fish gets white in case of danger. You’ll be blinded with bright yellow and black stripes and purple fins of royal angelfish, and Emperor fish is dressed into a royal powder-blue rigs with yellow stripes. Roosterfish shows-off its sharp fin, and pretty predator parrot fish bites corals in search of polyps – it is because of its appetites that Maldivian beaches are covered with white carpet of snow-white sands.

If you feel that someone’s dragging you by your fin, don’t panic – it’s a trigger fish letting you know that you have occupied its territory. The only one you should be worried about is a shark with black fins that are often passing along reefs. Their white-fin sisters chase at night, but their gray gracious brothers who gather into shivers and patrol reef shores are known for hard character. Sandy sea bottom is a place of rest for nurse sharks, and whale sharks, despite of their giant size, are entirely harmless, as they feed on plankton.

You’d better aware of rays – in case of danger they hit with tier tail like a whip, and such a wound can provoke sepsis. The most astonishing ray is 17 ft long devil fish with black back and spotted belly. It is entirely harmless and it’s a chance to meet it. Movements of this blanket fish remind of a flight of some giant bird, and if it is in a good mood, it can even play with you!

Categories: Maldives