In 2012, I wrote about the tiny Indian Ocean atoll of Villingili, home to an eight-foot rise that had been measured as the highest point on any of the thousand Maldive islands. At the time, I noted that this made the Maldives archipelago the world’s flattest nation—that is, the one that had the lowest high point in the world. But we no longer know that this is true.
Every known inch of the Maldives was just a few feet above the waves.
More than 99 percent of Maldive territory is open ocean; its dry land formed from 26 small coral atolls. In fact, our English word “atoll” comes from atholhu, the Maldivian word for a grouping of islands. Villingili is a small island in the southwest corner of the Addu Atoll, and it was uninhabited for many years. A sand dune there was long listed as the nation’s highest point—even though this “mountain” was lower than a basketball rim.
Golfers in the Maldives are also mountain climbers.
But in recent years, a 132-villa resort and spa opened up on Villingili, and jungles were cleared for the island’s only golf course. In 2013, the Shangri-la Villingili Resort & Spa announced that a small mound on the golf course had been measured at a towering 16 feet above sea level, twice the elevation of the previous highpoint. When guests tee off at the fifth hole, they may not know it, but they’ve actually scaled the highest point in the country.
Full details are available from the link below:
Source URL: Google News