11 things you didn’t know about the Indian Ocean

Famed for  its idyllic beaches, crystal clear waters and year round sunshine, here are 11 facts you might not know about the Indian Ocean.

The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water in the world, consisting of 57 island groups

The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water in the world, consisting of 57 island groups

1. Around 36 species of whales and dolphins call the waters of the Indian Ocean home.

2. The country of the Maldives is 99% water.

3. The infamous pirate Olivier Le Vasseur is thought to have died leaving treasure worth €100,000 buried in the Seychelles.

4. The national snack of Madagascar is Koba, a patty of rice, banana and peanuts.

5. The legendary dodo was only ever found on the island of Mauritius. Despite becoming extinct less than 80 years after its discovery, it still remains on the country’s coat of arms.

6. The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water in the world accounting for 20% of the earth’s surface. It consists of 57 island groups, borders 16 African countries, 18 Asian countries and Australia.

7. The Maldives is made up of 1,190 coral islands making up 26 major atolls (the word ‘atoll’ comes from the Dhivehi – the Indo-Aryan language spoken in Maldives – it is the only word in English to derive from Dhivehi).

8. Madagascar is home to more than 250,000 different species of flora and fauna, over 70% of which are found nowhere else on earth.

9. The capital of the Seychelles, Victoria, is the smallest capital city in the world.

10. Mauritius is surrounded by more than 150km of idyllic white-sand beaches.

11. The giant tortoises of the Seychelles can live well over one hundred years. Jonathan, a giant tortoise who currently lives on Saint Helena, is thought to have been born in 1832.

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