The ‘Underwater Waterfalls’ Illusion at Mauritius Island
Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean, about 2,000 Km off the African coast, Mauritius is a major tourist destination Island that attracts thousands of tourists every year.
It enjoys a tropical climate with clear warm sea waters, beaches, tropical fauna and flora complemented by a multi-ethnic and cultural population.
At the south-west corner of the island lies one of the most stunning natural phenomenon: underwater waterfalls.
However, this spectacular sight is actually one of nature’s optical illusions.
So what exactly is this?
The island of Mauritius is actually one of the youngest island of the world.
It has been formed together with the other Mascarene Islands (Saind Brandton, Réunion, Rodrigues) by volcanic activities about 8 millions of years ago.
These islands have emerged as a result of gigantic underwater volcanic eruptions that happened thousands of km to the east of Madagascar.
The island now sits upon a Oceanic Plateau about 150 m deep which extend approximately 2,000 km from the Seychelles in the north to Réunion in the south. It covers an area of 115,000 km2 of shallow water with depts form with depths ranging from 8–150 m plunging to 4,000 m (13,000 ft) to the abyssal plain at its edges.
The flowing waterfall-like appearance, that can only be seen from above, is not actually the water itself falling.
It is, in fact, sand from the Mauritius beaches being forced off the Plateau by currents in the ocean.
So It’s really just the flow of underwater currents that create the dramatic image. The ocean water is spectacular from the shore, but to see this particular view requires a helicopter ride. Dedicate Tours are set up to enjoy the spectacular phenomena of the underwater waterfalls.
Check out http://helicoptersmauritius.com/ to organize your tour.
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