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There’s an underwater waterfall in this island nation

This stunning optical illusion is a sight to be seen

Underwater Waterfall
Myroslava Bozhko / Shutterstock

Situated in the Indian Ocean approximately 1,200 miles southeast of Africa, sits the gorgeous Mauritius. This picturesque country is known for its beautiful beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture. Mauritius is also home to one of the most captivating natural wonders on Earth– the Mauritius Underwater Waterfall. This beautiful optical illusion has fascinated visitors and travelers alike for years. 

Despite its name, this phenomenon isn’t actually a waterfall in the traditional sense. Instead, it’s an optical illusion created by sand and sediment deposits on the ocean floor, paired with the unique underwater topography of the area. 

The formation of the underwater waterfall

Underwater Waterfall
Lobachad / Shutterstock

How did the underwater waterfall in Mauritius come to be? Mauritius is a volcanic island that rises from the ocean floor. Along the southern coast of the island, there is a gradual slope that leads out to a sudden 2.5-mile drop all the way to the ocean floor. This dramatic underwater topography is the key to the creation of the “waterfall” effect.

As ocean currents move around the drop-off, sand and silt deposits along the coastal shelves spill off the edge of the underwater plateau, cascading down the steep drop-off. From above, the movement of this sediment creates the illusion of a flowing waterfall submerged beneath the surface of the ocean. 

Viewing the underwater waterfall

Of course, the underwater waterfall is not actually a waterfall, as water cannot fall through water. However, the optical illusion is still a breathtaking sight. If you are interested in visiting this natural wonder, you’ll have to take to the skies, as the attraction is best viewed from above the water’s surface. Helicopter tours are the most popular way for tourists to witness the Mauritius Underwater Waterfall, allowing them to get a bird’s-eye view of the cascading sediment.

Other attractions in Mauritius

Mauritius
wurliburli / Pixabay

In addition to the Mauritius Underwater Waterfall, there are several other fun things to do and places to explore in Mauritius. The country boasts a wide array of luxurious resorts and spas where travelers can relax and unwind with a spectacular view of the beach. Foodies can enjoy the delightful Mauritian cuisine, which is a blend of African, Chinese, European, and Indian influences.

If you’re looking for adventure, you can check out the Le Morne Cultural Landscape, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing a large basaltic monolith with a summit of 1,824 feet. You can also explore the country’s lush interior, which is home to exotic flora and fauna that you can’t find anywhere else.

Plan your trip to Mauritius today

Mauritius
stephencphotog / Pixabay

If you want to enjoy the iconic Mauritius Underwater Waterfall, then the best time to book your trip is from the months of May to December. These months coincide with the island’s dry and cooler season with lower humidity levels and minimal rainfall, making it ideal for outdoor activities.

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