MAURITIUS is well known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs; but at one corner of the island there is a breath-taking sight that appears to defy the laws of physics, one of the most stunning natural phenomenons – an underwater waterfall.
Mauritius: This stunning underwater waterfall is actually an optical illusion. Credit @fabouls
However, this spectacular sight is actually one of nature’s optical illusions.
So what exactly is this?
Mauritius is one of the younger islands on this planet, formed by volcanic activity under the ocean billions of years ago.
The island now sits upon a Submarine Plateau or Ocean Shelf – a region that rises above the ambient seabed level.
According to an expert on kuoni.co.uk, the shelf, which is the largest in the world, is no deeper than 150 metres below sea level.
However, there is also a so called ‘drop-off’, which is the point past the shelf’s edge.
This plunges to depths of more than 4,000 metres into an unknown abyss.And 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 shelf by currents in the ocean.
This underwater waterfall is not the only natural phenomenon that has baffled travellers.