Indian oceanic underwater “Waterfall” in Mauritius

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A breathtaking scene appears to defy the rules of physics in the southwest corner of the beautiful island of Mauritius. We attempt to explain the underwater waterfall phenomena here.

Underwater Waterfall located in Southwest corner of Mauritius Islands

So, first and foremost, we should be clear that this is not a flowing waterfall beneath the ocean, but rather a beautiful optical illusion explained by the Indian Ocean’s interesting geological past.

Mauritius is a young island in comparison to the rest of the planet, having developed roughly 8 million years ago (to put that into context, Earth itself is 500 times as old – at around 4.6 billion years). The island, like other islands such as La Reunion Island, was formed by volcanic action beneath the water.

This set of islands is today known as a Submarine Plateau or Ocean Shelf. This shelf, which is only 150 metres below sea level, is the world’s biggest of its sort. The ‘drop-off’ of this shelf’s edge, on the other hand, plunges to depths of almost 4000 metres into the abyss. The sand from the beautiful Mauritius beaches being forced off the plateau by oceanic currents is what you see in these incredible images, not the falling water.

While this spectacular illusion can only be seen from the skies via seaplane, it is not the only wonder of this region of Mauritius that the volcanoes of the past have offered for us. There are several spectacular natural vistas to see, ranging from far above the coastlines atop Le Morne Mountain to the growing coral reefs beneath the waterfall itself.

The laid-back and effortlessly chic LUX* Le Morne resort is well positioned in the shadow of Le Morne. You’ll be delighted with the renowned LUX* service as well as subtle surprises during your stay at this modern five-star hotel. The ocean views from the exclusive-use treehouse high in an Indian Almond tree, the dreamiest setting for a golden hour cocktail, are not to be missed.

Want to stay active? Take a trek up Le Morne from the hotel to witness the unrivalled view of the reef (and even part of the waterfall) from the 500-metre top. If you’re not afraid of heights, try yoga on the beach or go paddle boarding or kayaking.

As exciting as all of this might be, there are moments when you just need to unplug and unwind. On the LUX private island, Ile Des Deux Cocos, you can live out your castaway fantasies by snorkelling with exotic fish in the protected marine reserve and feasting on boat-fresh seafood. Alternatively, you may choose to visit the LUX* ME spa, where you may thoroughly relax with a signature ritual or mood-enhancing treatment; we recommend the bamboo massage.

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