Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean with beautiful beaches, lush flora and fauna, and some of the best diving sites in the world. This island is an up-and-coming dive site that has been awarded the leading dive destination in the Indian Ocean. It’s also home to the Mauritius underwater waterfall, an optical illusion of a waterfall pouring beneath the ocean’s surface.
Because this waterfall isn’t literally water pouring into water, it has an interesting backstory. Let’s dive into the tale of the underwater waterfall in Mauritius to see how this incredible illusion is created.
An underwater waterfall can be found off the coast of Mauritius, near the little island of Le Morne. This is one of the only waterfalls found in an ocean and is the most famous waterfall in Mauritius.
This Mauritius island waterfall is a natural illusion that can only be seen from the ocean’s top. Mauritius offers helicopter tours from Le Morne’s coast to show tourists the underwater waterfall illusion in its entirety.
This waterfall is perfect for practicing some extreme watersports, such as diving. You’ll be able to see a rich underwater life, some pretty interesting marine animals, and catch a glimpse of the flowing sand that creates the underwater waterfall.
Remember to take care of your physical wellness. As cool as scuba diving in an underwater waterfall sounds, it can still be hard on your body. Here are some tips on muscle recovery in athletes.
If you are interested in science or geography, this phenomenon would be perfect for you. And if you’re an avid scuba diver looking for a new experience, diving in Mauritius is one of the best places to experience some amazing sights.
What Is The Mauritius Underwater Waterfall?
So to start, you should know it is not an actual waterfall. That would be pretty cool, right? However, a waterfall is a body of flowing water, and you would not be able to see flowing water in water. In fact, the underwater waterfall is much more incredible.
This is a rare occurrence, as there are only about three other underwater waterfalls globally. One of these is the Denmark Strait Cataract. Located between Iceland and Greenland, this waterfall is 100 miles wide and plunges 11,500 feet from the Greenland sea into the Irminger sea below.
Another one is the Ceara Cataract. This waterfall is located in the North Atlantic Ocean between Africa and South America.
Finally, we have the Strait of Gibraltar Cataract. Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic Oceans, this waterfall is formed by the difference in salt levels between the two oceans.
However, the underwater waterfall in Mauritius is unique because it’s a natural illusion that can only be seen from the ocean’s top. Because of the crystal clear water in the turquoise lagoon, it’s possible to see through the water, which helps this phenomenon take place and is the key to unraveling the mystery of the underwater waterfall. This, in turn, makes it look like a waterfall in the ocean.
But unlike the other three underwater waterfalls, there is no flowing or moving water besides the natural currents.
It may seem to you that this waterfall is just a giant mystery. You’re probably incredibly confused because it’s called an underwater waterfall, but it’s not a waterfall, but it looks like one. Luckily there is an explanation for this phenomenon. It’s just basic science.
Where Can You Find This Underwater Waterfall on Mauritius Island?
Off the coast of Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, there is this enigmatic underwater waterfall. If you take a helicopter ride off the coast of the Le Morne Peninsula, make sure to look down at the turquoise lagoon. There you will see the gorgeous illusion of a waterfall flowing into the water. It is less than a mile away from the Ion Club Windsurf Center on Le Morne, and around 2.6 miles away from Le Morne beach.
But the question stands, what is the Mauritius island underwater waterfall actually?
How Is The Underwater Waterfall In Mauritius Formed?
Here is some science for our geography, geology, and physics nerds.
Mauritius is a young island compared to the rest of the world’s lands. It was formed around 8 million years ago. Mauritius, along with a few other islands, sits upon something called the Submarine Plateau, or Ocean Shelf. The Shelf is around 500 feet below sea level. However, the drop-off of the Shelf’s edge plunges over 2 miles into the abyss. Please stick with us; this is important.
So what’s happening in Mauritius isn’t water flowing into water, which most people would think of when they hear the word waterfall. Instead, there’s no significant temperature gradient, no continuous flow of water, and no meeting of multiple water sources. It is something else entirely.
What is the mystery of the Mauritius Underwater Waterfall?
This gorgeous illusion is nothing more than pure erosion. Sand from the beaches on Mauritius is being forced off the Ocean Shelf by the currents in the ocean. The water on top is see-through. However, where the Shelf ends, there is darker blue water. As the sand drops into the abyss, the color change creates the illusion of a waterfall in the ocean.
As mentioned, it can only be seen from the top. Luckily, Mauritius offers helicopter rides specifically so tourists can experience this gorgeous phenomenon. But you don’t have to fly over it to experience the wonder this waterfall has to offer. Scuba diving has become an exciting and popular activity to do as the marine life and sights around the waterfall are extremely interesting.
Mauritius Underwater Waterfall Diving as An Activity
Le Morne’s tropical marine climate, rich flora, and exotic fauna make it a perfect place to go diving. There’s a rich underwater life to be found under the water and around the underwater waterfall. The water is bath-like, and the weather is pleasant all year round, making it an excellent place for beginner or recreational scuba divers.
You can find bull sharks at the Pass St. Jacques and see the historic Hoi Siong No 6, where barracuda regularly patrol.
In the turquoise lagoon where the waterfall is located, watch scorpionfish, white tip sharks, and eagle rays. Experience the flowing sand that creates the Mauritius waterfall illusion from different angles under the water.
Of course, you won’t be able to see the waterfall from a diver’s perspective, as the illusion is seen explicitly from the top. However, it’s still fascinating to get a closer look at the science that creates this phenomenon. You will need to know exactly where the waterfall is located, though, as the sand mixes with the water, and you’ll need to get close.
Diving isn’t the only thing you can do safely near the waterfall. You can also try out some kite surfing on the surface.
The Mauritius Underwater Waterfall Illusion – Is It Worth It?
The gorgeous illusion of an underwater waterfall in Mauritius has been named one of the most exciting places to go diving. With its rich aquatic life and fascinating marine animals, you will not have a dull moment. It is definitely worth going at least once.
Like with any other diving experience, it’s important to know the dangers of scuba diving and how to stay safe. And most importantly, have fun experiencing the phenomenon of the Mauritius underwater waterfall.