Is It Safe To Swim And Dive In The Maldives?: Are There Great White Sharks?

For many people, the Maldives is their dream holiday destination. It is a place that many people have on their bucket list, and it is easy to see why.

The Maldives is a truly beautiful location, offering peace, relaxation, and access to nature that you wouldn’t get anywhere else in the world.

Is It Safe To Swim And Dive In The Maldives Are There Great White Sharks

You only have to see the bright blue ocean that surrounds the Maldives to want to go swimming there.

However, due to the location of the Maldives, it is understandable that you might be worried about the creatures that reside there. In particular, you might be concerned about sharks. 

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at whether, or not, it is safe to swim and dive in the Maldives.

We’ll also be taking a look at if there are great white sharks in the Maldives (spoiler alert: there aren’t). So, if you want to find out more, keep on reading!

Are There Great White Sharks In The Maldives?

Well, let’s get the big question out of the way first and find out if there are great white sharks in the Maldives.

Well, as we have said, no there are no great white sharks in the Maldives, and there is one reason behind this: the temperature. 

Great white sharks are sharks that prefer cooler waters. If you have ever done any research into the Maldives, then you will know that the water surrounding this area definitely isn’t cool.

Generally, the water surrounding the Maldives tends to be around 28-30 degrees Celsius (or 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit) which is far too warm for great white sharks. 

Great white sharks prefer cooler temperatures for the water that they swim in between 12 degrees and 24 degrees Celsius (or 54 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit).

For this reason, you generally will not see great white sharks in the Maldives. But you will see other sharks in the Maldives. So, let’s find out more about them. 

What Sharks Can You See In The Maldives? (25 Types)

As we have said, there aren’t any great white sharks in the Maldives because the temperature of the water there is too warm for great whites.

However, there are a number of other sharks that do reside in the water off of the Maldives. In fact, there are more than 25 different types of sharks that you might see in the Maldives, so let’s take a look at what they are. 

If you have ever wanted to go swimming with sharks, then the Maldives is a great place to visit.

As we have said there are more than 25 types of sharks that reside near the Maldives, so you have an excellent chance of seeing sharks while you are on your trip.

There are a number of different sharks that you can see while swimming, and a lot that you can go scuba diving with too. 

There are some sharks that you can see in the Maldives frequently, and there are others that swim in these oceans more rarely.

There are usually lots of baby reef sharks in the shallow waters surrounding the Maldives. There are also hammerhead, blacktip and whitetip reef, nurse sharks, and oceanic white tips too. 

But these are just a handful of the sharks that you might encounter in the Maldives. Here’s a list of 25 sharks that you might encounter in the Maldives:

What Sharks Can You See In The Maldives? (25 Types)
  1. Gray reef shark
  2. Blacktip reef shark
  3. Whitetip reef shark
  4. Oceanic whitetip shark
  5. Nurse shark
  6. Tawny nurse shark
  7. Bull shark
  8. Whale shark
  9. Leopard shark
  10. Tiger shark
  11. Hammerhead shark
  12. Bignose shark
  13. Kitefin shark
  14. Zebra shark
  15. Sliteye shark
  16. Arabian smooth-hound shark
  17. Bigeye thresher shark
  18. Pelagic thresher shark
  19. Silvertip shark
  20. Lemon shark
  21. Silky shark
  22. Spot-tail shark
  23. Smalltooth sand tiger shark
  24. Star Spotted smooth-hound shark
  25. Sharpnose sevengill shark

Are There Bull Sharks?

One shark that might have stood out on the list for you is the bull shark. Once people find out that there aren’t any great white sharks in the Maldives, the next shark that they tend to ask about is the bull shark.

Bull sharks are a species of shark that are fairly similar to great whites, and a lot of people do get them mixed up. But bull sharks are a completely different species of shark to great whites.

Unlike great white sharks, bull sharks live in warmer waters. Bull sharks tend to reside near Sri Lanka and the east African coast. So, it makes sense that you can also find them in the Maldives too.

Are There Dangerous Sharks In The Maldives?

Now that we have taken a look at the types of sharks that reside in the Maldives, let’s take a look at whether, or not, any of these sharks are actually dangerous.

After all, if you are spending a lot of money on a trip to the Maldives, you want to know if you are going to be at risk at any point during the trip. So, are there any dangerous species of sharks in the Maldives?

Generally speaking, no, the sharks that reside in the Maldives are not dangerous. It goes without saying that all sharks can be dangerous when provoked.

Even the most gentle of sharks can lash out when they are provoked. So, if you were to touch a shark, or if a human were to actively hunt them, then they will likely lash out.

But as long as you do not invade a shark’s space, then generally the sharks in the Maldives are not dangerous. 

Are There Big Sharks In The Maldives?

As you can see, there are a lot of different sharks that reside in the ocean that surrounds the Maldives.

Before you go on your trip, it is likely that you might want to learn more about these sharks, just so you know what to expect. So, are there big sharks in the Maldives?

Yes, there are big sharks in the Maldives. Among the list of sharks that we have just looked at, there are a number of larger species. Most notable is the whale shark.

The whale shark is the largest species of shark on the planet, and they can measure up to 18.8 meters in length. They are filter feeding sharks and are pretty much harmless, unless you are a plankton, but they are massive. 

Along with whale sharks, there are some other large sharks that reside in the Maldives. This includes hammerhead sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and nurse sharks.

Occasionally, bull sharks will also swim in the water surrounding the Maldives, so they are another large species to watch out for. 

Is It Safe To Swim And Dive In The Maldives?

Is It Safe To Swim And Dive In The Maldives?

So, there are lots of different species of sharks that live in the water surrounding the Maldives, and this might have you wondering if it is safe to swim and dive in this water.

As we have established, the sharks that swim in the waters surrounding the Maldives are generally harmless, so, yes, you can swim and dive in the Maldives. 

However, while you do not need to worry about the sharks in the water, you should be wary of the water itself.

Some of the ocean surrounding the Maldives has extremely strong tidal currents, and this water is responsible for a number of deaths every year. 

So, before you go swimming in the sea, you should take advice from those who know the area well. It isn’t the sharks that you need to worry about, it is the water itself. 

Have There Been Shark Attacks In The Maldives?

We have told you that the sharks that swim in the water surrounding the Maldives aren’t dangerous to humans, but just in case you didn’t believe us, let’s take a look at whether, or not, there have been shark attacks in the Maldives. 

In all the years that records have been kept about shark attacks, there hasn’t been a single-recorded shark attack in the Maldives.

While these waters are popular among the shark population, the only creatures that these sharks pose a threat to is their prey. When it comes to human beings, they generally tend to stay away. 

If you want the ability to see sharks in their natural habitat, while also feeling safe, the Maldives is one of the best locations to visit. 

How Close To The Maldives Are There Great White Sharks?

A lot of people are disappointed to hear that the Maldives isn’t home to great white sharks.

After all, this area has a large shark population, so a lot of people assume that great white sharks will live in this area too. However, great white sharks have never been sighted in the Maldives. 

Marine biologists track the behavior of great white sharks regularly through tagging, and this has allowed them to pinpoint the closest that a great white has got to the Maldives.

Back in 2012, a great white known as Kathryn pinged just 650 kilometers away from the Maldives in Chagos Archipelago.

This is an area known for warmer weather which contradicts the fact that great white sharks like cold water. 

However, this out of character appearance can be explained when you do further research into Chagos Archipelago.

This British Indian territory is famous for its variable climate, with a cold water thermocline. It is likely that Kathryn pinged in this area as she was using the thermocline as a passageway to hunt food.

Aside from this ping, great white sharks have not been spotted in this area since.

Summary

In short, yes it is safe to swim and dive in the Maldives. There aren’t any great white sharks residing there, and the shark population in the Maldives generally isn’t dangerous.

However some areas of the Maldives do have strong currents, so you should research the area before you go swimming.

Thank you for reading!

Mikayla Adams

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