Absolutely Stunning Illusion of an Underwater Waterfall

underwater waterfall in mauritius
Photo Credit: Unknown Photographer

Mauritius is an island nation officially called the Republic of Mauritius, or in French, République de Maurice, located in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometers off the southeast coast of the African continent. Mauritius was initially discovered by the Arabs in 975 AD, followed by the Portuguese between 1507 and 1513. The islands of Mauritius, Rodrigues as well as the French department of Réunion form part of the Mascarene Islands.  Since its discovery then there have been periods of succession and colonization by the Dutch, French, and British. Mauritius gained republic status in 1968.

underwater waterfall
Photo Credit: Digital Globe via Google Images

A fascinating illusion can be found at the Southwestern tip of the island. When seen from the air, a runoff of sand and silt deposits makes the illusion of an underwater waterfall. The visually deceiving impression is absolutely breathtaking when seen from aerial shots. In fact, the illusion can even be seen on Google Maps. Satellite views are dramatic, as an underwater current seemingly appears off the coastline of this tropical heaven. Viewed from other perspectives, the ocean appears to be a spectacular gamut of greens, blues, and whites, creating the false impression that it plummets down just like a raging waterfall.

mauritius screenshot
Photo Credit: Digital Globe via Google Images

Causing the visual magic here is the sand, which is the fair-colored part of the water. The current caused by waves smashing against that specific part of the island causes the sand to be dispersed in a natural, waterfall-like manner of the receding waves’ downward pull. In a manner of speaking, it is in fact an underwater waterfall, but more akin to an hourglass, rather than a typical cascading water.

underwater waterfall mauritius
Photo Credit: St. Regis Mauritius Resort

Still, although it is made apparent that there is no roaring waterfall, there is something enormously delightful about the thought of underwater falls. This is because of the fact that there is so much left still unknown about the earth’s oceans. Despite being unreal, it nonetheless makes for an enchanting aerial visual.

mauritius underwater waterfall
Photo Credit: Sofitel So Mauritius on Flickr

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.