Uncontaminated Nature

The “underwater waterfall” illusion

The “underwater waterfall” illusion off the coast of Mauritius is one of the most visually striking geographical phenomena seen anywhere on Earth.

This spectacular illusion, visible from aerial views, is located at the southwestern tip of the island near Le Morne Brabant. Despite its name, it isn’t an actual waterfall under the ocean, but rather a visually deceptive, natural occurrence.

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The illusion is created by the movement of sand and silt sediments under the influence of powerful ocean currents. The color differences in the water—shades of blue that darken into a deep oceanic trench—make it appear as though the sandy bottom is being sucked down a vast underwater vortex, similar to how a traditional waterfall appears to plunge downward.

Mauritius is situated atop an oceanic plateau where the water depth is relatively shallow around the island but sharply drops off along the edges into much deeper ocean waters.

The underwater waterfall illusion

The runoff of sand and silt deposits from the higher plateau down into these deeper areas of the ocean floor creates the dramatic visual effect of an underwater cascade.

This stunning natural artwork is best viewed from the air, and it has become a popular image in drone photography and among sightseers on helicopter tours over the island.

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The visual is so convincing and beautiful that it has become a must-see phenomenon for visitors to Mauritius, enhancing the island’s reputation as a location of outstanding natural beauty.

For those planning to visit Mauritius and experience its breathtaking landscapes—including the underwater waterfall illusion—resources like Secret World offer travel tips, detailed guides, and recommendations for making the most of your trip. Additionally, for those interested in exploring the unique and visually stunning places around the globe, this comprehensive guide provides insights and practical information for adventurous travelers.

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