One of the 28 New7Wonders of Nature finalists, the Maldives
are made up of 1,192 small islands (including the above), but people live on only about 200 of them.
Even fewer of those islands will be inhabited if climate change continues to raise sea levels in the Indian Ocean, particularly around the low-lying capital of Maale (Male), experts say. (See pictures of Maale (Male) and other places endangered by climate change
If the Maldives make it to the final seven-wonders list, the resulting attention may inspire more action on climate change, Tourtellot suggested.
"It might get some needed conversations going, and that would be a good thing."
Photograph by James L. Stanfield, NGS Image Collection