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30 of the most beautiful places in the world

July 8, 2014, 9:01 a.m.
Heart island maldives

Photo: romrf/Shuttertock

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The Maldives

Like one of Mother Nature’s emoticons, this lovable heart-shaped island can be found in the Republic of the Maldives, a country that is spread out over 35,000 square miles in the Indian Ocean, 250 miles southwest of India. The nation is comprised of 1,190 coral islands formed around 26 natural atolls, each of which is made of a coral reef circling a lagoon. While the Maldives is one the world’s most geographically dispersed countries, it is the smallest Asian country in both land area and population; only 200 of those islands are populated. Hello, deserted island paradise.