The Maldives, which presently span a pattern from 7 degrees 10? North to 0 degrees 45? South, are made up of 20 natural atolls, a few islands, and isolated reefs. Boduthiladhunmathi is the biggest of these atolls, and Huvadhu is the atoll with the most islands.
Atolls that have evolved through time to resemble numerous islands or isolated reefs could be categorised as smaller atoll formations. In the Maldives, all of the land above the surface is coralline in origin. The Maldives' atolls are organised into a very regular chain, and it is easy to see an arranged pattern, particularly in the northern and central atolls. Some atolls are connected by wide, deep canals. The word "atoll" itself has its roots in Maldivian dialect. Today, the word "atoll" is used in a wide variety of languages all across the world.
Maldivians typically refer to atolls with names ending in "-madulu" or "-mathi" without adding the word "Atoll" at the end. It is acceptable to write Kolhumadulhu without the word "Atholhu" at the end, for instance. In the Faadhippolhu atoll, the same thing is true.