The Maldives is a country of South Asia, situated in the Indian Ocean, south-southwest of India. It consists of approximately 1,190 coral islands grouped in a double chain of 26 atolls, spread over roughly 90,000 square kilometers. Only 185 of these islands are inhabited, while the others are used largely for tourism and agriculture. The atolls are composed of live coral reefs and sand bars perched atop a 960km submarine ridge, while the land features lush tropical vegetation with abundant local coconut palms. With an average ground level of 1,5m above sea level, the Maldives is by far the lowest country on earth and as such has a very fragile ecosystem. The capital and largest city of the Maldives is Male.