Maldives QI, Part 2

Portugese Man of War

Question: What is this a picture of?

Answer: A Jelly Fish.

[Soundeffect]: Buzzzz! Wrong. This is a ‘Portugese Man of War’ which is not actually a ‘jelly fish’ but asiphonophore. Siphonophores “differ from jellyfish in that they are not actually a single creature, but a colonial organism made up of many minute individuals called zooids. Each of these zooids is highly-specialized and, although structurally similar to other solitary animals, are attached to each other and physiologically integrated to the extent that they are incapable of independent survival.” In this respect, Portugese Man Of Wars, also know as just ‘Man of Wars’ or ‘Blue Bottles’, are more like coral polyps.

As it turns out, this fact was so obscure that it escaped the Ceremonial Master himself in the first series of QI. Stephen Fry referred to a ‘jellyfish’ as the ‘right class of animal’ as a ‘Portugese Man-of-War’. In reality, Man of Wars are not even the same of the same Order as jellyfish. They are in the order Hydrozoa, while jelly fish are in the order Scyphozoa

Bill: Forget the buzzers. Off the buzzers now. I would hazard a guess and say the, erm, the Portuguese Man-of-War.
Stephen: Oh, now, do you know, I’m gonna give you five points, ’cause you’re so much in the right class of animal.
Bill: Ah! See?
Stephen: It is a jellyfish.
Bill: A jellyfish.
Stephen: Yeah. It is a jellyfish.

Just one of the many fascinating facts we learned about Maldive ocean life during the talk by Marine Biologist Verena Wiesbauer Ali put on by Kurumba.

Maldives QI, Part 1

Stephen Fry QI

In honour of Stephen Fry’s brilliant QI (short for ‘Quite Interesting’) TV comedy quiz show returning to BBC this weekend, we feature a couple of Maldives QI questions of our own…

Maldives Clown Fish

Question:  What common, colourful fish in the Maldives is this a picture of?

Answer #1:  A ‘Nemo’ Fish.?

[Sound effect]: Buzzzz! Wrong. The character ‘Nemo’ in Disney’s filmFinding Nemo’ had three white stripes as a opposed to the single one shown above.


Answer #2: A Clown Fish.

[Soundeffect]: Buzzzz! Wrong. You are close in that the term ‘clown fish’ is often applied to all members of the family of ‘Anemonefish’, but not all Anemonefish are really clown fish including this specimen.

Anemonefish are from the subfamily Amphiprioninae in the family Pomacentridae and only one specific species of Anemonefish, Amphiprion ocellaris, is actually designated the ‘Clown Anemonefish’. The fish shown at top is really a ‘Amphiprion nigripes’, also known as a ‘Maldive anemonefish’.  With its cousin ‘Amphiprion clarkii’ (also known as ‘Clark’s anemonefish’ or the ‘Yellowtail clownfish’), they are the two species of Anemonefish (out of 27 that exist worldwide) found in the Maldive waters.

As it happens, a number of Anemonfish have also been dubbed ‘Clownfish’ in their informal names such as Amphiprion perideraion (Pink skunk clownfish) and the Amphiprion melanopus (Fire or Cinnamon clownfish) as well as obviously ‘Clark’s which I said is known as the ‘Yellowtail Clownfish’. But not this species here. Even Wikipedia describes the terms ‘Clownfish’ and ‘Anemonefish’ as interchangeable, but now you know the real distinctions.

Thanks to Sarah Kompatscher, Marine Biologist at Anantara, and Verena Wiesbauer Ali, Marine Biologist for Kurumba.

Clown Anemonefish

Proper ‘Nemo’ or ‘Clown Anemonefish’

Best of Maldives: Green Cooking– Six Senses Laamu

Six Sense Laamu Carbon Free Dining

If BBQ isn’t quite environmentally friendly enough for you, then maybe ‘Green Cooking’ would be more interesting.

No not ‘greens’ cooking. ‘Green Cooking’. Eco-friendly cooking. ‘Carbon-free Cooking’. As opposed to some of my BBQ’s where there is nothing left of the cooking except for the charred remains of a collection of carbon atoms.

Six Senses Laamu has introduced ‘Carbon Free Cooking’ (thanks Sakis)…

“Zero-carbon cooking is the buzz phrase among chefs and diners who care about the environmental impact of the catering industry. The idea that you can cook a meal without contributing harmful greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere – whilst still making it delicious! – presents quite a challenge but is certainly one that will be inspiring Six Senses chefs over the years to come.”


“At Six Senses Laamu we have now introduced a zero-carbon menu at Deck-a-dence, our amazing over-water, under-the-stars dining and chilling out decks. All ingredients are sourced from within the Laamu atoll and served raw, so no need for any energy to be consumed in cooking. A truly sustainable culinary experience.”

Just to add to the experience and bring you even closer to nature, Six Senses Laamu serves the environmentally savvy savouries at a special over-water, glass-floored table (see above).

To start with, one way to reduce the carbon emissions from cooking, is to leave out the ‘cooking’ bit.  Or at least the ‘fire’ part.  The ‘cooking’ as in combining ingredients into delicious concoctions can carry on.  Salads and sushi were about the only ‘raw’ cuisine most people will eat, but Cordon Bleu chef Diana Von Cranach has pioneered a whole range of ‘raw cooking’ which she is bring to Six Senses Laamu (and Soneva Fushi) this coming week.  She will be featuring such dishes as “Mixed Mushroom, Oriental Herb & Calamansi Ceviche on Lotus Root, Fresh Living  Coconut & Fenugreek Green Soup with Angelhair Choko Noodles, Living Chickpea Chappati.”

Best of Maldives – BBQ – W Retreat

W Retreat bbq

The recently passed Summer Bank Holiday (UK) and Labor Day Weekend (USA) are traditionally celebrated with a grand finale BBQ (or ‘barbeque’ or even ‘Bar-B-Q’ for you southerners) of the season. And if BBQ is your thing, one the W Retreat’s signature restaurants is devoted to the cuisine of the flame. Dubbed ‘Fire’ in W’s characteristically succinct style, guests help themselves to one of 4 BBQs complemented by a range of side dishes on offer…

  • Mongolian
  • Spit-Roast
  • Grill
  • Tandoori

Like most of the W’s food, everything is prepared to order from a range of ingredients that you customise to your liking.

“Primal meets epicurean with spit-roasted whole suckling pig or lamb and BBQ-grilled marinated meat and seafood. Spice it up with Tandoor-cooked nan bread, chicken, fish or seafood accompanied by a variety of curries. Who’s feeling creative? Mix and match ingredients at the Mongolian BBQ where you choose your fave ingredients. Or opt for the à la carte sharing items like succulent whole fish, mezzeh and meat dishes.”

The central fire pit and pervasive tiki-torches fill the evening with a flickering glow for an ambience as inviting as the savoury delicacies.

W Retreat fire bbq