Socotra Island: What Makes The Island An Unique Place On Earth
Socotra, constituting four islands in the Indian Ocean, is unique for its unusual biodiversity.
Socotra or the “island abode of bliss” is mentioned in several legends and the inhabitants of the Island were Christians, but this religion disappeared in the 17th century. When we think of beaches, palm trees are the first thing that comes to our mind. However, Socotra has an unusual landscape that will leave you in awe.
Socotra is full of deep valleys, large mountains, and caves made of limestone and the overall climate is hot and dry. This harsh climate of the island sustains the growth of unusual biodiversity with 825 species of plants that are not found elsewhere. In 2008, Socotra was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site, for its distinct animal and plant life. The island is home to land snails and reptiles that are unique. However, there is only one native mammal, the bat, that can be spotted on the island. One of the most bizarre plants of Socotra is known as the Dragon’s Blood Tree and can be found only on this island.
Other giant succulent trees along with species of pomegranates and cucumber grow in Socotra, and these plants cannot sustain anywhere else on the planet. The rare and unusual fauna and flora of Socotra offer a nickname to the place “Galapagos of the Indian Ocean”. However, the distinct species are not spread all across the island. Socotra is recognized by WWF as a Global 200 Ecoregion and a Plantlife International Centre of Plant Diversity with 34 most threatened and richest reservoir of animal and plant species on earth.
The archipelago of Socotra is approximately inhabited by 450 residents, thriving in severe and difficult conditions due to inadequate supply of clean drinking water. From the geographical perspective, the eastern part of the island is certainly more attractive with curvy sand dunes and massive caves. The diverse geology possessing granite mountains, elevated corals and crystalline limestone adds to the rare beauty of the island. For biologists, Socotra is equivalent to heaven, since more than 300 endemic species have so far been recorded and the number of discoveries is rising every year.
If you are willing to witness some strange biodiversity, Socotra is where you should be heading to.