Monday, September 08, 2008

Socotra Island - The Most Bizzare Place on Earth

Socotra is a small Yemeni archipelago of four islands and islets in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the Horn of Africa, about 350 kilometers south of the Arabian peninsula. Socotra is one of the most isolated landforms on Earth of continental origin. The archipelago features narrow coastal plains, a limestone plateau with caves, and mountains which rise to 1,525 meters above sea level.


Like the Galapagos Islands, this island is teeming with 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, a full 1/3 of which are endemic, i.e. found nowhere else on Earth.

Socotra is home to more than 800 species of plants, some 240 of which are endemic to the island, and there are certainly many more plant species that have yet to be discovered. The climate is harsh, hot and dry, and yet - the most amazing plant life thrives there.









A Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari) is seen in front of the Skund mountains on the island of Socotra, Yemen. The tree is so named because any injury to the bark results in a deep red liquid excreting from the scar – compared in the past to the "Blood of Dragons".

The branches spread out into the sky and from below appear to hover over the landscape like so many flying saucers... and from above they have a distinct mushroom look.





There is also the Desert Rose (adenium obesium) which looks like nothing so much as a blooming elephant leg.



A Socotran Fig Tree (Dorstenia gigas) with a bizare swollen trunk that almost has human proportions grows against a limestone rock face on the island of Socotra. The plants are one of over 300 plant species endemic to the island.




















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22 comments:

Khristian said...

damn, thats nice! i definatelly need to visit this place

Dave said...

are you kidding me?
why am i only hearing about this now
this is mind blowing stuff here guys

Mary Jane said...

How would one get these from the US? And are their eco tours on the islands?
The photos are incredible and I'd love to go some day.

Kevin Purfield said...

nice pictures

Judy said...

Absolutely amazing! So pristne, I would love to visit.

Katherine said...

Im thinking this may not be the safest place for american tourists.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This place is absolutely AMAZING!! I would give almost anything to be able to go and live there to record the fauna and flora of it!! WOW, thanks for posting this.

Anonymous said...

Are there any burger kings there?

Ammo said...

WoW

Anonymous said...

i am ali from socotra island,
I read ur comment and i feel happy that u love socotra and u wish to visit it >
what I want to say is u r welcome to socotra .

Steve said...

Great, lets dig it up and see if we can find some oil or minerals there. CEO. BHP.

Anonymous said...

I am in awe! Please keep this beautiful pocket pristine!

Anonymous said...

AGENCY OF SOCOTRA TOURISM GUIDE


Name: Agency of Socotra tourism Guide

Type: Tourism
Address: 20St. - Hadibo - Socotra Island - Yemen
P.O.Box: 111
Phone No: +967 777748677
Fax No : +967 5 660688
Email:- info@socotraguide.com
Website:- www.socotraguide.com

Toois said...

Theos~It's too bad the us is to build an airbase there.

College Term Papers said...

Cool photos.

ibrahim said...

Lovely, successful blog & a nice island,

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!! YEMEN!!! kay ganda (wonderful)

Anonymous said...

PLEASE revise your definition of endemic.

Anonymous said...

Hello Steve, could you please not to think of digging up for an exploration of oil and minerals??? What you have to do is to come there and enjoy your self with all beauties of God's creatures!!
Regards, from a southeast-asian lady!

Anonymous said...

I just had a dream of this island and I woke up and went for search, did not know it exist, wow so kool

Aubrey said...

looks like the places from the first journey to the center of the earth movie.. very beautiful..

Anonymous said...

Hi southeastern-asian lady.....I think 'steve' is being sarcastic.:(
As sad as this is to say....while you lovely people have an abundance of beauty.....we unfortunately have an abundance of sarcastic people (but they are not the majority thank the good LORD). They constantly bash our own beautiful country and I think this was 'steve's' attempt to bash our country once again. It breaks my heart. :''(