The remote island of Socotra looks like a landscape out of a sci-fi film. Over millions of years, the isolated island in the Arabian Sea has cultivated a unique biodiversity unlike anywhere else on Earth. Twisted dragon’s blood trees and bulbous bottle trees have made Socotra a place of legends, feared by sailors throughout history and believed by some to be the site of the original Garden of Eden.
The island is separated from the mainland of the African continent six to seven million years ago and the nature of the here showed their creativity and luxury. Similar Galapgos, which is known for its incredible series of wildlife, Socotra is home to around 800 rare species of flora and fauna – about one-third of them are not found anywhere in the world.
Located in the Indian Ocean some 250 kilometers from Somalia and 340 kilometers from Yemen, harsh environment of the island consists of sandy beaches, limestone caves and raised mountains. For much of the year here are unbearable heat and desert conditions which led to the distinctive appearance of plants on the island.
Trees and plants on this island have been developed to withstand inhospitable living conditions, and a kind of old are incredible 20 million years. Only Hawaii, New Caledonia and the Galapagos have more endemic species than there are on the island of Socotra.
Center for Near East plant, which is part of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, conducted a study and even counted 307 of 825 plant species that can not be found anywhere else in the world.