Monday, October 08, 2012

Socotra Island

Congratulations to Jack, who correctly identified Socotra Island as the Place-of-Mystery in this weekend's contest!

Socotra is a mountainous, arid, and remote island in the Arabian Sea, about 150 miles off the horn of Africa.  Although owned by Yemen, the slightly over 40,000 inhabitants of the island speak the Soqotri language.

What makes the island truly unique though is it's isolation.  The island was known to the ancient Egyptians and was written about by Marco Polo, but even so, it had no paved roads until about 2007.

Socotra Island seen towards the far right

Apart from the curious island caverns and beautiful waters, Socotra is best known for its unique flora and fauna, some of the most distinctive on the planet.  The tree pictured on Saturday's post, is the Dragon's Blood Tree, so named for it's distinctive blood red sap.

Dragon's Blood Tree

Dragon's Blood Tree Sap

Another unusual and famous native plant, known for its unusually thick trunk and beautiful pink blossoms is the Socotran Desert Rose.

Socotran Desert Rose

The near drought-like conditions on the island have produced a landscape peppered with alien looking plants.

All told Socotra is home to 825 plant species (37% of which do not occur anywhere else on the planet).  Additionally, 90% of Scotora's reptile species and 95% of its snail species only occur on this island.  Significant numbers of land and sea birds are threatened or endangered and even the marine life is unique, boasting 253 species of reef-building corals, 730 identified coastal fish, and 300 species of crab, lobster and shrimp!

Truely, this isolated island is a unique jewel and will hopefully stay that way for a long time to come.


recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

What a fascinating place! Thanks Nate.

Judi said...

Those plants are unlike anything else. Thanks for the lesson, Nate.

Jan said...

What was the book title?

Nate Maas said...

Jan, thanks for asking. I've decided to incorporate it into a new mystery for this upcoming weekend, so stop on back this Saturday!

Zelda said...

Wonderfull pictures. I hope this earthly paradise is protected from the dreaded tourist.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Very colorful!

Unknown said...

Hi ,
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Best Regards
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john endres rn said...

What a fantastic island, I wonder if Sinbad landed there....great did this island well, thank u for sharing...

john endres rn said...

What a fantastic island, I wonder if Sinbad landed there....great did this island well, thank u for sharing...

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