The Alien Island

Dragon Tree 240 kilometers east of the coasts of Somalia, and 380 kilometers south of the Arabian Peninsula lies a small archipelago.

Socotra (also spelled Soqotra), its largest island, is vastly uncontaminated thanks to the fact that it has been opened to tourism only recently.


Being very isolated, Socotra has a very unique plant life: oneBottle Trees third of its flora can’t be found anywhere else on earth. But this phenomenon is not limited to plants only; also the animal life has been affected: 90% of its reptile species, as well as 95% of its land snail species can be admired only here, and nowhere else in the world.


Socotran StarlingThe same is valid for 6 endemic species of birds: the Socotra sparrow, the Socotra Cisticola, the Socotra Starling, the Socotra Sun bird, the Socotra Warbler and the extremely rare Socotra Bunting (only 1000 specimens left).

This biological diversity has resulted in a very peculiar landscape, which has led many to describe this island as “the most alien looking place on earth”.


Socotran SunsetSocotra, which is part of Yemen, is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2008, and attracts sea lovers from all over the world with its magnificent beaches and the uncontaminated coral reefs.




Picture credits:
Socotran Sunset, by Rod Waddington (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Dragon Tree, by Rod Waddington (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Bottle Trees, by Rod Waddington (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Socotran Starling, by Rod Waddington (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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