Ever heard of Socotra? Neither had we. But when one of our readers sent us their vacation pics from the island, we knew we had to cover this story. It’s simply too cool. Located 220 miles off the coast of Yemen (in the Middle East), the island of Socotra is like nothing else found on our planet. It is home to some of the strangest plants and animals that are uniquely adapted to its hot and windswept lands.
Back in the day, Socotra was the stuff of legends. European sailors viewed the island as the edge of the known world, and were terrified of going close to its shores. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew better, and tapped into the islands rare and prized natural resources.
To see exactly what we mean, check out some of these mysterious and strange photos of the island below. If you aren’t already a Facebook fan of Chicks News, hit the Like button below to view the images.
This crazy looking thing is commonly called the “desert rose”. Because water can be so scarce at times, the trunk of this tree stores water. It grows into these wild and wonderful shapes to help it get a solid footing on the rocky land.
It’s called the desert rose because the tree’s top branch actually bloom fuchsia flowers.
This is the legendary “Dragon’s Blood” tree. It grows on the plateaus and mountains all across the island. The blood coloured sap from the tree was used by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks as a healing agent – and even as pigment for artist paint.
There are so many hidden caves and underground canals waiting to be discovered on the island.
White sandy beaches? Try powdery white sandy dunes. Some of them can reach as high as a mile in the sky!
Years of fast moving water have eroded and sculpted the surrounding rock into one-of-a-kind designs.
One of many saline lake crater found on the island – also known as “salt ponds”.
Another amazing example of the effects of wind and water erosion on the cliffs of Socotra.
A grove of desert rose trees can be seen here. It truly looks like you walked onto the set of a sci-fi movie scene!
The desert rose also goes by the name of “the bottle tree”. A pretty fitting name if you ask me.
Some local birdlife just chilling on a rocky outgrowth. Check out how crystal blue that water looks!
Here you see the beginning of a mountain range in the background. Instead of foothills however, you get these insanely tall white sand dunes.
Some plant varieties are over 20 million years old!
Socotra is one of the last places on earth that has been relatively untouched by humans. But in recent years that has changed. With waves of settlers and land developers transforming the island, there are growing threats to the biodiversity of Socotra.
Help protect this island by educating your friends and family. Share this post and help raise awareness. Here’s hoping this wonderful island will continue to thrive for many more years to come.