Jewel of Arabian Sea
Through our journey of beautiful places of the world, we have visited a number of islands around the globe. Today again we are going to take a tour of another island. Basically it is an archipelago of four islands. The visit of this island has some unique features. The island is located in the northwestern Indian Ocean. This isolated island is located about 350 km away from the Arabian Peninsula. Geologically the archipelago is located very far from the Arab world and Africa. This feature has resulted in the great global importance of the island regarding the conservation of biodiversity and is termed as the Galapagos of Indian Ocean. The island has unique importance regarding the vegetation as well. The archipelago is comprised of four islands which include Socotra, Abd al Kuri, Samhah and Darsah. The largest island of the archipelago is also named Socotra. The socotra island covers the 95% of the landmass of the archipelago. A very unique feature of the island is that it has been described as the most alien-looking place on earth. UNESCO recognized the island as world natural heritage site in 2008. Socotra island is also mentioned in the Travels of Marco Polo.
FLORA & FAUNA
It is said that Socotra is the jewel of biodiversity in Arabian Sea and it is rightly said. The island has endemic flora. The reason of the endemism is that the island is geologically isolated and the second reason is the fierce heat and drought conditions of the island. There are about 825 plant species on Socotra out of which 307 are endemic which means that these species are found nowhere else on the planet.
According to IUCN red list, there are 3 critically endangered species and 27 endangered plant species. The flora of the island is really unique. There are number of unique and strange looking trees and plants but the most striking of all of them is Dragon’s blood tree. It is strange looking umbrella shaped tree which carries red sap. Ancient people were of the view that the red sap is the blood of dragon. Earlier this red sap was used as dye and medicine and now it is used as paint and varnish.
The fauna of the island is also very rich and unique. There are several species of birds which include a number of endemic species. The endemic birds include Socotra Starling, Socotra Grosbeak, Socotra Sunbird and renowned Socotra Sparrow. Socotra Warbler is also found here which is said to be monotypic endemic kind of birds. Bats are also found on the island and are the only native mammals of the island. Marine life of the island is also diverse. There are about 300 species of crabs, lobster and shrimp and 730 species of coastal fish.
Some facts about the endemism of different species are that 90% of its reptile and 95% of its snail species are not found anywhere else in the world.
Geography of the island states that it is the most isolated place on earth regarding continental origin. The climate of the island is distinguished as tropical desert climate and semi desert climate. The average temperature of the island is 18º C. there is not much rainfall throughout the year. Normally it remains light but spreads allover.
If you want to see a wonderful place with number of unique features then we recommend you to visit Socotra.it would definitely be a awesome visit.