The 10 Most Interesting Islands in the World

9. SOCOTRA

Dragon's Blood trees, Socotra (Rod Waddington/Flickr).

Dragon blood trees, Socotra (Rod Waddington/Flickr).

Further west, south of the Arabian peninsula off the Horn of Africa, lies Socotra. Like the Galapagos, Hawaii, and New Caledonia, Socotra contains extraordinary biodiversity. Nearly a third of its plant life, 700 endemic species, is found nowhere else on Earth, for example the dragon blood trees (see above) and the cucumber tree. The only native mammal species is the bat which live in the island’s extensive cave systems. It has been described as the most alien-looking place on earth.

Until an airport was opened in 1999, the island was inaccessible for several months of the year during the monsoon season. The island’s isolation has preserved a unique and ancient culture. Its 50,000 people speak their own language, Soqotri, a Semitic language related to other South Arabian languages. And lines of mitochondrial DNA among the island’s women are found nowhere else in the world.

Read more about Socotra at the New York Times.

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4 comments

  1. Reblogged this on amazonka12579.

  2. Love your list…but you missed out Bora bora from Tahiti…

  3. great post!

  4. I had heard the Whitsundays are lovely. And Stromboli always seemed like an exciting destination, but I’m a sucker for an island. How about Isola Bella on Maggiore? That’s a fond memory. 🙂

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