Socotra Island is located in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of southern Yemen. It’s about east of the Horn of Africa, and 380 miles south of the Arabian Peninsula. At first glance, the island area of 3796 km looks normal. It’s decorated with white sand beaches and the population is around 42,000 people.
Socotra Island, however, holds its own uniqueness. The island of Socotra is considered one of the most isolated places on Earth. It is so isolated that a third of its plant life is located nowhere else on the Planet. A variety of flora grows there, but it’s the state of the nature and rocks that make it look like it’s an alien island.
One type of tree found on the Island that is very unique and strange is the “dragon blood tree” (Dracanea cinnabari). This tree is only found and only grows on the island of Socotra. This tree is an icon of the Socotra Island. The dragon blood trees look like flying saucers perched on trunks.
There is also another unique tree found on the island called the Dorstenia gigas. This tree is similar to the Japanese Cambodia tree that is commonly used as an ornamental plant, but the size is larger. This tree is able to grow on hard rock and rock slopes.
Another unique tree found here is called the Dendrosicyos socotrana. This cucumber tree is very unique. This tree has an enormous trunk with leaves that are more appropriate to call as flowers found at the end of the stem.
Apart from unique plant life found on the island, you can find birds such as the Socotra starling, Socotra sunbird, and Socotra grosbeak that are found nowhere else on Earth. Bats are the island’s only native mammal.
Most scientists argue that the flora and fauna of this island are species that have lived in the past and have not been identified before. Due to the isolated location of the island and the unique characteristics of its’ climate, flora and fauna, Socotra Island was recognized as a UNESCO world natural heritage site in Jul 2008.
In 2010, a Russian archaeological team discovered the ruins of a city on Socotra dating to the second century AD. The island is also held by some to be the location of the original Garden of Eden, due to its isolation, biological diversity, and the fact that it is located on the edge of Yemen’s Gulf of Aden, which many connect with the ancient Sumerian tales of a paradise called Dilmun. There are almost no roads on the island, which is also home to a collection of caves and a number of shipwrecks.
For the purpose of maintaining and protecting the environment of the Island, no hotels, restaurants and other buildings are permitted to be built there.