The Indian Ocean island of Socotra boasts a distinct plant life that makes you feel as if you’re on another planet.
Socotra is an island in the Indian Ocean that makes up around 95 percent of the archipelago’s landmass. It is officially a part of Yemen (part of the Arabian Peninsula and hence Western Asia), but physically it is part of Africa. It is located 380 kilometers (240 miles) south of the Arabian Peninsula.
Socotra is home to a diverse range of species, with about a third of its plant life being indigenous to the island and found nowhere else on the earth. Socotra is also home to unique birds including the Socotra starling, Socotra sunbird, and Socotra grosbeak. The sole natural animal on the island is bats.
Due to its seclusion and ecological richness, as well as its position on the border of Yemen’s Gulf of Aden, which many associate with ancient Sumerian accounts of a paradise named Dilmun, some believe the island to be the site of the Garden of Eden.
Socotra has been dubbed “Earth’s most alien-looking location,” and for good cause. Consider the Socotra desert rose, often known as the bottle tree (Adenium socotranum).
With pink blossoms on top, the bottle tree resembles elephant legs.
The dragon’s blood tree, which resembles a flying saucer perched on a trunk, is another spectacular indigenous plant.
It gets its name from the blood-like appearance of the tree’s red sap.
The Socotra golden winged grosbeak can only be found on the island of Socotra.
This Frankincense tree chose an improbable site to flourish.
As is the case with this bottle tree…
There are two sides to this dragon blood tree.
When in bloom, dragon blood trees are even more stunning.
Socotra has a population of roughly 60,000 people and some interesting structures.
However, travelers come here largely for the unusual natural surroundings – just take a look at this.
For long years, Socotra was home to a Soviet naval base and was closed to practically all visitors.
It has become more accessible in recent years, but the authorities are particularly protective of natural resources, and collecting plant material of any kind is banned.
Truly an amazing place.